A young man discovers that friends can quickly become enemies -- and the transformation can have dangerous consequences -- in this independent drama. Teenaged Barret (Robert DiPatri), still coming to terms with the death of his father, moves with his mom to a new community; Barret doesn't get along with the students at his new school and soon finds he's a social outcast. Ryan (Eion Bailey) is another student at the school who doesn't get along with his peers, and soon Barret and Ryan become close friends. But the longer Barret hangs out with his new friend, the more uncomfortable he becomes with Ryan's misanthropic views, and when Barret begins making friends with the students who once rejected him, Ryan's threatening words are translated into violent deeds. A Better Place was the first feature film from writer and director Vincent Pereira; the film was co-produced by Kevin Smith, a longtime friend who cast Pereira in small supporting roles in several of his films. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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A fine display of independent cinema, this pre-Columbine movie provokes deep and personal questions and alarms the viewer with its penetrating journey into the human psyche.
Through excellent character developement the audience is given the chance to take sides with different characters in the movie, each with their own positive traits and motives and certainly each with their often disturbing flaws. As violence and apathy are used to control and solve problems, we are forced to wonder what we would do in those situations, and who's really the enemy. As actions and reactions become increasingly extreme, the line between right and wrong becomes increasingly obscurred right up to the powerful and provocative ending.