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Review: A Better Life

The illegal immigrants keeping LA afloat
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 12, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

White guilt drives this misguided retooling of The Bicycle Thief, as Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and writer Eric Eason look at the marginalized workers in their backyards: the illegal immigrants who help keep LA's fragile economy afloat. Like the Vittorio De Sica classic, A Better Life tells a tale of a father's love and his struggles to give his son the opportunities he never had. Demián Bichir is credible as Carlos, the undocumented gardener whose truck is stolen the day after he purchases it with his sister's life savings. His son, Luis (José Julián), hasn't yet joined the gangs that are tempting him, but Julián also hasn't mastered the art of acting yet, and the crocodile tears don't help. As father and son desperately search for the truck through Mexican festivals, gang territories, and sweaty restaurant kitchens, the threat of deportation is always just one step behind. Sound heavy-handed? Sí, y algo más.

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  Topics: Reviews , Film reviews, films, Demián Bichir,  More more >
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL