Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Details


Veteran screen star Tommy Lee Jones makes his directorial debut with the fractured tale of murder and injustice on the U.S.-Mexico border scripted by Amores Perros and 21 Grams screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) is a fresh-faced Border Patrol officer in Cibolo County, TX, whose dedication to his new job leaves his lonely wife, Lou Ann (January Jones), with little to do but spend her days at the local diner, where she strikes up a friendship with waitress Rachel (Melissa Leo). Despite her own status as a married woman, Rachel is unfulfilled in her marriage and is intimately involved with both rugged rancher Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) and local sheriff Belmont (Dwight Yoakam). Soon after Pete hires Mexican illegal Melquiades Estrada (Julio César Cedillo) as a ranch hand, the growing bond between the pair is suddenly shattered when, in a moment of panic on a routine patrol, Mike hastily guns down the innocent Melquaides. When an enraged Pete learns that Mike has unceremoniously buried the illegal immigrant in an unmarked desert grave and local authorities opt to overlook the case, he kidnaps the crooked lawman and sets out to ensure that justice is served with or without the involvement of the local police force. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

  • Release date:February 3, 2006


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Barry Pepper Best Supporting Actor 2005 Nominee
Cannes Film Festival Tommy Lee Jones Best Actor 2005 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Chris Menges Best Cinematography 2005 Nominee
Cannes Film Festival Guillermo Arriaga Best Screenplay 2005 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Guillermo Arriaga Best Screenplay 2005 Nominee


Tommy Lee Jones
as Pete Perkins
Barry Pepper
as Mike Norton
Julio Cedillo
as Melquiades Estrada
Dwight Yoakam
as Sheriff Frank Belmont
January Jones
as Lou Ann Norton
Melissa Leo
as Rachel
Levon Helm
as Old Man With Radio
Melvin Rodriguez
as Captain Gomez
Cecilia Suarez
as Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe
as Lucio
Vanessa Bauche
as Mariana
Sonny Carl Davis
as Kruger
Raul Molinar
as Radio Announcer 1
Juan Pareja
as Sands Guy 1
Paulina Reyes
as Piano Player
Uriel Chavez
as Cowboy 2
Josh Berry
as Border Patrolman
Lonnie Nelson
as Gravedigger
Charles Sanders
as Doctor
Brent Smiga
as Deputy Antonio
Maya Zapata
as El Toston Woman 1
Rodger Boyce
as Salesman
Hugo Perez
as Man
Victoria Jones
as Immigrant Girl
Lupe Campos
as Sands Guy 2
Richard Dillard
as Jim
Barry Tubb
as A.L.
Richard Jones
as Bob
Guillermo Arriaga
as Juan
Sean Hennigan
as Chuck
Jorge Ádrian Espíndola
as Cowboy 1
Angelina C. Torres
as Adriana
Guillermo Von Son
as Chino
Irineo Alvarez
as Manuel
René Campero
as Don Casimiro
Gustavo Sánchez Parra
as Tomas
Jesse De Luna
as Miller
Ariel Castro
as Jorge
Spike Spencer
as John, Soap Opera
Montserrat De León
as El Toston Woman 2
Jordan Henderson
as Mary, Soap Opera Girl
Adrian Navarette
as Agustin
Terry Parks
as Neil


Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
Luc Besson
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
Guillermo Arriaga
Chris Menges
Marco Beltrami
Composer (Music Score)
Annette Fradera
Musical Direction/Supervision
Jerome Lateur
Musical Direction/Supervision
Roberto Silvi
Merideth Boswell
Production Designer
Jeff Knipp
Art Director
Kathy Kiatta
Costume Designer
Phil Shirey
Set Decorator
Rene Villarreal
First Assistant Director
Philip Hardage
First Assistant Director
Duane Manwiller
Camera Operator
Manuel Teil
Jeanne McCarthy
Jo Edna Boldin
Mark Weingarten
Sound Mixer
Anna Abbey
Costumes Supervisor
Rocio Ceja
Costumes Supervisor
Ana Rebuelta
Script Supervisor
Antonio Diego
Production Sound Mixer
Cecilia Monterrubio
Production Accountant
Rob Hinderstein
Makeup Special Effects
Al Laverde
Key Grip
Sergio Suaste
Jimmy Zelinger
Title Design
Steve Beeson
Production Accountant
Eric Bassoff
Production Supervisor
Lily Flashner
Location Manager
Richard Snell
David Bach
Supervising Sound Editor
John Johns
Video Playback
Cliff Happy
Stunts Coordinator
Pete Anthony
LeAnn Radeka
Dominique Hennequin
Re-Recording Mixer
Joel Harlow
Makeup Special Effects
Larry Madaras
Additional Editing
Larry Madaras
Post Production Supervisor