Better Things

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 275
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Movie Info

A handful of characters in a small British town deal with love, disappointment and temptation in this independent drama. Nan Wilson (Patricia Loveland) has come home after a long stay in the hospital, and finds herself sharing her house with her sister Gail (Rachel McIntyre). Gail doesn't comfortably connect with the outside world, and would prefer to stay in her room reading romance novels rather than reach out to others, but Nan struggles to find a common ground between them. Mr. and Mrs. Gladwin (Frank Bench and Betty Bench) have been married for six decades, but they've slowly began to drift apart, with time and misunderstanding creating a wall that separates them from one another. And after the woman he loved dies unexpectedly, Rob (Liam McIlfatrick) turns to narcotics to dull the pain, and has visions of living happily with her again. The first feature film from writer and director Duane Hopkins, Better Things was screened as part of the Critics' Week series at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Better Things

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2)

  • The ironies are always cruel and never comic in British writer-director Duane Hopkins's striking debut, an austere, though empathetic, insightful and technically crisp slice of social realism.

    Jan 23, 2009 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The young director fails to inject us under the skin of his plotless drama of overdoses and funerals, but he clearly has talent to burn.

    Jan 23, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a dark and painful film, but one with a fervent belief in the possibility of love.

    Jan 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film has a powerful, impressionistic style. Scenes are shot in suffocating, distorting close-up or at an equally stifling distance, revealing the sublime, indifferent landscape.

    Jan 23, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • The Dardennes brothers meet Mike Leigh in Brit writer/director Duane Hopkins excellent feature debut about drugs and doomed lives in the Cotswolds.

    Mar 20, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film is an example of British realism with virtues. [Full Review in Spanish]

    Nov 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Better Things

  • Jun 01, 2010
    Talk about quiet & desolate
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2009
    Slightly disappointing in that this could have been a really great film. Better Things is realistic and gritty, but has a very depressed tone to it, this suits it's subject matter, yet the uncertainty of story order sometimes confuses and whilst the characters are not all linked as such, there is a common link in the situations themselves. I just feel this film is missing a special ingredient that should have made it a really talked about, interesting, hard hitting film.
    Lady D Super Reviewer

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