A Better Life

Rated PG-13 98 minutes 2011

Demián Bichir gives a tough but vulnerable portrayal in A Better Life as an illegal Mexican immigrant trying to give himself and his son a fresh start in America. While not innocuous, the message is not too inflammatory, either. Director Chris Weitz frames it as apolitically as one can (although he clearly seems to think the current system of dealing with immigration is not working—which isn’t exactly a bold stance). It’s not as good as a couple of recent films on the topic, particularly La Misma Luna, but Bichir helps the film substantially. Director Weitz keeps changing it up, going from American Pie to Chris Rock’s Down to Earth to About a Boy to The Golden Compass to New Moon to this. He gets points for degree of difficulty, but his execution is not terribly strong.

Film Credits

Director: Chris Weitz

Producer: Jami Gertz, Christian McLaughlin and Stacey Lubliner

Cast: Demián Bichir, José Julián, Dolores Heredia, Joaquín Cosio, Carlos Linares, Tim Griffin, Rolando Molina, Isabella Thomas, Bobby Soto, Eddie Martinez and Chelsea Rendon

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A Better Life

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