7.4/10
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204 user 175 critic

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director:

Tommy Lee Jones
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Pete Perkins
Barry Pepper ... Mike Norton
Julio Cesar Cedillo ... Melquiades Estrada (as Julio César Cedillo)
Dwight Yoakam ... Belmont
January Jones ... Lou Ann Norton
Melissa Leo ... Rachel
Levon Helm ... Old Man with Radio
Mel Rodriguez ... Captain Gomez
Cecilia Suárez ... Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ... Lucio
Vanessa Bauche ... Mariana
Irineo Alvarez Irineo Alvarez ... Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)
Guillermo Arriaga ... Juan
Josh Berry ... Border Patrolman
Rodger Boyce ... Salesman
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Storyline

A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch foreman, kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is beyond redemption. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 February 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada See more »

Filming Locations:

Shafter, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$759,792 (France), 2 December 2005

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,859, 18 December 2005

Gross USA:

$5,023,275, 4 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barry Pepper's character Mike Norton reads the April 2004 issue of Hustler repeatedly when he's out on patrol. See more »

Goofs

In the scene were Pete buys two beers and asks for directions in a Mexican store, the Mexican guy in the store is drinking an orange Topo Chico soft drink. The Topo Chico brand doesn't come in orange flavor in Mexico. Just in the USA. See more »

Quotes

[Pete makes a date with two girls and introduces them to Melquiades]
Melquiades Estrada: That's the one from the cafe, right?
Pete Perkins: Yes, genius.
Melquiades Estrada: But she's married!
Pete Perkins: So's the other one.
Melquiades Estrada: Oh, shit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the film and the various title cards are in both English and Spanish. See more »

Connections

References Lonesome Dove (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wonder Who'll Turn Out The Lights (In Your World Tonight)
(2004)
Written by Mack Vickery (as Vickery) / Wayne Kemp (as Kemp)
Performed by Bobby Flores
© Sony / ATV Tree Publishing
(from the Bobby Flores album "Festival Favorites" on Yellow Rose Records)
Drums: Jim Loessberg, Bass: Jake Hooker, Piano: Randy Reinhard, Steel Guitar: Dicky Overbey,
Guitars, Vocals: Bobby Flores
Recorded at B.G.M. Studio in San Antonio, TX.
Recorded for Yellow Rose Records, LLC.
Exec. Producer: Al Michalczak,
Produced by Bobby Flores, Mixed by Bill Green & Bobby Flores
See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful and moving modern western
22 November 2005 | by gtzamSee all my reviews

The "Three burials of Melquiades Estrada" is a multi-layered story of death, retribution, loneliness, and remembrance. Although it takes place in modern day Texas, its main character Pete Perkins, superbly played by Tommy Lee Jones, seems to be living resolutely in the past. He is determined to seek justice for his best friend's death and forces the guy responsible for to a journey across the borders in Mexico to locate the village of the deceased for a proper burial. This journey will bring forward the stark contrast between the values of two ways of life and the landscape transversed is both geographical and emotional.

Modern civilization throughout the film is mainly represented by 4WD cars, sniper rifles, dinners, shopping malls, trailers, and TV-sets incessantly showing soap operas, while the characters revelling into those manifestations are invariably emotionally numb, disaffected people, trapped to a perfunctory life from which they seem unable or unwilling to escape. Concomitantly the values of the old west, based on friendship, loyalty and commitment have ebbed, though they are still existent as embodied by the relationship of Pete with his best friend. Pete is forced to pursue his own sense of justice after being repeatedly scorned by the contemptuous behavior of the authorities towards him and his demand for rightful punishment of the culprit, a cool, violence prone and emotionally detached border-guard.

The story is masterly told in a sturdy manner that perfectly serves the complexity of the excellent screenplay by an apposite use of flashbacks and wonderfully shot sequences. All the performances are top notch in their expressive minimalism, greatly contributing to the lasting emotional impact of this outstanding film.


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