7.1/10
8,506
134 user 47 critic

Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Justin Lin
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Parry Shen ... Ben Manibag
Jason Tobin ... Virgil Hu
Shirley Anderson Shirley Anderson ... Hot Dog Planet Customer
Nanette Matoba Nanette Matoba ... Housewife
Kenji Matoba Kenji Matoba ... Toddler
Sung Kang ... Han
Ashley Arai Ashley Arai ... Cheerleader
Danielle Conner Danielle Conner ... Cheerleader
Karen DiTota Karen DiTota ... Cheerleader
Smita Satiani Smita Satiani ... Cheerleader
Kristen Stinson Kristen Stinson ... Cheerleader
Jeff DeJohn Jeff DeJohn ... Ryan
Robert Zepeda Robert Zepeda ... Jock
Collin Kahey ... Jock
Christopher J. Francis 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Завтра повезет больше See more »

Filming Locations:

Alhambra, California, USA See more »

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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first appearance of the character "Han" on film before the "Fast & Furious" series. 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

Steve Choe: Are you happy?
Ben Manibag: I don't know.
Steve Choe: Fuck. That's the most truthful thing I've ever heard.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the version shown at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Ben Manibag, played by Parry Shen, has taken part in the killing of a romantic rival, and towards the end he is heard saying, in effect, "Well, what I did wasn't right ...but I've got college to think about, and I've got a good life to look forward to, and I'm gonna move on." See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Back to School Special (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello Hello Hi
Written by Mario Hernandez
Performed by From Bubblegum to Sky
Published by Ciao Ciao Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Highly stylish, and superbly acted
25 April 2003 | by smakawhatSee all my reviews

4 Asian high school friends seem to have it all, good grades, a bright future where colleges are going to be fighting over their applications and the world is their oyster. But beneath the suburban undercurrent lies a group of the most jaded Asian-American kids who get in over their head in illicit activities.

The film is narrated by Ben, a smart kid who is going about his usual run of the mill life. Eventually he is approached by Derrick a born class leader who finally mentions to him, Why are you being a second class benchwarmer on a basketball team?? When you can be your own man?

It turns out Derrick first starts asking Ben to write up cheat sheets for $50 bucks, and then with the enlistment of scrawny Virgil and his no nonsense cousin Han, the guys end up with a reputation that leads to bigger and riskier things...

The film has a great fresh style and pace to it, Justin Lin's direction is impecable. Slow motion edits, fast cuts, perfect timing with the soundtrack, good cinematography are all apparant and enjoyable and not to annoying as they sometimes can be when they are thrown at you constantly. What's probably the most telling thing about this movie is the focus on Asian-Americans in a not so seen light. All these kids have the world ahead of them, perfect grades, homes, money, but they are all dead inside and lacking direction. It doesn't help also that their parents in the film are nowhere to be seen, and no doubt non existent. All the trappings of success and great intelligence that the kids have is no match for there lack of faith and spiritual deadness which Better Luck Tomorrow shows off impecably!

Most important is the camradare these kids share and the wonderful casting that was chosen. Derick exhudes confidence and smarts like a crooked politician, Han is the cool guy doesn't say much looks like he can break your face with his intesnse stare, and Ben is the guy we follow through all his dillemas and trials with much anticipation and hope. But the best is saved for the scrawny Virgil played AMAZINGLY by Jason J Tobin.

He's the small kid who ends up a lot like the whipping post, and over compensates his rash bravado and toughness to hide his obvious weaknesses and extreme vulnerability. He is the guy you can't help smile and appreciate but also pray for knowing that he is in someway doomed cause of his lack of self esteem.

Wonderful film

Rating 9 out of 10.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed