The Lucky One


The Lucky One

Critics Consensus

While it provides the requisite amount of escapist melodrama, The Lucky One ultimately relies on too many schmaltzy clichés to appeal to anyone not already familiar with the Nicholas Sparks formula.



Total Count: 145


Audience Score

User Ratings: 193,787
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Movie Info

U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive--a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm. -- (C) Warner Bros

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Zac Efron
as Logan
Jay R. Ferguson
as Keith Clayton
Adam LeFevre
as Judge Clayton
Joe Chrest
as Deputy Moore
Russ Comegys
as Roger Lyle
Ann McKenzie
as Charlotte Clayton
Dr. Sharon Morris May
as Principal Miller
Trey Burvant
as Logan's Brother-in-Law
Cameron Banfield
as Younger Marine
Ritchie Montgomery
as Cottage Owner
Courtney J. Clark
as Logan's Sister
Gavin Reyna
as Logan's Nephew
Matthew Michaud
as Logan's Nephew
Ned Yousef
as Iraqi Translator
Naim Alherimi
as Cursing Old Man
Hunter Reno
as Dog Owner's Son
Calvin Quatroy
as Hamden Fisherman
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Critic Reviews for The Lucky One

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (115)

Audience Reviews for The Lucky One

  • May 01, 2013
    "Did-did-did-did you see the lucky ones? Did-did-did-did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?" Yes, Zac Efron is indeed looking to be the lucky one, because where he could have gone the way of Ralph Macchio and taken, like, 30 years or something to hit puberty, he's starting to show some genuine progress in looking like a real man, which isn't to say that you should get too excited, you hypocritical, raving peverts of women who have the audacity to call men pigs, because he's still prettier than Taylor Schilling. Speaking of which, you know that this film is going to be lame based on the fact that it features the chick from "Atlas Shrugged", as surely as you know that this film is going to be yet another trite recycling of corny material based on the fact that it's an adaptation of a book by Nicholas Sparks, and that its trailer features The Fray's "You Found Me". Huh, I was about to question who in the world still remembers The Fray's "You Found Me", but I opened this paragraph up with a reference to Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky", so maybe I'm not the one who should be questioning people's nostalgia. Hey, people, it had to be done, but alas, no amount of Pink Floyd can wash away the cheesiness that is jammed in my brain after this film, which is shocking, seeing as how absolutely no part in "The Wall" is even mildly cheesy, especially when it comes to "Mother", "One of My Turns", "Don't Leave Me Now", "Bring the Boys Back Home", "The Trial" and, of course, that random scream in the second verse of "Comfortably Numb". Sarcasm aside, "Comfortably Numb" is a masterpiece, and the rest of the album is pretty darn awesome, as well, as opposed to this film, which isn't quite dismal, but oh so very flaw-heavy. To go ahead and get one of the biggest problems out of the way, oh boy, this is a messily paced film if there ever was one, being considerably uneven in its structure, which ranges from slam-banged in a fashion that I will try to explain later, to considerably bloated in a fashion that may not be too tremendously serious, or at least not when you compare the bloating to the hurrying, but is still fairly serious, nonetheless, dragging things out many a crowbarred scene of filler or excess material that slows down momentum, eventually into repetition, then into monotony. The monotony that this film slips into, thanks to repetitious bloating, is rarely, if ever all-out tedious, but borders enough on tedium to really knock you out of things, though not as much as the other end of this film's jarring pacing transitions: hurrying. Hey, I must admit, this film's opening sequence, which features Zac Efron's Logan Thibault character seeing his last days on his third tour in Iraq before returning home with PTSD, is relatively decent, though it would have been better if it wasn't so laughably slam-banged, which is what you can say about oh so many other points in this film, because when this film is not gorging itself on blandly excessive material or filler, it's ever so incompetently dashing along in a way that you really do have to see to believe. The disconcerting hurrying of this film certainly exacerbates the sting of the monotony within Scott Hicks' storytelling, but it also has a tendency to do something that's even worse for a character drama: thin out development, whose depth shortcomings disconnect from the characters and story that films of this type tend to rely upon intensely. It's hard something fierce to fully bond with the leads, who are too undercooked to be all that engaging, thus the final product falls flat as a character piece, much like most every other Nicholas Sparks film, but where most of this film's predecessors featured acting that was relatively strong enough to earn some degree of your investment, this film features generally mediocre acting, whose lowest note is someone I would actually expect better from. I wouldn't say that Zac Efron has the potential to be an awesome actor, but he is better than plenty of people give him credit for, having proven his skill in plenty of films that he should know better than to be attached to, with this film being ever so surprisingly an exception, for although Efron isn't truly terrible, he's wooden, with a dry presence and underwhelming emotional range that leave him to fall flat as the lead. If Efron's shortcomings hurt the selling of nothing else, its his and Taylor Schilling's chemistry, which is so key in a film of this type, but doesn't really gel, thanks to onscreen hiccups and, of course, writing hiccups, or at least mere cheesiness. Now, you'd be hard pressed to find an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks film that isn't cheesy, but that doesn't make cheesiness in these films any less bothersome, as this film further proves with its soundtrack, alone, turning in many an indie diddy that is not simply painfully corny, but more of a challenge to listen to than this film's dialogue, which is saying something, for although Will Fetters' interpretation of Nick Sparks' dialogue tastes stands to be worse, low notes in dialogue range from mediocre to near-laughable, calling your attention more toward the cheesiest writing aspect to this film: histrionics. This