A Better Life

A Better Life

A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had. 3.1 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
A Better Life

Omniscore:

Certificate 12A
Genre Drama
Director Chris Weitz
Cast José Julián, Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo, Joaquín Cosio Demián Bichir
Studio Depth of Field
Release Date July 2011
Running Time 97 mins
 

A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Eve Barlow

An interesting exploration of class struggle which recalls classics like Bicycle Thieves but doesn't quite live up to them.

01/07/2011

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The Times

Wendy Ide

A Better Life is an empathetic drama that fits neatly alongside films such as The Visitor and Maria Full of Grace — all movies that, to put it crudely, are a manifestation of white, liberal guilt about US immigration policy. That doesn’t make them bad films — on the contrary, A Better Life is eloquent, impassioned and deftly constructed, if a little predictable — but it does bring a certain earnest worthiness to the mix.

29/07/2011

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

The film never quite comes alight, possibly because Demián Bichir is too stoical a presence at its centre and the screenplay sometimes seems naïve and obvious. Even so, it speaks well enough about the fate of immigrants everywhere, especially those who want to work hard but end up being exploited.

29/07/2011

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The Guardian

Cath Clarke

[A] sincere, quietly disarming drama … Mexican star Demian Bichir carries it all with a measured performance of considerable emotion as the dad

28/07/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

It is sincerely and honourably made, with a lovely performance by Bichir as the long-suffering Carlos, but a little more nuance would not have gone amiss.

29/07/2011

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

The didacticism takes the shine off Weitz’s accomplishment, even if the film builds up enough empathy to generate slow-burning emotional impact. Well-meaning and genuine, it’s just a bit too medicinal for its own good.

28/07/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Chris Weitz's heartfelt drama aims for the poignancy of The Bicycle Thieves, but only Demian Bichir's tender performance stops it from feeling like a lecture on immigration issues.

31/07/2011

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