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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

A story about a rancher living along the Texas-Mexico border whose friend is murdered by a border guard, Burials is many things. It's a Western, a dark comedy, a commentary on border politics, and a revenge thriller — perfect for a film born out of years of deer-hunting trips Tommy Lee Jones took with Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams). ''You don't have to spend much time along the Rio Grande before you realize that [Arriaga's] country and mine are the same,'' says Jones, who also stars in his feature directorial debut (he won best actor at Cannes). ''You can call it a polarity. It's not Mexico and it's not the United States.''

Originally posted Nov 09, 2005 Published in issue #850 Nov 18, 2005 Order article reprints