This is one of those movies that comes out at the end of the year to get Oscar consideration, tanks at the box office, gets no nominations, and then is completely forgotten. And that is a shame. Because I really liked this film.
The script was written by Guillermo Arriaga of (21 Grams and Amores Perros fame. I definitely liked it a lot more than 21 Grams. This movie also is the first film directed by Tommy Lee Jones. He should direct more. The film has a John Ford majesticness to it. I really was impressed by it.
Jones plays a rancher who befriends an illegal Mexican immigrant. When the immigrant, Melquiades Estrada, is accidentally shot and killed by an asshole border patrol agent (Barry Pepper), Jones gets pissed. When he finds out that the sheriff isn't going to do anything, he takes matters into his own hands.
He kidnaps Pepper, has him dig up the corpse of Estrada, and embarks on a journey on horseback to Estrada's village in Mexico to give him a proper burial. Jones has to elude the police, keep Pepper at bay, and make sure that Estrada's corpse doesn't decompose too quickly, all while trying to find a small village that isn't even on the map.
There are so many interesting little moments in this film. I never would have thought that a Tommy Lee Jones movie could make such an impression on me. If I had seen this last year, it definitely would have been ranked fairly high on my year end list.
Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
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