writing still isn't quite soap opera-grade with its melodrama, but we are arguably looking at some of your more over-the-top Sparksisms with this "effort" (Oh man, may I be struck down if Zac Efron's Logan Thibault character doesn't seriously deliver a big twist speech to Taylor Schilling's Beth Green character with his back turned, staring off into the night), which even goes so far as to thin out character layers to a considerable point that robs characterization of much genuineness, particularly when it comes to Jay R. Ferguson's Keith Clayton character, who is borderline, if not decidedly cartoonish as the unsubtly handled antagonist or, if you will, component to the laughable dramatic reinforcements that this film tries way too desperately to establish. Tonal unevenness is certainly less recurring and, of course, intense as unevenness in pacing, but make no mistake, this film will occasionally take an awkward atomspheric turn out of relative lightness into a kind of intensity that may be mighty ineffective, but still makes its share of inorganic stands, which would have stood a chance of working if its being way too blasted forced, because if there is a conflict to be found in this film, it's very much manufactured, defying realism, if not blowing certain very light, if at all dramatic aspects quite a ways out of proportions, until what you end up with are grating theatrics that try to ignite intrigue, but to no avail. Dramatically, this film is a total mess, struggling so hard to keep juice up that it ends up crafting a considerably farfetched story that, I must admit, almost needs manufactured conflicts, because when this film isn't melodramatizing everything, well, then it's doing nothing at all. I'm not gonna lie, there are a few beats to the this "story" concept that hold some degree of potential, enough so for the film to have its ambitious moments that deliver a small drop of good old-fashioned charm of desperation, but on the whole, this plot is, not necessarily thin, but translucent, meandering along aimlessly, with little in the way of direction, even less in the way of intrigue and very much in the way of genericism. Films with plots this thin and trite tend to have the "good fortune", if you will, of being too bland to be bad, but in this case, we're looking at a film that ostensibly tries, and that only emphasizes the final product's shortcomings, of which, there are oh so many. If the film isn't lamely mediocre, it's frustratingly incompetent, no matter how much it drenches itself in obnoxious overambition, and such an unflattering formula nudges the film outside of the middling realm of mediocrity and right into the bleak waters of poorness, for although this film borders on merely forgettable, when it's all said and done, its impressions are primarily negative ones that you just can't scrub out, thus making for a final product that may be bad by a little more than a hair, but is pretty bad, nonetheless. Overall, there are moments of slightly charming ambition to this project, but on the whole, it's a mess that often bloats itself out with repetition and excess material when it's not jarringly its way into exhausting rushing that thins out exposition and joins the mediocre or, in the case of leading man Zac Efron, just plain weak acting, and undercooked characterization in distancing you from the characters, whose underwhelmingness in turn joins the laughably histrionic, when not boringly thin, and consistently trite "plot" in crafting the considerable blandness that is intensely stressed enough by incompetence and overambition to make "The Lucky One" a serious misfire that is sometimes simply mediocre, but generally too bad to be even mildly worthy of your time. 1.75/5 - Poor
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2013
    Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling's performances make the film worth checking out. They have a great on screen chemistry. It is great seeing Zac branch out acting wise. However, they both need a better story than this one. The film feels unbalanced and uneven. I felt like I was watching 2 films meshed up into one. The film reminded me of movies like The Majestic starring Jim Carrey and A Walk in the Clouds starring Keanu Reeves. Both those films were better than this one. The pacing was also off. Some scenes were a little too slow. I also found the film predictable.
    Sol C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2013
    Cliche as hell. it's cute and all, but not good enough. Efron's acting has greatly improved, the chemistry between Efron and Schilling seemed to work well. But there's really nothing much else to watch out for. The plot seemed unrealistic, which was the ultimate downfall of this film, please just stop adapting Nicholas Sparks' novels!
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2012
    You should be kissed every day, every hour, every minute. Good movie! Zac Efron does a decent job playing the character of Logan, however, he just can't pull off the tough-guy look that is essential in this film. He will always be remembered as Troy Bolton from "High School Musical". In any case, this is a tear-jerking, cheesy movie that most teenage girls would enjoy. It's not terrible, yet nothing special. Logan is a marine serving in Iraq. While there, he finds a photo of a girl with "keep safe" written on the back. He is admiring it when his unit is attacked. He survives and credits the photo for saving him. He tries to find the owner but can't, assuming he was killed. When he goes back to the States, he finds it difficult to adjust and is still haunted by what happened. Analyzing the photo, he finds in the background a landmark that tells him she is in Louisiana. He then goes there and finds her. He learns her name is Beth. He tries to tell her what happened but can't get the words out. She assumes he's there to apply for the job they advertised looking for someone to help at her family's business, a dog kennel. He says yes but at first she gets an uneasy feeling from him but her grandmother decides to give him a chance. It isn't long that he makes a connection with her son. He then discovers that it was her brother who had the picture only he doesn't remember him. He sees that her brother's death has a profound effect on her. Eventually they get close which makes her grandmother happy but not her ex who is a deputy sheriff who's always threatening to take their son away from her.
    Manu G Super Reviewer

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