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A Better Life (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  28 July 2011 (Thailand)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 12,459 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 80 user | 92 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Himself
...
Blasco Martinez
...
...
Mrs. Donnely
...
Ramon
...
Facundo
...
Ruthie Valdez
...
School Security Officer
...
Juvie Officer
...
School Secretary
...
Anita
...
Linda
...
Santiago
...
Truck Driver
Edit

Storyline

Carlos Galindo is a decent man, a Mexican single parent working as a gardener in California to raise Luis,his fourteen-year-old son,whom Carlos is frightened will drift into local gang culture. Carlos buys a truck for his work with money loaned by his sister but a shifty new employee steals it from him and,though Carlos and Luis track the thief down,he has sold the truck. Father and son bond as they reclaim the vehicle from the pound but Carlos attracts police attention,making his future in America uncertain when it is discovered that he is an illegal immigrant. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | truck | gardener | police | money | See All (243) »

Taglines:

Every father wants more for his son

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 July 2011 (Thailand)  »

Also Known As:

The Gardener  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$62,087 (USA) (24 June 2011)

Gross:

$1,754,319 (USA) (26 August 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Chris Weitz liked to do all the dangerous scenes in the script before he asked his cast to perform them. A stunt double taught Weitz and Demian Bichir how to climb a palm tree, and although Weitz was first to successfully climb one, Bichir did go on to film all the scenes himself, without a stunt double. Weitz told the audience at a SAG Screening: "That is why in my films there are not many scenes that require stunt doubles". See more »

Goofs

At 21:10, the size and shape of the bread that Santiago is giving to Carlos Galindo is different from different angles. See more »

Quotes

Carlos Galindo: You are the most important thing in this world to me, mijo.
See more »

Connections

References America's Got Talent (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hope When All Is Lost
23 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film Critic from BW Times. I was able to catch an advance screening of this film the other night and what a pleasure it was to experience. From the trailer, I pretty much felt like it was another one of those pessimistic man vs. the world stories, but stood corrected after realizing the depth and strength of such a wondrous story. Emphasizing one of the most pressing issues we have been facing, immigration, A Better Life not only captures the difficulty of the life of an immigrant but also the substantial bond between father and son. Powerful performances by both the main characters played by Demian Bichir and Jose Julian had so much chemistry that majestically captured a sincere sense of realism. The climactic scene between them near the end should be enough to get them Academy nominations. Another crucial figure that Director Christ Weitz executed nicely was the appearance of East and Lower areas of LA. I invited a friend who grew up in such area and he claimed that it was a true depiction; so much so that it brought back memories of his childhood! A Better Life is a complete recipe of amazing film-making, great storyline, and outstanding performances. It is not trying to be predictable or unpredictable, it knocks the audiences into life's difficulties by evoking aspects within our society. A must see cinematic adventure that will make you feel human.


47 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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