Better Luck Tomorrow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Better Luck Tomorrow Reviews

Top Critic
Ben Nuckols
Associated Press
April 2, 2013
Better Luck Tomorrow, a corrosive, insightful study of the pressure-packed lives of suburban high school students, brings a new variant to gangster movies: gangsters with perfect SAT scores.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 2, 2013
Better Luck Tomorrow breathes new life into a familiar story: coming of age in high school.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
July 6, 2010
A enerally absorbing look at a slice of society normally taken for granted, both in life and onscreen.
Top Critic

Time Out
June 24, 2006
Spends more time avoiding Asian-American stereotypes than it does making sense of its characters and plot.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 26, 2003
MTV (which bought this movie out of Sundance) believes the target audience to be high school and college students. I would argue that it's anyone in search of a well-made, thought-provoking motion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 25, 2003
If this is what Lin can do for the Hollywood equivalent of pocket change, we can't wait to see what's possible when he has an actual budget at his disposal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
April 25, 2003
It's not a perfect work ... but it is so filled with energy, angst, talent, authenticity and passion that it stands heads above most supposed youth-culture releases.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 25, 2003
Perpetuates another stereotype: the one about affluent suburban teens who have everything they could ever want but so lack a moral compass that even murder seems like just another extracurricular activity.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 25, 2003
It makes you think about the clichéd pictures of Asian kids in the popular imagination and how painful it must be for them to carry the burden of perfection.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 24, 2003
With none of the smarmy voyeurism that taints Larry Clark's teen exposes, Better Luck Tomorrow manages to get at the truths and the traps of a high-strung segment of today's youth.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 24, 2003
The dialogue is school-hallway hip (MTV has a hand in distributing this), the humor consistently dark and the stereotypes ready for the puncturing.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
April 22, 2003
Most of writer-director Justin Lin's shapeless movie is as bland as the neighborhood.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
April 18, 2003
Although directed in a pop-smart style that eschews dark, deterministic melodramatics for an unsettlingly sunny tone ... the film also frustrates for having come so close to being something truly challenging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 18, 2003
While its characters are specifically Asian American ... the film really speaks to all young people, about dangerous games and their disturbingly untidy consequences.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 18, 2003
A funny, smart, fearless movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
April 18, 2003
Beyond its mangled morals ... Better Luck is a riveting and stylized ride from a director with great promise.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
April 18, 2003
The director sacrifices finesse to run around in the baggy duds of a lurid gangsta flick looking for street cred.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 18, 2003
An impressively authentic portrait of teenagers who, given too much money and freedom by absent parents, have confused maturity with a veneer of sophistication and blase amorality.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
April 18, 2003
Although this movie shows Lin's promising moviemaking sensibilities, its point of view feels coldly amoral and dismissive.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 18, 2003
Starts with the right intentions but quickly unravels.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 18, 2003
Like his characters, Lin may be an overachiever and the strain of trying to do too much shows.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
April 18, 2003
Mean Streets meets the chess club.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
April 17, 2003
Disturbing and enlightening, Better Luck Tomorrow is one of the few contemporary films guaranteed to make you think. And it won't let go.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 17, 2003
A coming-of-age film that takes the cliché of wanting to be cool and gives it a very particularized spin.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 11, 2003
There is a moral ambiguity to the film that could disturb some viewers, but the film's clever plotting and intriguing characters will stay with you well after leaving the theater.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
C.W. Nevius
San Francisco Chronicle
April 11, 2003
Lin never gets on a soapbox, and these characters could have walked out of any high school in the country.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
April 11, 2003
Despite giving in to melodrama's nagging demands, Lin displays an arch, nervy style that could serve him well in the future.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 11, 2003
Marks Lin as a talent to watch.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 11, 2003
Not just a thriller, not just a social commentary, not just a comedy or a romance, but all of those in a clearly seen, brilliantly made film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
April 11, 2003
A shrewdly tense piece of storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 10, 2003
There's a sting to this film that gets to you.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
April 10, 2003
An accomplished technician and an adept director of actors, Lin doesn't have a distinctive visual style but he does have the advantage of being as smart as he is slick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
April 10, 2003
This is a different kind of street-gang picture, one that improves your vocabulary even as it teaches fatally bad study habits.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Patrick Z. McGavin
Chicago Tribune
April 10, 2003
Though Better Luck Tomorrow is the work of an intriguing new talent, there remains something amiss about a movie so desperate to legitimize its own daring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 9, 2003
It's a long way from Long Duk Dong.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ed Park
Village Voice
April 8, 2003
The story gets as melodramatic as anything in Amy Tan.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 7, 2003
[A] piercing portrayal of American teenagers who are for the most part good-looking, smart, funny -- and almost completely lacking in morals.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
April 7, 2002
There's something refreshing about the violation of ethnic stereotypes, especially when the stereotype is politically correct and the violation is more than a simple counterstereotype.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
February 13, 2002
Provides both a searing satire of modern suburbia and provocative insight into the malignant maturation of generally well-meaning and privileged kids.