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The Lucky One Review Critics


Dave White Profile

The sucky one. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Semper Fidelis Sparksum Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Embalming the simple and simplistic yarn in an amber glow that is all but suffocating and banishing from it any traces of humor and spontaneity, director Scott Hicks serves up this treacly tale with absolutely no trace of self-consciousness about the material's cliches or simple-mindedness.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Depending on how you feel about Zac Efron, he is either a sensitive hunk or an inexpressive hunk, but definitely a hunk. Unable as I am to locate any feelings about him, I see Mr. Efron as a hunk with a problem delivering sustained dialogue in units of more than one or two sentences.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    So the cliches are as thick as a vat of honey. And the love story proves just as syrupy. But for those who lap up this sappy vision of romance, it contains all the key ingredients.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Lucky One doesn't have the schlock rapture of "The Notebook" (the one Sparks adaptation that has really worked). The trouble with the movie isn't that it's too girly-swoony; it's that it tries to achieve emotion through glowy sunsets and a paint-by-numbers script.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Sweet but formulaic love story OK for teen romantics.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like other romances based on Nicholas Sparks novels -- including The Last Song, Dear John, and The Notebook -- The Lucky One is filled with swoony, sentimental moments involving a pair of star-crossed lovers kept apart by their life challenges and personal struggles. Expect some gauzy love scenes (mostly kissing and early stage undressing -- no private parts are seen, though the top of a male backside is visible); infrequent swearing ("s--t," etc.), some drinking by adults, some tense scenes of peril and confrontation, and jarring-but-not-graphic wartime scenes in which grenades explode and soldiers are shot dead. Although the movie means well overall, it does suggest that women need the love of a good man to be able to love themselves.

  • Families can talk about why romantic movies often seem to have female characters who can't seem to find their strength and center without first falling in love. What's the message here?
  • How does The Lucky One depict romance and relationships? Do you think it's realistic/accurate?
  • What is the movie saying about the toll that war takes on soldiers?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The Lucky One promotes the ideas that struggles don't have to define you and that you must learn to stand up for yourself. Also, that love heals,  that family bonds are very powerful, and that loyalty matters. But it also perpetuates the notion that women, no matter how capable, need the love of a good man to be able to love themselves.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Almost all of the characters, even the one obviously pitched as the "bad guy," have a soft side. Logan is kind, earnest, and principled, and -- despite some nightmares and sadness -- appears generally intact after the war. Beth is a caring mother and daughter. Together, they're a beacon of niceness.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Gunfight in the middle of a war, with some soldiers shot dead. Innocent bystanders also die. Explosions in war zones. The war scenes in general feel menacing. An abusive man stalks his ex-wife and threatens her when she doesn't give into his demands. Later, he gets into a fight with another man and brandishes a gun at him. A harrowing scene shows people about to fall into a raging river during a storm.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Couples kiss passionately in the shower and in a bedroom while they remove each other's clothing (shot in close-ups that don't show private parts); sex is implied on more than one occasion. One scene depicts the woman with her hand down the back of a man's pants, with the upper part of his backside showing.

  • language false3

    Language: Relatively infrequent use of words including "s--t," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," and "ass."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: An iPod is seen, as is a Mitsubishi car.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink on dates and at social functions. The movie's bad guy gets drunk and starts a fight with another man. Beth gets a little tipsy during a date.