Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (105)
| Top Critics (36)
| Fresh (89)
| Rotten (16)
| DVD (1)
The didacticism takes the shine off Weitz's accomplishment, even if the film builds up enough empathy to generate slow-burning emotional impact.
A Better Life has more to offer than good intentions: it's sincere and credible, which is more than I can say about an awful lot of movies. Yet something about it kept me at arm's length: I felt the filmmakers' presence instead of...
Bichir delivers a powerful, nuanced performance as a stoic but complex character who treats everyone -- even those who have wronged him -- with a dignity he rarely receives.
The people here seem real, their world is shaky at best, and the political tension that permeates everything in this film feels palpable.
Personalizes the illegal immigrant experience and digs much deeper into what has become a national disgrace.
"A Better Life" might not change any minds about immigration policy, but it illuminates the conversation with context, compassion and understanding.
The stakes are high in A Better Life and Bichir matches the film's tormented tone with a portrayal of a man overcome by both fear and faith.
...Weitz finds a third character in the form of the L.A. landscape. Appearing entirely Eden-like when we're in the gardens with Carlos, but rundown and seedy when he's in his own element, the city assumes all the dimensions of the American dream itself.
The film's beautiful simplicity is carried massively on the work of Demián Bichir, instantly and surely one of the best performances seen in 2011.
Well-acted, but quite over-hyped -- a melodramatic Mexican-American version of "Bicycle Thieves."
A Better Life is a half-step removed from the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
A Better Life's sense of place and eye for detail are strong, but the too-smooth style and rushed dramatics are at odds with the hardscrabble existence on display.
Looks at a very real problem with an excellent script that keeps your interest, plays with your emotions, and has some very real insights into a problem incomprehensible to the average American. Shows a son's developing pride for a father who's strength was hidden, even from his son. Academy Award Best Actor nominee Demián Bichir for the part of the father....A very touching film.
Every father wants more for his son
This subtle dramatic film is extremely powerful and moving. The sincere realistic tone the movie carries allows us to really understand the difficulties the characters go through and cheer for them to have a better life.
Carlos Galindo (Bichir) is an immigrant gardener in Los Angeles who searches for a better life for himself and his son who faces the difficulties and dilemma of entering a gang. The movie realistically portrays the troubles of Mexican immigrants in the United States, but most importantly show a legit love story between father and son.
This movie is wonderfully composed. Weitz uses his subtle and realistic tone to bring out a depressing yet beautiful story. Not only is the story and the style in which the movie is done brilliant. This movie has some of the most powerful performances of the year. Both Bichir and Julian are extraordinary. They develop complex characters and true chemistry, that as you follow these characters steps you hope just the best for them. The movie is composed with emotional scenes that are tear jerkers. In all honesty I felt the Academy Award made a big mistake by not giving Bichir an award.
This movie is great, beautiful and real, don't miss it. Warning! viewers might be exposed to extreme sadness.
Carlos Galindo: " That's why I had you. For me. For a reason to live."
Corny telenovela full of one dimensional characters. Next time try to make a better movie.
a touching film. part bicycle thief, part political statement, wrapped in to an engaging father and son story. bichir's performance was excellent and the plot moves along so well. a great film.
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