The Lucky Ones Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 31, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 14, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2009
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
September 6, 2009
Interesting story of three soldiers (Tim Robbins, Michael Peña and Rachael McAdams) return home from Iraq; two on leave for 30 days, the other out for good. The drama movie is populated with the usual oddball characters and chance encounters you find on cross country road trips, or in cross country road trip movies.
The Lucky Ones is a funny and winning little movie. It's above all else a very human movie. The characters are what makes it succeed, not it's story. All three leads give wonderful and sincere performances, particularly McAdams as Colee. She's naive but not unintelligent, and tough but still vulnerable.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2009
I have come to the conclusion that I would need to be living in America to fully appreciate this one. The acting in this is great and you have three characters that you really do come to care about and hope they can get their lives together...then somehow, despite all three not wanting to return to the war, all three do, although at least one of them has money not to have to. I just didn't get it.
Super Reviewer
½ July 16, 2008
A very different scenario changing movie with 3 lives colliding at the same time with one thing in common: army. 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 they?ve found might be what matters the most.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2008
"Sometimes losing your way home means finding yourself"

The story revolves around three soldiers --Colee, TK and Cheever -- who return from the Iraq War after suffering injuries and learn that life has moved on without them. They end up on an unexpected road trip across the U.S., with Colee on a mission to bring her boyfriend's guitar back to his family because he saved her life, TK seeking confidence to face his wife after a shrapnel injury that threatens his sexual function and middle-aged Cheever planning to hit the casinos in a desperate effort to pay for his son's college tuition.

Neil Burger's offbeat, quirky, dramatic movie is a triumph. It succeeds in all the aspects, from the technical parts to the acting, I can't find a single negative thing about it. Burger doesn't dilly-dally around, he went straight to the point of his subject, giving a fair amount of time for each of the three characters (McAdams, Pena and Robbins) to develop and eventually you can't help but really like them...a lot. Especially McAdams but more on that later. The script is tightly wound, the chemistry between the three protagonists doesn't seem forced, the movie doesn't force you to like them the moment the movie starts but instead, these colorful characters will gradually grow on you.

Tim Robbins, one of my favorite actors, doesn't dissapoint. 2008, I have seen him in two movies the other one being The City of Ember. And as long as a movie has Tim Robbins in it, I'm sold. That's why I watched the movie in the first place. Michael Pena, another great guy, gives off a good vibe towards the movie and once you know what's been bothering his character, you can't help but laugh at how one-sided and ridiculous his problem is. Pena gives one of his greatest performance on screen. And of course, the belle of the ball, the star of the show, Rachel McAdams gives a quirky, zesty and joyful performance as a loveable Southerner and I can't help but be reminded of another quirky, zesty and joyful character, Amelie. She just keeps the laughs rolling in and steal every scene she's in. She gives the character such depth that one might come off as one dimensional had it been portrayed by a lesser talent. Definitely an underrated performance for 2008.

Highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2009
I love movies with small casts that do nothing but build up fun characters. This movie pulls it off well, and has a magnificent ending. So far I'd say this is my favorite performance by Rachel McAdams. Her character is so likable, and on top of that she looks so ridiculously good that the movie could suck and you wouldn't mind.
Super Reviewer
September 12, 2008
Opens Sept. 26. Gala world premiere from TIFF.
Rachel McAdams gives a performance that should earn her an Oscar nomination. This road movie is a subtle, oddly funny drama that shows how three American soldiers try to re-integrate themselves into normal American life.
Each character has been affected by their experiences in the Iraq War, and what makes this film so emotionally touching is how the characters stick by each other, much like they probably would have in combat.
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2009
In "The Lucky Ones," Fred Cheaver(Tim Robbins) is leaving the army after a tragic port-o-john accident. While changing planes at New York City, he discovers a blackout has grounded all of the outgoing flights for the time being(Could this be August 2003?). Wanting to get back to his home and family in St. Louis as soon as possible, he reluctantly agrees to share a rent-a-car with two other soldiers, Colee Dunn(Rachel McAdams, doing a fine Hilary Swank impression) and T.K. Poole(Michael Pena), both on thirty day injury leave and headed to Las Vegas for different reasons. Once home, Fred finds a couple of surprises waiting for him...

While not really adding anything new to the already hackneyed road movie genre, "The Lucky Ones" still is rewarding enough. So, relax. You're in good company here. There are some interesting insights into soldiers returning to a changed world and who share a camaraderie even out of uniform. But what does it say when a trio of soldiers get locked out of their own car? On the other hand, more could have been done to highlight the Americana, cut down on the contrivances and handle T.K.'s condition with more maturity. Surprisingly, the subject of enlisting is handled somewhat ambiguously. That having been said, this is a reminder to those that support the wars that more than empty gestures has to be done for those they expect to fight for them.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2009
I'd never heard of Neil Burger's "The Lucky Ones" until a friend recommended it to me after catching it on a flight to Australia. Released in theatres stateside last year, it was pulled after making a paltry $267,000 in its opening week. This is a hell of a shame as what we have here is the first great movie about the Iraq war. Three soldiers return to the states on leave and through circumstances end up on a road trip to Vegas. Michael Pena is a cocky Sargeant with a wound in his manhood, struggling to come to terms with how his Fiance will react to his impotence. Tim Robbins is a veteran trying to find the money to send his kid to college and thus stop him enlisting. But the standout performance, and quite possibly the standout performance of the past year full stop, comes from Rachel McAdams as a naive private returning her dead boyfriends guitar to his family. Her turn here is far superior to anything Oscar nominated this year and probably the best from an American actress since Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. The films strongest point is its lack of a "message". Pro war or Anti war, you'll find your own point of view here and Burger is subtle enough to allow you the privilege. I won't give it away but this has a great ambiguous seventies style ending, just the way I like 'em. It's always a good sign when a movie ends and you wish you could get to see more of the characters, and it's an all too rare occurence in modern cinema. For this Burger and his cast should be applauded.
Theta Sigma
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2011
I was recommended this film by a member of the RT community and, despite the negative reviews, I decided to give this a shot.

