Better Luck Tomorrow

Released 2002


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Movie Summary

Justin Lin
Better Luck Tomorrow is a 2002 crime drama about ambitious high school students using their smarts for lawlessness. Ben Manibag (Parry Shen) knows he fulfills every clich'' about Asian-Americans. Academically, he is at the top of his class, his college applications have been sent in early and his charitable fundraisers have gathered food for the needy, but Ben grows bored and restless with his Orange County suburban lifestyle. After a high school paper paints Ben as a "token Asian" on the basketball team, the overachieving Ben wants to prove himself. At first, Ben and his circle of friends try some petty crimes for fun. Virgil (Jason Tobin), Daric (Roger Fan), and Han (Sung Kang) join Ben in selling homework and stealing from a local computer store. Once they have a taste of the thrills of criminal life, these straight-A students find themselves falling deeper and deeper into the thrills and dangers of behaving badly.


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Mr. Lin makes the anxious grasping of these kids for some kind of emotional turf -- their own need to shatter the stereotypes that bind them -- the heart of Better Luck Tomorrow, a...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    It has the virtue of Lin's tangy wit but it also suffers from the vice of a director who, torn between personal vision and wide public reach, tends to smother his ideas under a ven...

  • 80

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Lin's nicely turned out picture is sometimes both predictable and a bit far-fetched narratively, but still provides a generally absorbing look at a slice of society normally taken ...

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More Info About This Movie


Coming of Age, Crime, Teen, Social Issues