A Better Life Reviews

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.
January 26, 2012
The silver lining is an excellent lead performance from Bichir.
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.
November 13, 2011
it's far too predictable and mundane to carry my interest through the rest of the film
July 15, 2011
I had the feeling I was supposed to marvel at the authenticity with which Weitz constructs his mawkish Bicycle Thieves update, but instead I kept noticing how utterly one-dimensional all the characters are.
July 13, 2011
White guilt drives this misguided retooling of The Bicycle Thief...
July 12, 2011
A Better Life is one of those modest movies that is so outwardly well-intentioned that one cannot help but doubt its intentions.
July 8, 2011
A movie with a story like this doesn't need to try so hard.
July 8, 2011
Unlike its multifaceted director, the film never stretches its boundaries.
July 5, 2011
A Better Life is noble to the very end and that ends up being its undoing.
June 27, 2011
Once you get past the cliched Spanglish dialogue and the sentimental tone of the early acts, "A Better Life" settles down into something both involving and moving.
June 24, 2011
I enjoyed watching the intimacy that arose out of crisis between these two characters, but the rest of the picture feels too familiar to be impressive.
June 24, 2011
Mostly this is a film made up of earnest concern and good intentions - and that's never a substitute for real drama and strong convictions.
June 22, 2011
Kudos for stepping outside your comfort zone, sir, even if the result just translates as old-fashioned cultural slumming masked as tear-jerking humanism. Better luck next time.
June 21, 2011
A Better Life takes on the combustible topic of illegal immigration through the soft, safe focus of father-son bonding, with a heavy nod to The Bicycle Thief.
June 16, 2011
Despite Demian Bichir's affecting lead performance and a strong feel for Los Angeles' Mexican-American communities, [the film] emerges an earnest and overly programmatic heart-tugger.