The Lucky Ones (2008) Poster

The Lucky Ones (2008)

  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 6,756 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | War
  • Release Date: 26 September 2008 (Canada)
  • Runtime: Canada:113 min | USA:115 min | Argentina:115 min
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The Lucky Ones (2008)


The Lucky Ones 2008tt0981072.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Lucky Ones (2008)
  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 6,756 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | War
  • Release Date: 26 September 2008 (Canada)
  • Runtime: Canada:113 min | USA:115 min | Argentina:115 min
  • Filming Location: Alsip, Illinois, USA
  • Budget: $15,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $183,088(USA)(28 September 2008)
  • Director: Neil Burger
  • Stars: Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Peña
  • Original Music By: Rolfe Kent   
  • Soundtrack: Talented
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: Soldier | Stranded | College Tuition | Road Trip | Iraq War

Writing Credits By:

  • Neil Burger (written by) &
  • Dirk Wittenborn (written by)

Known Trivia

  • This is Tim Robbins’s third time portraying a soldier. The first times were Top Gun and Jacob’s Ladder. In the latter film, he starred alongside Elizabeth Peña, who shares the same surname with Robbins’ The Lucky Ones co-star ‘Michael Pena’
  • At one point in the film, T.K. (‘Michael Pena’) rudely calls Colee’s dead friend a gang-banger. In the film Crash Sandra Bullock’s character rudely calls ‘Michael Pena”s character a gang-banger.
  • The drinks that Cheaver’s wife offers Colee and T.K. are Coca-Colas.
  • Colee talks of how T.K. and his fiancée should experiment sexually, ‘by having another man with her while T.K. watches’. Later on in the film, Cheaver (accidentally) puts himself in exactly that position (having sex with a woman just as her husband enters the room).
  • While all three of the main characters have been injured in Iraq, Cheever (played by Tim Robbins) is the only one not to have been injured in combat. He is also the only one leaving the army for good, as he says in the beginning of the film.

Goofs: Continuity: When Colee enters the outpatient clinic her jeans are covered with blood on her right thigh. When she leaves shortly thereafter, the huge bloody stain is gone.

Plot: The story revolves around three soldiers — Colee, TK and Cheever — who return from the Iraq War after… See more »  »

