Review: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  December 14, 2005 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Reviews

Three Burials has a lot to offer " it is a murder mystery, redemption film, and character study. The film is directed by and stars Tommy Lee Jones as ranch hand Pete Perkins, who falls to pieces after one of his best friends if suddenly murdered. The friend is Melquiades Estrada, a Mexican rancher whose ranch is very close to the Mexican border.

On the flipside, Barry Pepper stars as Mike Norton, a very green border patrol officer who moves to the town close to the border. He brings along his young wife Lou Ann (January Jones) to the new town. Everything seems to be fine with the Nortons, but Lou Ann quickly gets bored sick of living in the middle nowhere.

The film takes off when Perkins and Norton collide over the murder but it never really reaches a pinnacle of success. The performances of Barry Pepper and January Jones are superb but Tommy Lee Jones seems too bored during his performance. Tommy Lee Jones as a director struggles with a lot of introverted feelings going on in the film and never brings us into the characters' minds very well. That alone makes the film difficult to get wrapped up in. Then there is the overly-dull pacing of the film which I had a lot of problems with.

There are some nice things here but for the most part Jones leaves a lot of things unexplored and it could have been way more interesting with a more seasoned veteran behind the camera. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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