Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Julio Cesar Cedillo, January Jones, Dwight Yoakam
Released: May 25, 2006
Rating: (M)
Runtime: 121 minutes
Story: 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.
Guillermo Arriaga's dramatic and poetic script weaves past and present as it gradually reveals a great friendship, the lonely subterfuge of an illegal migrant's life, the cost of a promise made and kept, and culminates in the redemption of a callous if accidental killer.
The U.S.-Mexico border has long been plagued with violence and racism, and many of the events that unfold in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada are accurate depictions of the ongoing abuse of human rights in the region. But the film offers, in its conclusion, a pure form of contrition for wrongs committed, and a striking note of empathy for the lives so changed.
Tommy Lee Jones Pete Perkins
Barry Pepper Mike Norton
Julio Cesar Cedillo Melquiades Estrada
Dwight Yoakam Belmont
January Jones Lou Ann Norton
Melissa Leo Rachel
Levon Helm Old Man with Radio
Mel Rodriguez Captain Gomez
Cecilia Suarez Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe Lucio
Vanessa Bauche Mariana
Irineo Alvarez Manuel
Guillermo Arriaga Juan
Josh Berry Border Patrolman
Rodger Boyce Salesman