A Better Life (2011) - Drama, Romance

Hohum Score

6

Engaging

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.

IMDB: 7.2
Director: Chris Weitz
Stars: Demián Bichir, José Julián
Length: 98 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 6 out of 87 found boring (6.89%)

One-line Reviews (38)

At certain moments it is suggesting to you it is going to head into a certain direction but then it's doing something totally different and unexpected.

Their conversations are dull, like poorly made soap operas.

Myself being an immigrant who grew up in the United States and raised by a single immigrant mother bore witness of the difficulties that the characters of Carlos Galindo and his son Luis Galindo had to bear as a part of their immigrant experience while trying to create a better future for themselves.

There's no question that this film was influenced by Vittorio de Sica's THE Bicycle THIEF as both features familiar plots but while this movie isn't nearly in the same league, the two lead performances and the tender story make it worth watching.

Compelling no matter what your feelings are about illegal aliens.

A Very Good And Very Well Acted Film through an very good performance from Demian Bichir and also the other actors in the cast, along with good direction, cinematography, a very good and realistic story, and a very good background score makes this a movie worth watching.

Luis is then forcefully dragged away loudly demanding his father to promise he will come back.

Slow-moving exposition gives way to gripping second act machinations, in this heart-felt immigrant saga .

It was a really touching and riveting film about a father's love for his son...

This movie was entertaining and a real eye opener!

The Cinematography in the movie is also good with some of the scenes shown of LA being breathtaking.

I was on the edge of my seat during the movie.

The Story of the movie is very good and realistic, and full marks to the director for utilizing this intense and heartfelt story very well.

It is the simplicity that draws attention and makes it worth watching at least once.

The film suddenly becomes gripping when Carlos' truck is stolen by the assistant and he must go on a journey to recover it.

Chris Weitz did a screening of this film at SMC, where I study film, and the reactions of the audience were engaging.

As a whole, the film seems a bit empty as we really only get glimpses of the desperation and confusion that these two face every day - in completely different ways.

Gone are the powerful, socially relevant themes and instead they're replaced with a half-hearted father/son relationship and a typical narrative that attempts to give thrills but mostly comes up empty.

The morals are clear, the direction is good, the performances are solid, all around entertaining and endearing.

Still, the whole thing is worth watching for Bichir's internally explosive performance.

the movie was very good, definitely enjoyable.

Eric Eason and Chris Weitz did a great job on balancing keeping it real and entertaining at the same time.

Thanks to Mexican actor, Demian Bichir (known for his role as Fidel Castro in Soderburgh's 'Che') and an exciting second act twist, 'A Better World' manages to rise above convention, leading us to the rarefied world of compelling drama.

With his brother Paul, Chris Weitz co-directed Down to Earth and About a Boy, which despite not being highly memorable movies, were enough entertaining in order to have a good time.

The movie had all of the ingredients in it to become a formulaic and predictable drama.

I don't typically hunger for "feel-good, family-friendly fare" because in the real world there is a turmoil in humanity that once you see it, you can't unsee it - and any movie that attempts to sugarcoat that while attempting to address a serious subject, to me, feels pretentious.

What Weitz has delivered in his newest film, A Better Life, assisted by a passionate performance by Demián Bichir is one of the most compelling and emotional films of the year.

the story is very touching and engaging.

The first half does move a little slow.

However, he later made the tedious The Golden Compass and the mediocre The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

This is a wonderful two-character study that is as compelling as the two similar films mentioned earlier with it.

Demian Bachir, best known for his role on "Weeds," received a completely unexpected Oscar nomination for his role as Carlos, a Mexican single father, gardener, and illegal immigrant in Los Angeles who does all he can to give him and his fourteen-year old son...

But somewhere in the second half, an unexpected emotional depth starts to arise as we discover their troubles and history.

It's just stunning!

In that one moment, we slow down and appreciate through the eyes of a simple gardener.

Not everyone works to perfection in 'A Better Life', particularly the slow-moving exposition of the first Act, but as the story picks up, particularly in the second act, we soon come to realize that 'A Better Life', is deserving of the moniker of compelling drama.

It is a film of social relevance, that is enjoyable mostly by its refusal to antagonize any of the characters, and instead focuses on the flaws of a broken system that lead them to their decisions.

All in all a very very entertaining and emotional journey that leaves you with a better understanding of how certain people live and how their lives are a desperate struggle to try and better themselves and the chances that are afforded to their children.