IMDb > Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Better Luck Tomorrow
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Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   7,468 votes »
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Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ernesto Foronda (written by) &
Justin Lin (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Better Luck Tomorrow on IMDbPro.
Genre:
Tagline:
Never underestimate an overachiever. See more »
Plot:
A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(107 articles)
The Wolf of Mean Streets; Focus Features Taps Justin Lin for Times Square
 (From ioncinema. 20 March 2014, 8:00 PM, PDT)

Win a Copy of Unidentified on DVD
 (From Dread Central. 12 February 2014, 12:50 PM, PST)

Exclusive ‘Unidentified’ Clip and Contest
 (From DailyDead. 11 February 2014, 8:37 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Gripping, occasionally self-conscious, but a brave, awesome feat in the end See more (139 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Parry Shen ... Ben Manibag
Jason Tobin ... Virgil Hu
Shirley Anderson ... Hot Dog Planet Customer
Nanette Matoba ... Housewife
Kenji Matoba ... Toddler

Sung Kang ... Han
Ashley Arai ... Cheerleader
Danielle Conner ... Cheerleader
Karen DiTota ... Cheerleader
Smita Satiani ... Cheerleader
Kristen Stinson ... Cheerleader
Jeff DeJohn ... Ryan
Robert Zepeda ... Jock

Collin Kahey ... Jock
Christopher J. Francis ... Jock
Jimmy Lin ... Jock
Ryan Cadiz ... Jesus Navarro

Karin Anna Cheung ... Stephanie Vandergosh

Roger Fan ... Daric Loo

Jerry Mathers ... Biology Teacher
Jessie S. Marion ... Gina Nabham
A.J. Green ... Mr. Farmer
Jaime Serene Kelly ... Nurse (as Jaime S. Kelly)
Esther Mercado ... Hospital Patient (as Esther 'Tita' Mercado)
Octavia Osby ... Doctor
Beverly Sotelo ... Cashier
Scott McShane ... Cashier
Brandon Bain ... Basketball Player
Jesse Bustos ... Basketball Player
Troy Cartwright ... Basketball Player
Brandon Dennis ... Basketball Player
Ronald Dross ... Basketball Player
Christopher R. Edmonds ... Basketball Player
Jon Paul Lourenco ... Basketball Player
Anthony Moore ... Basketball Player
Jason Reyes ... Basketball Player
Dominique Ricks ... Basketball Player
Khalil Semaan ... Basketball Player
Jonathan Uyloan ... Basketball Player
Terry White ... Basketball Player
Chad Young ... Basketball Player
Kenwood Jung ... Basketball Coach
Jeff Russell ... Assistant Basketball Coach

John Cho ... Steve Choe

Aaron Takahashi ... Takashi

Darian Weiss ... Kenny Vandergosh

Alden Ray ... Ulden (as Alden Villaverde)
Emmie Hsu ... Miriam
Lily Hu ... Tina
Donna Tina Charles ... Waitress
Crystal Keith ... Karen
Laura Esposito ... Camille
Juliet Wong ... Mary
Justin Murphy ... Adam / New Year's Party Band

James Isaac Barry ... Porn Jock
Wayne Ford ... Student Buying Cheat Stamp
Kevin Alfoldy ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Daniel R. Bonneau ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Lisa Grant ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
David Laurence ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member

Nate Petre ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member
Ramona T. Ramirez ... Steve's Decathlon Team Member

Stephanie Little ... Steve's Barbie (as Stephanie Noel Little)
Tom Chalmers ... Liquor Store Clerk
Bryan Baluyot ... Gangster
Mark Baluyot ... Gangster
Joseph Jaldon ... Gangster
Marc Montecillo ... Gangster

Joe Hernandez-Kolski ... Scared Student
Jay Green ... Assistant Vice Principal
Denise Barnard ... Assistant Vice Principal

Bruno Oliver ... History Teacher
Fabian Marquez ... Security Guard
Walter Butler ... Peter
Christopher Monjoy ... Student Buying Drugs
Ina Burke ... Tracy
Jennifer Wu ... Ben's Admirer (as Jennifer Avelyn Wu)
Pauline Kanako Kamiyama ... Party Girl

