DVD: A Better Life (12)

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The Independent Culture

The closest Chris Weitz had previously come to the father-son dynamic at the heart of this affecting immigration drama was in the Hugh Grant vehicle About a Boy, before he was seduced by franchise riches in The Golden Compass and New Moon.

It's that heart that makes his Bicycle Thief-style melodrama a welcome step up, with Weeds star Demiá* Bichir excelling as the illegal-immigrant Mexican gardener trying to move rebellious son (José Julián) out of East LA. As soon as the pair join forces to track down papa's stolen van, it's testament to the exemplary acting and direction that we still want to follow them on their now obvious journey.