A Better Life review

Father and son head to the dark side of LA to find their stolen truck...

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Standing in stark contrast to director Chris Weitz’s last two pictures – The Golden Compass and New Moon – this modest-budgeter has a docudrama feel, exploring LA neighbourhoods often ignored on screen.

Carlos (Weeds’ Demián Bechir) is a grafting gardener, single parent and an undocumented Hispanic immigrant.

When his truck’s stolen, he and rebellious teenage son Luis (José Julián) set out to snatch back the missing vehicle.

If the father/son relationship follows a tried-and-true trajectory, its obvious debt to Bicycle Thieves is repaid with sincere sentiment and strong acting.

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