7.2/10
8,247
138 user 51 critic

Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities.

Director:

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Shirley Anderson ...
Hot Dog Planet Customer
Nanette Matoba ...
Housewife
Kenji Matoba ...
Toddler
...
Han
Ashley Arai ...
Cheerleader
Danielle Conner ...
Cheerleader
Karen DiTota ...
Cheerleader
Smita Satiani ...
Cheerleader
Kristen Stinson ...
Cheerleader
Jeff DeJohn ...
Ryan
Robert Zepeda ...
Jock
...
Jock
Christopher J. Francis ...
Jock
Edit

Storyline

Ben is a perfectionist and overachiever whose tunnel vision leads to nothing less than graduating at the top of his class. As he struggles to achieve social success, he discovers his darker side. He and his friends: Virgil, Daric and Han lead a double life of mischief and petty crimes to alleviate the pressures of perfection. As their adopted identity grows, the gang tumbles into a downward spiral of excitement, excess and fun. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who do you want to be? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, drug use, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Завтра повезет больше  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$360,772, 13 April 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,802,390

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,809,226
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first independent film to be picked up by MTV Films for distribution. See more »

Goofs

While Ben and Stephanie are studying, they're discussing biology and Ben flips through a textbook looking up an answer - but the diagrams in the book show that it's really a math book and not bio. See more »

Quotes

Han: [to Ben] People like you and me, we don't have to play by the rules, we can make our own.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Wannabe (Night Version)
Written and Performed by Crowns on 45
Produced and Mixed by Hillary Johnson
Published by Crowns Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Gripping, occasionally self-conscious, but a brave, awesome feat in the end
11 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Director Justin Lin's drama, Better Luck Tomorrow, brought back memories of seeing Larry Clark's Bully on TV, which was also about teens who looked for partying to have something to do with their time in the midst of dreary, same-temperature-all-the-time suburbia. But this time, Lin has his teenage characters not as aimless- these kids, and at least the lead, have futures and/or aspirations, thanks to rich families, and because of which feel secure in their side life's of drug-dealing and robbery.

The beginning sets a perfect mood, as two Asian-Americans lie in their backyard, basking in a hazing heat, think they hear one of their beepers, and realize that the sound is coming from under the soil, alongside with a body. This is set up not to spoil the story (this tale is inspired by true events some eleven years ago), but to set up the slick, if bleak, atmosphere.

The central character of Lin's film is Ben, a JV Basketball player who rarely gets picked to play, repeats words he picks up in the dictionary over and over in preparation for SAT's, and works a part-time job in a food court so he'll have something to put on college applications. Along with this are his friends, Virgil, Han, and Daric, the last of which being the most intriguing of the supporting characters.

Instead of Lin getting overtly cocky with his plot ideas and characters, he creates a study of them, and of the paths they are each on in their high times of adolescence. He does this in a style that is kinetic even in scenes that slow down or just have minor dialogue, and when things pick up they pick up (and slow down) at the right pace. We get a sense where the movie will take us, yet by the time it does it's surely not as expected.

When the last scene rolls around, and Ben has made decisions that will possibly effect the outcome of his life, it's clear that Lin has made a film for MTV that has a life-force, a cool if sorrowful spirit, and an understanding of the additudes of youth that skims close to the line of a soap, but never is stupid enough to even try it. Some will leave cheated; I think this it may be one of the best films of the year, a little gem for the Asian-American community. Between A and A+ (A because of a slightly weak side-plot with the character of Stephanie)


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 138 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page