Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Directed by Justin Lin, Better Luck Tomorrow tells the story of a group of Asian American teens living in an Orange County Suburb. Most of the teens are overachieving and Ivy League-bound, however, to let off the steam from all the pressures they dabble in petty crimes, including selling answers to tests, drugs, and return fraud. Eventually as they fall deeper, the petty crime turns to violent crime.
An indie darling, Better Luck Tomorrow was Justin Lin’s breakout hit. This is one of John Cho’s first leading roles, and also featured Sung Kang, who will next be seen reprising his role as Han in the Covid-delayed F9 on June 25, 2021. Better Luck Tomorrow is a great example of showcasing an Asian American cast, and some of the stresses placed on these teens to get into top schools and put themselves on the path to success and the pitfalls that come with the pressure. This one is definitely worth a watch, especially if you want to see Justin Lin’s more intimate work outside of The Fast and The Furious franchise.