The feature directorial debut of Tommy Lee Jones actually stands out more as another fractured tale from screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams). Arriaga’s multilayered stories weave about in unexpected directions, and the question here is whether or not Jones can lasso them in. Jones also stars as an aging cowboy
whose friend – the illegal Mexican immigrant of the title – is found murdered. He handles the dusty milieu just fine, but he’s less adept at finessing the narrative. Melquiades is meant to function as some sort of potent symbol, but Three Burials is too oblique to give his presence – buried or otherwise – much significance.