The Lucky Ones (2008)



Critic Consensus: The Lucky Ones features heartfelt performances, but is undone by the plot's overwrought parade of coincidence and contrivance.

Movie Info

When three very different U.S. soldiers find themselves on an unplanned road trip across America, they form a deep bond that may be the closest thing any of them has to real family. T.K. Poole, Colee Dunn and Fred Cheever arrive in New York from Germany only to find their connecting flights canceled due to a power outage. Anxious to get to their respective destinations, they agree to share a rented minivan to suburban St. Louis where Cheever is to reunite with his wife and teenage son. From … More

Rating: R (for language and some sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Neil Burger, Dirk Wittenborn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 27, 2009
Box Office: $0.2M
Lionsgate - Official Site


as Cheaver

as Jeanie Klinger

as Scott Cheaver

as Tom Klinger

as Stan Tilson

as Pat Cheaver

as Pastor Jerry Nolan

as Peter Tilson

as Barbara Tilson

as Army Psychologist
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Lucky Ones

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (29)

The Iraq war has thus far produced no truly memorable dramatic movies, as opposed to documentaries, and the losing streak continues with The Lucky Ones.

Full Review… | September 29, 2008
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

This is not the worst of the Iraq-themed movies of the past few years, and it's possibly the best acted of any of them. But you wish the bonding of these three people wasn't diluted by the trite scenarios and artificial circumstances of their saga.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
USA Today
Top Critic

As they hit the road, the scenes play out like TV sitcom vignettes with little holding the centre together. We find out details about the characters lives, but never feel we know them.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
Toronto Star
Top Critic

McAdams and Peña are affectingly vulnerable, while Robbins convinces as a family man with strong paternal instincts.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The Lucky Ones has plenty of heart and courage. If it only had a brain ...

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Like its lead characters, Lucky is wounded, lost, and impractical, but it has a messy, winning humanity and an agreeably leisurely pace that almost redeems it.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lucky Ones


The Lucky Ones is one of those movies that surprised me, the trailer looked good, and it was a film that exceeded my expectations. Reading some of the reviews, I found that the film had its fair share of flack, and really I find this movie to be quite underrated. The Lucky Ones is a charming dramedy with a good cast of actors who have great chemistry on-screen. This film is quite good and it is an entertaining film with plenty of effective moments that really bring out the best out of the movie. The movie is far from perfect, but it most certainly doesn't deserve the negativity it has received. The Lucky Ones is worth seeing and what makes the film work very well is the fact that the characters are likeable and you sympathize with them. At first the movie is joyful, but then it takes a more serious turn, all the while keeping a humorous edge to the material, which makes this such a pleasant and surprising movie. The performance that surprised me the most was that of Rachel McAdams, who delivers one of her finest performances yet. The film is better than you might expect, and the story is very well layered to really make the film worth seeing. This is a terrific film worth your time, and it is far better than what the negative reviews has suggested. With a great cast, a charming, yet well constructed story, The Lucky Ones is a very good dramedy that is highly engaging from start to finish. The film's strength lies in its great characters and good performances, and with that alone, you can forget the film's shortcomings.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Good movie. Not the fastest moving drama, but just the right amount of things going on the keep my interest. Watching these three soldiers go through so many different phases of problems and issues was very interesting. We got to watch them get closer and closer to feeling like family together. A feel good movie? Not sure. I am torn between liking the ending, and wishing it went a different direction...but I guess it was realistic.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, Michael Pena

After suffering an injury during a routine patrol, hardened sergeant TK Poole (Peña) is granted a one-month leave to visit his fiancé. However, when an unexpected blackout cancels all flights out of New York, TK agrees to share a ride to Pittsburgh with two similarly stranded servicemen, Cheever (Robbins), an older family man who longs to return to his wife in St. Louis, and Colee (McAdams), a naive private who?s pinned her hopes on connecting with a dead fellow soldier?s family. What begins as a short trip unexpectedly evolves into a longer journey. Forced to grapple with old relationships, broken hopes and a country divided over the war, TK, Cheever and Colee discover that home is not quite what they remembered and that the unlikely companionship.

-Really liked this film a lot. Rachel McAdams was so good in this movie. Tim Robbins.. I mean he is one of the best actors out there. He was amazing as always. Really liked Michael Pena. I haven't seen him in many films and thought he was great. The acting, the script, all of it was great. It was funny, sad, and just really good. I would call this a dramedy. Really good watch.


Super Reviewer

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