(Review originally written at 18 September 2006)

This movie is an unique and original one. There never has been really a movie like "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" before. It's a daring and creative theatrical directing debut from Tommy Lee Jones, that only works halve as successful as it perhaps could have had.

But its uniqueness is also were the the main problem with this movie lays. It's hard to know how to watch this movie. The movie starts off as a mostly serious thriller about a murder committed in Texas, close to the Mexican border. Later the movie turns more into a quirky comedy and eventually the movie also becomes an 'Odyssey' like adventure movie. It's really not the most consistent movie ever made with also doesn't make this the easiest or most pleasant movie to watch.

The movie also doesn't make things easy for itself. The movie is partly told non-linear with occurrence put in that happened before the killing of Melquiades Estrada. All those moments seem pretty randomly put in the movie which does make the movie unnecessary confusing and hard to follow.

Sad thing is that "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" could had been a really great and above all fun movie to watch, had it only been made in one continues style (the adventurous comical one). That way i'm sure I would had really enjoyed watching this movie. I also certainly enjoyed this movie now already for what it was but I just couldn't help thinking throughout the movie how great this movie would had been if it had only been entirely just like its last 30 minutes or so.

I understood the movie and its deeper layers and meanings about redemption and friendship but still that doesn't mean that I enjoyed the movie.

The movie has some good actors in it but still they can't prevent the characters in this movie from being pretty bland and distant. Their fine and professional performance doesn't bring the story and characters enough to life. Not even Tommy Lee Jones, who normally always is an actor that can carry a movie, even if he only plays a small part in it.

Sure, the movie is still entertaining and creatively original enough to consider this a good movie to watch but it also is a movie with lots of missed opportunities. Let's hope Jones has learned from the mistakes he made with this movie and may his next movie be as brilliant as this movie potentially could had been.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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