A Better Life

While it largely deals with the hardships of immigrants in America, this new film by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) is much more nuanced than that. It’s a quietly heartbreaking father-and-son story fueled by clashes of age, social class, and culture. Carlos (Demián Bichir) is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico working as a landscaper and raising his 14-year-old citizen-son Luis (José Julián) by himself. When he makes the difficult decision to buy a truck to further his business opportunities, it’s supposed to be the ticket to a better home and school for Luis. But when the truck is stolen, father and son are forced to work together to get it back. All this plays out in a sun-soaked haze on the streets of L.A., amid gang pressure and racial tension. It’s hard not to care deeply for Carlos and Luis, but if you’re looking for a feel-good salute to the system, find another movie. There are moments when A Better Life could dig deeper or be more controversial, but there’s something powerful about employing an understated story to represent such a noisy issue.

Credits

Director:

  • Chris Weitz

Cast:

  • Demian Bichir
  • Jose Julian
  • Dolores Heredia
  • Joaquin Cosio
  • Carlos Linares

Writer:

  • Eric Eason

What others are saying

  • Now Playing

    A Better Life is not showing in any theaters in the area.

    Now Playing

    By Film...

    By Theater...

    Newsletters

    Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

    Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

    Digital Issue

    August 10, 2022

    View more issues