Story: 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.Written by anonymous  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Deborah Aquila known as co-producer
  • Steffen Aumueller known as executive producer
  • Bill Block known as executive producer
  • Said Boudarga known as executive producer
  • Neil Burger known as producer
  • Claus Clausen known as executive producer
  • Elliot Ferwerda known as executive producer
  • Marina Grasic known as executive producer
  • Paul Hanson known as executive producer
  • John J. Kelly known as line producer: additional photography
  • Brian Koppelman known as producer
  • Jan Korbelin known as executive producer
  • David Levien known as producer
  • Brian McCormack known as executive producer
  • Adam Merims known as executive producer
  • Tom Ortenberg known as executive producer
  • Rick Schwartz known as producer
  • Glenn M. Stewart known as co-producer (as Glenn Stewart)
  • Dirk Wittenborn known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Rachel McAdams known as Colee
  • Tim Robbins known as Cheaver
  • Michael Peña known as TK
  • Molly Hagan known as Pat Cheaver
  • Mark L. Young known as Scott Cheaver
  • Howard Platt known as Stan Tilson
  • Arden Myrin known as Barbara Tilson
  • Coby Goss known as Peter Tilson (as Coburn Goss)
  • John Heard known as Bob
  • Jennifer Joan Taylor known as Bob's Wife
  • Katherine LaNasa known as Janet
  • Leo Ford known as Janet's Husband
  • Susan Yeagley known as Kendra
  • Emily Swallow known as Brandi
  • John Diehl known as Tom Klinger
  • Annie Corley known as Jeanie Klinger
  • Katie Korby known as Shannon
  • Kirk B.R. Woller known as Army Psychologist
  • James Errico known as Soldier in Hospital
  • Meredith Siemsen known as Woman in Airport
  • Michael Aaron Lindner known as Guy on Cellphone
  • Jason Knowles known as Reporter on T.V.
  • Vis Brown known as Rental Car Agent
  • J.D. Mathein known as Car Dealer
  • Kerry Bishé known as College Girl
  • Brianne Carden known as College Girl
  • Sarah Steele known as Girl with Jacket
  • Glen Allen Pruett known as Carl (as Glen Pruett)
  • Karin McKie known as Clinic Nurse
  • Anthony Irons known as Mechanic (as Anthony Lee Irons)
  • Anne Jacques known as Woman in Church
  • Spencer Garrett known as Pastor Nolan
  • Scott Jaeck known as Guitar Store Owner
  • Katherine Cuba known as Bartender at Airport
  • John Hoogenakker known as Army Recruiter
  • Michael A. Rizza known as Croupier (as Michael Rizza)
  • Christian Stolte known as Police Desk Sergeant
  • Kevin Michael Doyle known as Detective #1
  • K. Todd Freeman known as Detective #2
  • Tim Gamble known as Police Captain
  • Rachel Foszcz known as Caterer
  • Sarah Arend known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Sorin Brouwers known as Soldier in Hospital (uncredited)
  • Maritza Cabrera known as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Shawn I. Chevalier known as Air Canada Flight Attendant (uncredited)
  • Kelli Clevenger known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Cyn Dulay known as Affluent Guest (uncredited)
  • Sue Durso known as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
  • Kristy Farrell Schires known as Stranded Airline Passenger (uncredited)
  • Nichole Fischer known as Airline Employee / Passenger (uncredited)
  • Destiny Graham known as Stranded Airline Passenger (uncredited)
  • Carlos Michael Hagene known as Stranded Airport Passenger (uncredited)
  • Joe Hammerstone known as Stranded Airport Passenger (uncredited)
  • Thomas Kosik known as Restaurant Customer (uncredited)
  • Valentino Moralez known as Tourist (uncredited)
  • Bob Pepper known as Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Ron Provencal known as Metro Police Officer (uncredited)
  • Robert Ramos known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Greg Reynolds known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Jan Seybold known as Army Nurse (uncredited)
  • Amit Shah known as Caterer (uncredited)
  • Malik Simmons known as Stranded Airport Passenger (uncredited)
  • Jaxon Stanford known as Stranded Airport Passenger (uncredited)
  • Barb J. Stroud known as Stranded Airport Passenger (uncredited)
  • Giota Trakas known as Waitress (uncredited)
  • Darryl Villacorta known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Dale Ward known as Fast Food Customer (uncredited)
  • Robert Douglas Washington known as Army Guy (uncredited)
  • Lisa Wolf known as Nurse (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Breezy Brezany known as additional hair stylist (as Martha Brezany-Adams)
  • Lisa Brockman-Kalz known as makeup artist: St. Louis
  • Norayne Deters known as additional hair stylist
  • Lori Hicks known as makeup department head
  • Lori Hicks known as makeup designer: Rachel McAdams
  • Lisa Jelic known as additional makeup artist (as Lisa Marie Jelic)
  • Kayleen McAdams known as assistant makeup artist
  • Jennifer McDaniel known as makeup department head: additional photography
  • Francesca Paris known as hair designer: Rachel McAdams
  • Sacha Quarles known as hair department head
  • Maria Romita known as local hair stylist
  • Thomas Terhaar known as local hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Dean DeMatteis known as props
  • John Donahue known as on-set dresser
  • Daniel Fisher known as property master
  • Sean Gartner known as props
  • Jourdan Henderson known as art department coordinator
  • Kyle Holden known as set dresser
  • Brent Jaimes known as set dresser
  • Frank Kasy known as storyboard artist
  • Paul Knubley known as assistant property master
  • Ellen Lampl known as graphic designer
  • Chris Wolfgang Mauch known as storyboard artist
  • Troy Osman known as construction coordinator
  • Jim Tudor known as set dresser
  • Merje Veski known as props
  • Gary Wimmer known as charge scenic
  • Clark Woodman known as props




Production Companies:

  • Lionsgate (presents)
  • Roadside Attractions (presents)
  • QED International (in association with) (presents)
  • Sherazade Film Development (as Sherazade Films) (in association with)
  • Visitor Pictures (in association with)
  • Overnight

Other Companies:

  • American Roadshow Motion Picture And Television Catering  catering
  • Aramid Entertainment Fund  funding
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • ExtraOrdinary Casting  extras casting
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor
  • Post Factory NY  post-production facilities


  • Lionsgate (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Maple Pictures (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Momentum Pictures (2008) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Roadside Attractions (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Lionsgate Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Maple Pictures (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • SP Films (2009) (Argentina) (all media)
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (rental)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (retail)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Universal Production Partners (UPP) (visual effects) (as UPP, Prague)
  • Technicolor Digital Services (visual effects and compositing)

