A Better Life Reviews
With its careful compositions and message-minded dialogue, Chris Weitz's modest drama feels more earnest than real. Still, its sincerity is admirable, and often touching.
Director Chris Weitz neatly avoids sanctimony by centering the engrossing story on a father-son relationship, letting the audience make up its own mind about the overarching matter of illegal immigration.
If we can see how things will play out long before the characters do, it's still powerful and, one gets the feeling, valuable - not just as a document of the immigration struggle but as a film.
Despite Demian Bichir's affecting lead performance and a strong feel for Los Angeles' Mexican-American communities, [the film] emerges an earnest and overly programmatic heart-tugger.