Michael Sauter
June 02, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
121 minutes
Limited Release Date
12/14/05
performer
Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, January Jones
director
Tommy Lee Jones
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
genre
Drama

We gave it an B-

Jones’ feature directorial debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, about aimless lives in a dusty Texas border town, starts out quietly nuanced, with apparent Last Picture Show ambitions. Then it gets lost on a meandering ride to Mexico, as his grizzled rancher takes a murdered pal’s body back home. Lonesome Dove it ain’t.

EXTRAS ”Sounds like a dulcimer,” says costar Dwight Yoakam as the opening-credits music plays. That’s just the start of a hilariously inarticulate commentary, alternating rambling conversation with prolonged silence. It’s the only extra, but it’s a hoot.

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