Struck by Lightning - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Struck by Lightning Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2012
I guess I was expecting the movie to be funny considering it listed as a comedy. Instead what I got was a quite dark and depressing film about a boy desperately wanting to escape his life. I couldn't find any of the characters likable. Especially the MC Carson. He is very cynical of everyone and quite closed off and a bit bratty when he doesn't get his way. I did like Rebel as Malerie. But the rest of the characters where dull and boring. The acting wasn't so great either. A decent movie but nothing worth seeing again.
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2012
I really enjoyed this. I thought it was really funny but also poignant. I liked the message in their about staying true to yourself and how it's important to dream and have aspirations. Sure, Carson could kind of be a jerk sometimes but you could see why he was so sarcastic. I think it was his way of dealing with the crap in his life. His mom was pretty much an alcoholic, his dad left them and didn't seem like he wanted to be a part of his life. Not once, while he was April (hid fiancee who was 6 months pregnant) did he ever mention that he had a son. His grandma has Alzheimer's. She doesn't even seem to remember him most of the time. But even so, I dont think he was always a jerk. I really liked the scene with him and Claire (Sarah hyland) where he asks her why she thinks she'll never make it out of this town and do better for herself. And he talks about how in grade 2 she told everyone she wanted to be a ballerina, and he asks "What happened to that girl?". And as she responds that everyone laughed at her. He tells her "I never laughed". I think its sweet that he wanted her to do something that SHE wanted. The ending had me in tears. It was sad of course that he died and didn't go on to college and do the things he wanted, but he did inspire people while on earth and I thought that was powerful in a way. I also cried for his mom Cheryl (Alison Janney) when she finds out that he dies. The way she keeps calling him and hoping that its just some mistake. She wasn't perfect (far from it), but she did care for him.

All in all, I enjoyed this film and recommend it.
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2012
A filmed filled with failed one-liners and bad acting and horrendous camera work. The film had so much potential with the star-studded cast, but the horrible script just didn't work, not with the stereotypical characters and forced added pop culture references. It's pretty much as if you are watching Glee, the only difference is the changes of actor. Rebel Wilson did shine as an awkward side kick of the protagonist. It had a good idea, if only someone else other than Colfer himself wrote the script, there might be a better product.
½ January 12, 2015
It's a bit sloppy and unoriginal when put up against other coming of age comedies, but it has its moments
January 5, 2014
Found myself so frustrated at this movie. I liked it but was still actually angry at the movie. Don't think it deserved such a low rating but then again it's been awhile since I saw it. Just remember being so angry at the movie
½ December 29, 2013
This movie is bland and uninteresting for long periods of time. But, it does provide a few chuckles.
December 14, 2013
Chris Cofer is an amazing tallent. I cant wait to see whaat the future brings for him. Very insightful coming of age movie. Well acted I liked the film. Film was adapted well from the book.
October 5, 2013
Having never seen more than a passing moment of Fox's Glee, it's impossible to comment on the actual nuts and bolts of the hit series, but certainly star Chris Colfer has parallel goals with his teen comedy, Struck by Lightning. Both tread on familiar ground, depicting the social warzone that is high school, where stereotypical jocks and cheerleaders rule while the geeks are treated like misfits. Where Glee apparently succeeds is presenting nuanced and realistic portrayals of those characters, an aspect which Colfer forgot to include in his film.

Supremely talented and already a best-selling author at the age of 22, Colfer also takes on the producing and screenwriting credits for Struck By Lightning, which has a genuinely clever premise that begins with high school student Carson Phillips literally being hit by a bolt of lightning and dying. The rest of the story proceeds in flashback as Carson's narrative spirit takes us through the events leading up to his tragic demise. Nice set up, but the rest is strictly pedestrian and the script woefully incompetent and unintentionally mean-spirited. Carson lives in an eye blink of a town where few escape to fulfill their dreams, but he plans to be one of the few who does. He wants desperately to go to Northwestern University and eventually be an editor for The New Yorker, but his attempts to run the high school newspaper are constantly thwarted by his schoolmates who couldn't care less.

Carson perceives himself as the perpetual victim of the ruling social elite, the usual assortment of football players, mean girls, snobs, and bullies, but the truth is that he's really just sort of a jerk. He acts as if he's superior to everyone else, and not surprisingly he's treated like someone nobody wants to associate with. Colfer fails to show us exactly how Carson is being held back from his dreams by the inaction of others. He's never put down, or beat up, or bullied. If he's ostracized, it's completely by his own doing, which makes it awfully difficult to root for him.

Directed by Brian Dannelly, who helmed the far superior Christian school comedy Saved! back in 2004, the film has a similar look but lacks the insight that made it so funny and relevant. The plot meanders along from one scene to another of Carson bellyaching about his predicament, while one caricature after another does little to be more than just a label. Even Carson's mother, a pill-popping divorcee played by Allison Janney, is little more than a vague outline of a human being. She frequently reminds Carson how she wishes she had an abortion, while at the same time working to keep her son from going away to college. Are we supposed to pity him and loathe her? Or vice versa?

