Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Rated NR

Tommy Lee Jones makes his directorial debut, and does a fine job of directing himself, with one of the stranger films to come down the pike in some time. It’s a twisted road movie where some men go on a long trek, and one of those men just happens to be a corpse. In its own peculiar way, the film is a grand statement about the powerful bonds of friendship and loyalty. When a couple of poachers spot a coyote feeding upon obscured prey near the Mexican border, they do some target practice and take the critter out. When they go to confirm their kill, they discover the object the coyote was eating was in fact a dead man. The body is exhumed and brought back to a West Texas town for a short investigation that reveals the deceased is Melquiades Estrada, friend to local cowpoke Pete Perkins (Jones). Pete kidnaps his friend’s accidental killer (a terrific Barry Pepper) and the rest of the movie is the strangest of road movies.

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