7.2/10
13,491
80 user 92 critic

A Better Life (2011)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 28 July 2011 (Thailand)
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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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Carlos Galindo (as Demian Bichir)
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Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo
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Blasco Martinez
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Mrs. Donnelley
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Ramon
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Facundo
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Ruthie Valdez
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School Security Officer
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Juvie Officer
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School Secretary
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Anita
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Linda
Carlos Linares ...
Santiago
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Truck Driver
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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 (240) »

Taglines:

Every father wants more for his son

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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:

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Release Date:

28 July 2011 (Thailand)  »

Also Known As:

The Gardener  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$1,754,319 (USA) (26 August 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 Demián 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: This country is a land of dreams. It can be a hard place, a cruel place. But it's where I work, and I dream of a better place for my son.
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Connections

Featured in The 84th Annual Academy Awards (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

El Aguanieve
Traditional
Arranged by Marcos Hernández and Artemio Posadas
Performed by Los Camperos del Valles
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
fantastic movie - a real tear jerker
21 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

This movie was beautifully done. It gave me a completely different perspective on the plight of the illegal alien.

The bond between the father and the son were wonderfully portrayed in this movie. Anyone that has kids will be able to relate - the father just wants more for his son.

The plight of the Mexican is a bit of a lose - lose situation, as this film demonstrates. There is nothing for them in their own country; America is their only hope. Anyone would do the same thing as the lead character in this film - take the dangerous risk of immigrating to America - by whatever means necessary.


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