It's never really made clear. Carson strikes up a partnership with a fellow misfit played by Rebel Wilson, but there's nothing there that binds them together. It comes off more like pity than genuine friendship. Little happens and the plot basically runs in place for an hour until Carson decides to blackmail the most popular kids into writing for his literary magazine. So now we're supposed to cheer him on while he bullies others into his bidding? This is a highly confused film that doesn't seem to know exactly what it wants to be.

There's no doubt that Colfer is coming from a well-intentioned place, and that he genuinely wants to help others who were bullied like he was just for being different. But he's not an experienced enough writer to be able to convey that message with any distinction, and has instead created a film doesn't at all represent the ideals he espouses.
September 23, 2013
This was a much better story than I expected. The ending was horrible, but it was perfect for this movie.
½ September 19, 2013
Don't even waste your time with this. It was good for the first maybe 20 minutes & that is it. There is literally no substance to this film at all & no humanity to the characters. It is a cheap rip off of teen high school comedies with one sarcastic character thrown together to make money. It would have been more effective as a typical high school comedy not a dark comedy. The Carson character carries the film with little or no support from the cast. And he gets annoying after a while. Pitch Perfect was bad, in my view, but was a lot better than this. A direct to video thrown together to make a profit. Don't waste your $$$. Probably one of the worst films I have seen.
August 20, 2013
Smart people stuck in a stupid people world. There are some awesome quotes in this movie. Chris Colfer was humorous. Ultimately it could have been better, but it is what it is. I don't see it becoming a cult classic or anything but it was at least worth the watch for a few of the laughs.
½ August 16, 2013
"Struck By Lightning" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: Admirable attempt by Chris Colfer who wrote and starred in the film. It rebounds somewhat later in the film and prevents it from being an outright bad experience.

The Bad: The lead character isn't even remotely likable. He is presented as the least liked kid in the school who is just misunderstood and bitter at life. The problem is that he doesn't come across as either of those, he simply comes across as a pretentious jerk.
½ August 16, 2013
"Struck By Lightning" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: Admirable attempt by Chris Colfer who wrote and starred in the film. It rebounds somewhat later in the film and prevents it from being an outright bad experience.

The Bad: The lead character isn't even remotely likable. He is presented as the least liked kid in the school who is just misunderstood and bitter at life. The problem is that he doesn't come across as either of those, he simply comes across as a pretentious jerk.
July 28, 2013
I watched this movie today with my 11 year old son, mother and wife. We were expecting a comedy, and this movie has some light moments, but a comedy it is not It is a serious statement about life, ambition, responsibility, drug addiction and how we treat the elderly.

As a Florida children's personal injury lawyer I applaud the write and star Chris Colfer for this Tour de Force. He is an exceptional talent and is fearless in his ability to tell the truth-about himself and those around him.

Prepare to be impressed and bring the tissues.
½ July 8, 2013
A film that I am assuming was only made because "that kid from Glee" wrote a screenplay as it is amateurish on just about every level. While the filmmakers assembled a respectable cast for the production, these actors have little to do other than recite poorly scripted notes of apathy or snark. It is rather a waste of time and it won't enrich one's life after viewing it. I had problems with the film very early on when the film's main character who supposedly loves writing -- played by Chris Colfer himself -- misused bad and badly. The characters nor the film are overly smart. Skip this.
July 5, 2013
I thought this was a very cute and thoughtful film. Characters are all very honest and relatable. Great story.
June 22, 2013
This film made me tear up. But it was to over the top. I'd go into detail but not right now.
June 22, 2013
It was a really great movie. Much better than I expected. It wasn't funny, though. It was sad and sort of depressing, but still good.
June 8, 2013
I don't know why all the critics are putting this movie down. I think that for Chris Colfer's first screenplay, this was marvelous! It had many funny moments and some interesting dialogue. Sure, the characters were all pretty cardboard-ish. But hey, it's a high school comedy! Don't think too hard, your brain will hurt.
May 29, 2013
Struck by lighting can be described as simply a dark but inspirational teen angst type of film that can be categorized with The Perks of being a Wallflower and The Breakfast Club.

Glee's Chris Colfer plays Carson Phillips, a senior at Clover High School who is determined to make something of himself as a journalist having come from a depressing family in a small town. At the hopes of getting into his dream college by impressing them at what he can really do with his talents, Carson blackmails a random bunch of students into writing submissions for the high school's first ever literary magazine.

The film begins with the climax, Carson getting struck by lightning in the result of his death, but then the film tracks back in time for Carson to reflect on his senior year and how it lead up to his untimely death.

As for his first film screenplay, Colfer did a beginners job as in he did ok but in the future he needs to create some balance between genres he chooses to use in his screenplays and he needs to create more depth to each character.

This film actually screams straight to DVD or limited release.

Another thing, Rebel Wilson has a terrible American accent; I could still hear some Australian in her.

Overall, a great beginning to, I hope, a career in writing and possibly directing. I would love to see more by Chris Colfer. He already has two children's books out.

Struck By Lightning, I give you a 60%.
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