Visual Effects by:

  • Anthony Davis known as digital compositor: Technicolor Digital Services
  • Stevan Del George known as digital compositor
  • John Follmer known as visual effects producer
  • Vít Komrzý known as visual effects producer
  • Jesse Morrow known as visual effects artist
  • Viktor Muller known as visual effects supervisor
  • Erin L. Nelson known as digital restoration
  • Jiri Stamfest known as matte painter
  • Jan Vseticek known as visual effects coordinator

Release Date:

  • USA 10 March 2008 (ShoWest)
  • Canada 10 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Canada 26 September 2008
  • USA 26 September 2008 (limited)
  • United Arab Emirates 16 October 2008 (Middle East International Film Festival)
  • Canada 27 January 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 27 January 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Israel 9 April 2009
  • Australia 19 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 17 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Italy 7 October 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Argentina 3 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 4 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 15 December 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Russia 10 June 2010

MPAA: Rated R for language and some sexual content



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. dead47548 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    Three soldiers are home from Iraq; a 40-ish Tim Robbins out for goodand the young Michael Pena and Rachel McAdams on a thirty day leave.Each has their own problem that they are faced with at the beginning ofthe film. Robbins comes home to a wife who wants a divorce and a sonwho needs $20,000 for college, Pena suffered a wound that has made himimpotent and McAdams lost her friend and wants to find his family inorder to return his guitar and live with them since she's lost any tieswith her own. Think every problem is going to be solved in a little bowby the end? Well, you'd be right. Think that it's going to reallytypical and schmaltzy? Not so much on that one. It seems like a filmthat's made for the obvious ups and downs throughout but it actuallymanages to be quite original and refreshing. Instead of feeling like afilm that's just about resolving the individual situations, it's a lotmore carefree and a lot more about these three people simply enjoyinglife together and keeping one another joyful.

    Of course there are many different stops on the way to their ultimatedestinations in order to give us some situations of them interacting inthe real world, but each one is a lot of fun and we gain a little moredepth to the characters at each stop. All of the characters arewell-fleshed out and don't feel like just another retread ofstereotypes we've seen over and over again. One of the things thatreally surprised me is that when a little romance starts to bloombetween Pena and McAdams, I didn't roll my eyes like I would haveexpected but instead I smiled and enjoyed watching this flirtation growbetween the two of them in a non-typical way. And all the way throughwe are treated to three strong performances from three solid actors.

    The real star is Rachel McAdams, who I'd say is Oscar-worthy. She keepsthe laughs coming all the way through and steals every single scenewith her bright eyes and southern drawl, but you can tell that there isreal emotion brimming just under the surface. She's a girl who hasevery reason to hate life with a fury, but she remains optimistic andtries to get those around her to enjoy living just as much as she does.One scene in particular, when she finally meets the family of herfallen friend, is a showcase for what an extraordinary actress she is.This is her best performance by a long shot, and definitely one of thebest of the year. The Lucky Ones is something that could have beenobvious and clichéd, but ended up being just the opposite; a refreshingand very well-acted story that I wish wasn't destined to be forgottencome awards season.

  2. Neil Turner from Annapolis, Maryland
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    Three soldiers who have received non life threatening wounds in Iraqare together on a plane to New York. Two of them are on thirty dayleaves while the other has served his time and is on his way home. Dueto a power outage, all flights out of New York have been canceled. Thethree agree to rent a car together in order to continue the trip totheir destinations. Thus begins a road trip that is highly dramaticwith its share of comic events.

    Fred Cheaver is the middle aged father figure of the three – a man whonever really expected to do anything in the army except serve hisdomestic reserve duty. He is glad to be rid of the whole thing and isheaded home to his wife and son. The two young soldiers who accompanyFred are Colee Dunn and T.K. Poole. Colee is a bright-eyed innocent whois on a mission for a fallen comrade who saved her life. T.K. is a nononsense soldier from a family of soldiers who plans to make the armyhis career and move up the chain of command.

    Whereas, Fred's quest is to return home to wife and son, Colee's andT.K.'s goals are to travel to Las Vegas for two entirely differentreasons. Colee wants to return her dead comrade's treasured guitar tohis family. T.K.'s reason is somewhat mysterious, but we know it isrelated in some way to his injury that has left him temporarilyimpotent.

