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The Lucky Ones Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    This moderately engaging, offbeat film requires a patience that audiences haven't demonstrated recently for stories concerning the fate of soldiers at home or abroad.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though the lead performances are uniformly good, the film seems hazy in its focus from the start. Many of the scenes seem to simply meander.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Lucky Ones isn't dull, and the actors do quite nicely, especially McAdams, who's feisty, gorgeous, and as mercurial as a mood ring.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This formula is fraught with pitfalls, but the characters and the actors redeem it with a surprising emotional impact.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

War/road trip dramedy is cliched but affecting.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fairly unsentimental dramedy about what life is like for soldiers on leave from war deals with themes and subjects that may be overwhelming for younger teens. It doesn't pull any punches, depicting civilian life as being just as fraught as fighting in Iraq. Some scenes show the soldiers in battle and getting injured, and there are frank discussions about the aftereffects of war. There's also a fair amount of strong language, some drinking, liberal use of sexual innuendoes, and a moment in which a couple is caught in the middle of having sex (though not too much skin is shown).

  • Families can talk about how the media typically depicts war and its consequences. How is this film different from other movies about war? How is it similar? The filmmakers have said they made a point of not actually using the word "Iraq" in the script -- how can you tell that this movie is about that war anyway? Families can also discuss soldiers' homecoming. Does it seem less than spectacular? Why? Why is the film titled The Lucky Ones? What makes these characters lucky -- or unlucky?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Strangers are either awkwardly supportive or derisive of soldiers' experiences in Iraq. In one scene, women make fun of a character who has a limp because she's been shot during combat. A wife isn't interested in letting her deployed husband rejoin her life now that he's back -- for no apparent reason, it seems, other than that she liked being alone. Characters are clearly affected by their time served in Iraq -- they're besieged by nightmares, fears, and insecurities. But they also display empathy for one another's experiences and are generous with their time and help even though they don't know one another that well.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A soldier has a quick trigger finger -- she talks about missing her weapon and gets into fights quickly (no guns are drawn, though a bar fight almost turns into a melee). A husband and wife have a big argument in front of guests. Soldiers are injured on the battlefield; close up of a bullet wound in a thigh.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A married woman propositions a virtual stranger; later, they're shown having sex (though there's no nudity), and her husband walks in on them; two characters listen as a couple engages in sex; conversations about how a man can get an erection and please a woman without one. A character is on a mission to find prostitutes who can help him with his sexual problem.

  • language false4

    Language: Regular use of words like "p---y," "s--t," and "f--k."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Nothing excessive. Signs for Dollar car rental, McDonald's, etc. Mentions of Porta-Johns.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Soldiers drink and carouse while on leave. One of them pops pills.