On their return home on a thirty day pass from Iraq, injured soldiers Sgt TK Poole (Michael Pena) and Private Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) meet Sgt Fred Cheaver (Tim Robbins), a solider returning home at the end of his tour of duty.

Cheaver wants to return home to his wife and son, Poole and Dunn want to go to Las Vegas - Poole seeking a cure to his impotence following a shrapnel injury and Dunn to return a guitar to the family of her boyfriend.

When a blackout affects flights in New York, Cheaver, Poole and Dunn start a journey which takes in bar fights with college students in Indiana, spiritual healing services and invitations to a party in Kansas City, a picnic which leads to encounter with some travelling sex workers and a tornado and, ultimately, a journey of discovery for the three soldiers as they find out about each other and the country that they have become detached from and a country that appears to have changed in their absence.

Having not known about this film before, I went into it with open eyes and I'm glad I did.

The term "dramedy" is one that's getting a lot of use at the moment, but this is a film that uses it well. The humour is one the main at a chuckle level, but there are some belly laugh moments - such as the request made by Colee at the spiritual healing session on behalf of TK and Fred and a lesson in when discretion should be the better part of valour, especially when bedrooms have thin walls.

The drama is in sync with the humour, as the three characters look to compliment each others deficiencies and answer questions that are posed to them such as to the main reasons for serving in the Army and what lives they are coming back to.

All three leads work extremely well alongside each other as a sort of surrogate family for each other, you have the paternal Fred trying to keep TK and Colee in check whilst trying to make sense of his own problems. Tim Robbins is well suited to this role as a man who has to serve as referee and man who needs emotional and physical healing.

TK is, in effect, this snobbish, self important elder borther figure who dismisses Colee's life style choices and has no faith in her abilities. Michael Pena is great in this role as TK's behaviour is irritating to begin with, but as the journey goes on you get to see some of the reasons behind TK's need to develop himself.

Rachel McAdams, for me, is the standout as Colee. She is the young firebrand - trying to prove herself to Fred, TK and in some respects, to herself for her own self worth. McAdams has to give Colee an adult level self awareness to tie in with the humour and drama within the script whilst maintaining a childlike innocence throughout which is endearing and great to watch.

If you've not had the chance to watch this, give it a try on rental. I enjoyed this journey... I hope you do too.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2010
Maybe the ending not like as I wanted. I think They will live together, and TK.Poole married Colee. But thats a good ending too because i never been in the army, I didnt know what they feels inside
A True friendship Movie, It show us, we still can be a good friends with someone that we just meet or known.
And some true friends, they give anything just to make their friends happy...
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2010
Three soldiers returning from Iraq after sustaining injuries received during combat expecting a normal 30 days of leave. When they arrive at JFK Airport in New York, all fights have been canceled, because of a blackout. The three decide to rent a van and drive to St. Louis, but what started out to be a short 14 hour trip ends up being a journey across America. Along the way, the three soldiers who had just met become close friends but expectations of home are not what they thought it would be. The actors all do good jobs and Michael Peña was completely captivating in his portrayal of a proud young vet from a military family on his way to meet his girlfriend, with his masculinity compromised by a war injury. His character is the most subtly poignant as he confronts his own fears about his manhood.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2008
Because nothing brings Iraq War vets together like a broken penis and a sudden tornado.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2010
Good drama about three U.S. Army soldiers [two of them on 30 day leave and one of them done] who go on a road trip and come to realizations about their lives. Good performances by Michael Pena, Tim Robbins, and Rachel McAdams. Good writing and cinematography. I wanted more to happen at the end but it made sense. Also, the three main characters are also very lucky, lucky to have survived their tours in the Iraq war and lucky to have met each other. "Sometimes losing your way home means finding yourself."
Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2009
A bit of drama, mixed in with a dark comedy shows us thirty days in the lives of three Iraqi War Vets, who come home to find there lives are crap, and the only thing keeping them sane, are each other. A really great cast makes the movie worth a look, McAdams, Pena, and Robbins are three very talented actors and they do one hell of a job in The Lucky Ones.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2008
An interesting movie. Great story plot. T.K., Colee, and Cheever are heading back home when a blackout in NY causes their connecting flight to be delayed, this enables them to rent a car to travel in. As they embark on their journey, they begin to realize that the experiences they have encountered are precious and ultimately memorable, as so is the bond between each of them. Amazing cast- Tim Robbins, Michael Pena, and Rachel McAdams. Worth seeing!
½ October 2, 2008
thought that this would be a movie about ptsd & reverse culture shock, but it ended up being a pretty good black comedy about the very real challenges of the enlisted back on home ground, when their spider-silk-thin grounding is tested to its limits.
½ December 8, 2009
good movie. good cast and interesting script. Reminded me of "The Best Days of Our Lives", but I wouldn't call it a remake. much better.
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