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Movie Review: 'A Better Life' is Seized North of the Border

A raw, emotional roller-coaster ride that spotlights U.S. naturalization in the same way that Waiting for Superman educated & provoked discussion on our U.S. public schools.  A Better Life tells the story of an undocumented, illegal Mexican worker who struggles to survive in the landscape business and raise his teenage son in the shadows of Los Angeles.

A superb cast with powerful performances--especially from Oscar-nominated Demian Bichir as the father--takes viewers on a very heartfelt journey.  Along the way you’ll feel despair, disbelief, and above all, compassion for the predicament that Bichir’s character finds himself inside America’s borders.

Although the illegal immigration theme is always at the forefront of this compelling movie, the overall plot is much bigger than just that single issue.  The movie’s best moments depict a father’s attempt to live the American Dream while also exemplifying his hard work ethic to his son.  An excellent movie straight from the headlines of today’s newspapers.  This film shows that great parents, regardless of ethnicity or race, try to give their kids a better life; and sometimes that can take its toll.  Grade: A-

A Better Life (2011) is Rated PG-13 for some violence, language and brief drug use.  The movie is 98 minutes in length. 

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