Lela Lee ... Slapper
Evan Leong ... Slapper's Boyfriend

Suzanne Keilly ... Salesgirl
Shane Kualapai ... Casino Security Guard

Ariadne Shaffer ... Rachel
Sean Alexander ... New Year's Party Band
Joey Barro ... New Year's Party Band
Ben Donaldson ... New Year's Party Band
Walker Edmondson ... New Year's Party Band
Chris Good ... New Year's Party Band
Diana Bonilla ... New Year's Party Flirt
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Skinhead (uncredited)
Patrick Chavis ... Student (uncredited)
Rick Cortes ... Extra (uncredited)
Louie Giangrande ... Photographed Student (uncredited)

Justin Lin ... Jock (uncredited)
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Directed by
Justin Lin 
 
Writing credits
Ernesto Foronda (written by) &
Justin Lin (written by) &
Fabian Marquez (written by)

Produced by
Julie Asato .... producer
Michael Cole .... executive producer
Troy Craig Poon .... executive producer
Ernesto Foronda .... producer
Steve Herr .... associate producer
Joan Huang .... co-producer
Sung Kang .... associate producer
Justin Lin .... producer
Michael Manshel .... executive producer
Gustavo Spoliansky .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Gonzales 
Tobin Mori 
 
Cinematography by
Patrice Lucien Cochet 
 
Film Editing by
Justin Lin 
 
Casting by
Donna Tina Charles 
 
Production Design by
Yoo Jung Han 
 
Art Direction by
Yoo Jung Han 
 
Costume Design by
Sandi Lieu 
 
Makeup Department
Robin Felix .... hair stylist: Ms. Cheung
Jaime Serene Kelly .... key makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Josh Diamond .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Joseph Fedo .... lead man
Lorri Jakubuv .... prop master
 
Sound Department
Tim Bindel .... adr supervisor
Tim Bindel .... sound supervisor
Curtis Choy .... sound
Paul Davidson .... foley artist
Aleksandr Gruzdev .... sound re-recording mixer
Cindy Jo Hinkleman .... dialog editor
James P. Lay .... sound re-recording mixer
James P. Lay .... supervising sound editor
Michael J. McDonald .... sound re-recording mixer (as Michael McDonald)
John Sanacore .... sound foley adr mixer
Scott M. Silvey .... sound
William Tabanou .... sound effects editor
Kelly Vandever .... sound re-recording mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Patrice Lucien Cochet .... camera operator
Bryan Hayes .... electrician
Bryan Hayes .... grip
Guy Livneh .... chief lighting technician
Paul Maletich .... first assistant camera: second camera
BJ McDonnell .... dolly grip
BJ McDonnell .... key grip
Bill Otto .... second assistant camera
Michael Tiratira .... best boy grip
Remi Tournois .... first assistant camera
Bryan Hayes .... dolly grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Joel Juarez .... casting associate
 
Editorial Department
Ben Boodman .... assistant editor
Greg Le Duc .... avid post-production system supervisor
Mato .... color timer
Fred Raskin .... additional editor
Steve Barnett .... post-production consultant (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sheri Ozeki .... composer: additional music
Tamala Poljak .... composer: additional music
 
Other crew
Keith E. Cooper .... legal services
Winston Emano .... publicist
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
David Magdael .... publicist
Annalee Paulo .... publicist
Damon Isiah Turner .... assistant: Mr. Poon
 
Thanks
Kayo Hatta .... special thanks
Dawn Suggs .... thanks
Billy Woodberry .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

MPAA:
Rated R for violence, drug use, language and sexuality
Runtime:
101 min | USA:98 min (2003 version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was financed with credit cards and with money raised independently by the filmmakers. The actors deferred their salaries.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Steve is in the batting cage it is bright daylight. In all the reverse shots it is much darker.See more »
Quotes:
Ben Manibag:I shoot 215 free throws a day. My goal is to beat Calvin Murphy's record of 95.8%. Thats 207 baskets.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
My New SuitSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Gripping, occasionally self-conscious, but a brave, awesome feat in the end, 11 May 2003
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

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)

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See more (139 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
So Does Han Here become FAST AND FURIOUS HAN? dutchlevin69
Do you think Steve would have... (spoilers) Brotorious09
Car? lily_mow
Still didn't understand the ending (spoilers) dxnguyen89
this movie sucked, nothing to do with stereotypes doodwithbooks
Fast and the Furious???? Unofficial prequel Fozzy13443
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