Critic Reviews



Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The performances are pitch perfect, even including Gabriel Chavarria as Ramon, the man who steals the truck. It adds an important element to the film that he embodies a desperate man, not a bad one.
Its deceptive simplicity makes A Better Life so emotionally profound.
A Better Life was directed by the eclectic Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon, About a Boy), who weaves the torpor and anxiety of immigrant life into something dramatically true, if at moments a bit draggy.
This movie will get under your skin.
A Better Life isn't an instant classic, but it tells its story with a simplicity and compassion that other urban dramas would be wise to emulate.
With such classics as "El Norte" and, more recently, "Sin Nombre" and "Under the Same Moon" having addressed the subject matter already and so well, viewers might be forgiven for asking just how many immigration movies we need. As A Better Life proves, as many as there are stories to tell.
Speaking of moves, A Better Life is an interesting one for Weitz, who produced "American Pie" and directed "The Golden Compass" and, ahem, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Whatever the reason (his grandmother was a Mexican movie actress), this film feels more personal that just a gig.
The power in this movie is the way Chris Weitz trusts us to discover the facts for ourselves.
By keeping things simple and understated, director Chris Weitz and screenwriter Eric Eason have crafted a little gem where humanity is observed with compassion, not condescension.
Bichir - who played Fidel Castro in "Che" - resists the pathetic impulse, bringing dignity and distinction to a man who wakes up every morning knowing it's not just his burden but his job to be invisible.
Feels more earnest than real. Still, its sincerity is admirable, and often touching.

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