A Better Life Reviews

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January 26, 2018
The stakes are high in A Better Life and Bichir matches the film's tormented tone with a portrayal of a man overcome by both fear and faith.
July 10, 2017
...Weitz finds a third character in the form of the L.A. landscape. Appearing entirely Eden-like when we're in the gardens with Carlos, but rundown and seedy when he's in his own element, the city assumes all the dimensions of the American dream itself.
September 14, 2014
The film's beautiful simplicity is carried massively on the work of Demin Bichir, instantly and surely one of the best performances seen in 2011.
January 4, 2013
Well-acted, but quite over-hyped -- a melodramatic Mexican-American version of "Bicycle Thieves."
August 26, 2012
A Better Life is a half-step removed from the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
August 17, 2012
A Better Life's sense of place and eye for detail are strong, but the too-smooth style and rushed dramatics are at odds with the hardscrabble existence on display.
February 22, 2012
[A] gentle, honest, heartfelt film, but [it] does not have much to offer beyond an earnest respect for a segment of American society that is too often derided...
January 26, 2012
The silver lining is an excellent lead performance from Bichir.
January 25, 2012
A well deserved Oscar nomination for Demian Bichir in a film with echoes of The Bicycle Thief.
December 30, 2011
Each sequence plays out in mind-numbingly cliched fashion: father-son lectures, chin-up resilience-especially the final shot-and a stern message about the heartless anti-immigration movement are depicted in an infuriatingly shallow manner.
December 24, 2011
Director Chris Weitz has done a credible job of bringing Roger Simon's story and Eric Eason's screenplay to cinematic life.
November 13, 2011
it's far too predictable and mundane to carry my interest through the rest of the film
November 4, 2011
Although the structure of the film is conventional, the ending of the film is not. Unlike most films, it does have a real hero, Carlos.
October 31, 2011
A sympathetic tale about an illegal Mexican.
August 26, 2011
Essentially a variation on Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief, but it has a vitality and resonance all its own.
August 8, 2011
Modest as A Better Life may be in scope, it commits wholeheartedly to achieving the goal of socially conscious cinema: to make visible the previously unseen.
July 31, 2011
A movingly simple and simply moving father-son drama set in downtown LA, refreshingly free of pretentious narrative pyrotechnics. Have a hankie up your sleeve and hang your cynicism up at the door.
July 31, 2011
The sentimental saga of a father and son's stoical struggle against impossible odds.
July 31, 2011
It's a small, convincing, tightly constructed movie about an urgent, seemingly insoluble problem.
July 29, 2011
A compassionate, sensitive look at the precarious lives of those off the grid.
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