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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones' directing debut is an admirably indignant outing. If only it weren't so long-winded and self-satisfied. Jones plays a gruff Texas ranch foreman, grieving over the death of his pal, the soft-spoken illegal immigrant mentioned in the title. When Jones finds out his friend was murdered by a sleazy Border Patrol agent (Battlefield Earth's Barry Pepper), he kidnaps the agent, forces him to dig up the corpse and transport it to Mexico for a proper burial. What follows is a dark journey of the soul in which two tough antagonists travel through the unforgiving, metaphor-filled desert on a grim errand of redemption. The morality is a bit smug, but the film has a rough, gritty Sam Peckinpah feel to it that's hard to shake. 121 minutes R.