A Better Life
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The didacticism takes the shine off Weitz's accomplishment, even if the film builds up enough empathy to generate slow-burning emotional impact."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Bichir redeems the secondhand plot and on-the-nose dialogue."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The film's beautiful simplicity is carried massively on the work of Demián Bichir, instantly and surely one of the best performances seen in 2011."
‑ Clayton Davis, AwardsCircuit.com
"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."
‑ Mark Pfeiffer, Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
"A well deserved Oscar nomination for Demian Bichir in a film with echoes of The Bicycle Thief."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Bichir delivers a powerful, nuanced performance as a stoic but complex character who treats everyone -- even those who have wronged him -- with a dignity he rarely receives."
‑ Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail
"Personalizes the illegal immigrant experience and digs much deeper into what has become a national disgrace."
‑ Greg Quill, Toronto Star
"Well-acted, but quite over-hyped -- a melodramatic Mexican-American version of "Bicycle Thieves.""
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"[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..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"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."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"The people here seem real, their world is shaky at best, and the political tension that permeates everything in this film feels palpable."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
""A Better Life" might not change any minds about immigration policy, but it illuminates the conversation with context, compassion and understanding."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A Better Life is a half-step removed from the Hallmark Hall of Fame."
‑ Erick Weber, NECN
"The silver lining is an excellent lead performance from Bichir."
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Director Chris Weitz has done a credible job of bringing Roger Simon's story and Eric Eason's screenplay to cinematic life."
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
More reviews for A Better Life on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

Selena
Selena (1997)
64%
My Family
My Family (1995)
85%
El Norte
El Norte (1984)
84%
La MISSION
La MISSION (2010)
48%