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      A Better Life

      2011, Drama, 1h 38m

      106 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Powered by a terrific performance from Demián Bichir, A Better Life is an immigrant story told with simplicity and an ample amount of heart. Read critic reviews

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      Movie Info

      Carlos Galindo (Demián Bichir), a Mexican undocumented immigrant and veteran Los Angeles day laborer, has trouble connecting with his son, Luis (José Julián), whose gang-affiliated girlfriend is tempting him to ignore his father's example of clean living. Carlos buys a truck to begin working as a self-employed man and earn more money, but when it is stolen, his hopes for a more affluent life are dashed. Unable to turn to the police for help, father and son embark on a quest to find the vehicle.

      • Rating: PG-13 (Language|Brief Drug Use|Some Violence)

      • Genre: Drama

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Chris Weitz

      • Producer: Jami Gertz, Christian McLaughlin, Stacey Lubliner

      • Writer: Eric Eason, Roger L. Simon

      • Release Date (Theaters):  limited

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $1.8M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Summit Entertainment

      • Production Co: Summit Entertainment

      • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital, DTS

      Cast & Crew

      News & Interviews for A Better Life

      Critic Reviews for A Better Life

      Audience Reviews for A Better Life

      • Jan 22, 2014

        Chris Weitz, stay the hell out of Mexico, you stereotypical, melodramatic and overtly sentimental imbécil!! 46/100

        Super Reviewer
      • May 23, 2012

        I chose to watch it due to the Oscar nomination of the protagonist and indeed I saw a very powerful performance of this stoic and dignified Mexican immigrant in the USA trying to provide a better life for his son. However, outside this notable performance the film is both predictable and full of clichés and thus will quickly be forgotten.

        Super Reviewer
      • Mar 09, 2012

        A Better Life is a emotional journey through the lives of an illegal immigrant and his son. A Better Life is one of the greatest film 2011 has given us. This film has great performances from José Julián and especially Demian Bichir. You need to see this movie because of Demian Bichir. Demian Bichir, who was also in the 'Che' movies, gives arguably one of the best performances this year. In A Better Life, Bichir gets to shine in the leading role and he does exactly that. José Julián who has never acted in a mainstream movie before, gives a suprisingly excellent performance playing Bichir's son. Julián has more talent than almost any popular young actor you can name: Taylor Lautner, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher and the list goes on. I could never know what the director Chris Weitz was going to do with this movie. In 2002 he made a terrific movie and that was About A Boy (Starring Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult). In 2009, however, he made Twilight Saga: New Moon (Starring Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner) which is one of the worst films i've ever seen. But luckily for us, he takes this story and he transforms it into an emotional journey for the audience. I also have to give credit to the shots throughout the film. Rarely do shots in a film actually bring out emotion in the viewer. This film really gets you to connect with the characters. If you don't connect with them (which some people apparently don't) then this film is no good. It most likely will get boring for those viewers. On the other hand, if you do connect with these two characters, you really get to feel what they are feeling. Chris Weitz takes you out of reality and even though they never say it in the movie or it is never even said, there is one question that's running through your mind; "What if that was my father and I?". If you don't have this question running through your head then you won't be able to feel bad for them. If you don't feel bad for them, it ruins the whole movie because that is the main thing Chris Weitz is trying to do with this movie. I definitely reccomend this film. Demian Bichir gives a masterful performance, Chris Weitz does what he did 10 years ago with About A Boy and even though I didn't talk about it, the screenplay is quite good.

        Super Reviewer
      • Feb 20, 2012

        Corny telenovela full of one dimensional characters. Next time try to make a better movie.

        Super Reviewer

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