    As with all road trip films, the experiences and interactions of thesethree lead to conclusions not expected by them or the viewers.

    Unlike most films featuring vets returning from the horrors of war,this film is not filled with dark angst – not to say the characters arenot well-fleshed and genuine. These three are real people with realproblems, but their depictions are not heavy-handed.

    During this film, the viewer gets to enjoy the work of three excellentactors. Tim Robbins gives his usual fine, understated performance asthe older man facing some totally unexpected twists of fate. RachelMcAdams gives Colee a likable innocence but also reveals some darkerlayers of her character. Michael Peña is very, very good as the machoguy with a heart who only wants to be a good soldier. Watching thesethree interact is a real treat.

    Some may consider the treatment of the subject matter of this film toolight handed, but it has a gentleness that rings true. It is surelyworth watching.

  3. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy) from Memphis, Tennessee
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    (Synopsis) After recovering from their wounds in the Iraq War, threesoldiers are sent back to the United States. Sgt. T.K. Poole (MichaelPena) and Pvt. Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) are given a 30-day leave,and Sgt. Fred Cheever (Tim Robbins) is retiring. The three soldiers nowhave a new mission. T.K is going home to visit his fiancée, Colee isgoing to return a guitar to the family of the man who saved her life,and Fred is going home to his wife in St. Louis. When they arrive atJFK Airport in New York, all fights have been canceled, because of ablackout. The three decide to rent a van and drive to St. Louis, andonce there, T.K. and Colee can catch a plane to Las Vegas. What startedout to be a short 14 hour trip ends up being a journey across America.Along the way, the three soldiers who had just met at JFK, become closefriends.

    (My Comment) This is a human interest story that explores theinterpersonal aspects that war has on our soldiers, especially the oneswho are injured as they return home. We learn the pitfalls of returningto this country where our soldiers are only given a token "Thank You"platitude from the public. We also see how three soldiers bandtogether, and become in a sense a family taking care of one another.The film gives enough time in the character development of each soldierthat we begin to like each soldier, and you wouldn't mind making themyour friends. Their cross-county road trip is full of foolishmisadventures that are memorable. For the most part, the film isserious to a point, yet it is also a comedy. I believe this small filmwill be one of those sleeper movies that the public will like, and itcould be a hit. (QED International, Run Time 1:55, Rated R) (8/10)

  4. Lorenzo_von_Matterhorn from every where
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    Neil Burger's offbeat, quirky, dramatic movie is a triumph. It succeedsin all the aspects, from the technical parts to the acting, I can'tfind a single negative thing about it. Burger doesn't dilly-dallyaround, he went straight to the point of his subject, giving a fairamount of time for each of the three characters (McAdams, Pena andRobbins) to develop and eventually you can't help but really likethem…a lot. Especially McAdams but more on that later. The script istightly wound, the chemistry between the three protagonists doesn'tseem forced, the movie doesn't force you to like them the moment themovie starts but instead, these colorful characters will gradually growon you.

    Tim Robbins, one of my favorite actors, doesn't disappoint. 2008, Ihave seen him in two movies the other one being The City of Ember. Andas long as a movie has Tim Robbins in it, I'm sold. That's why Iwatched 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 beenbothering his character, you can't help but laugh at how one-sided andridiculous his problem is. Pena gives one of his greatest performanceon screen. And of course, the belle of the ball, the star of the show,Rachel McAdams gives a quirky, zesty and joyful performance as alovable Southerner and I can't help but be reminded of another quirky,zesty and joyful character, Amelie. She just keeps the laughs rollingin and steal every scene she's in. She gives the character such depththat one might come off as one dimensional had it been portrayed by alesser talent. Definitely an underrated performance for 2008.

    Highly recommended.

  5. MacAindrais from Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    The Lucky Ones (2008) ***1/2

    Here's a fact: movies about the current war in Iraq have done about aswell as… well, the current war in Iraq. To be fair, none of them havereally been great. Even Tommy Lee Jones' In the Valley of Elah did notmanage well financially, though it did manage to get half decentreception from critics. Understandably most of the films have beenpretty heavy handed, and just as understandably, audiences have beensatiating those taste buds with other, less controversial and subjects.But then comes along The Lucky Ones, starring Tim Robbins, MichaelPena, and Rachael McAdams. The film is about 3 soldiers returning homefrom Iraq; two on leave for 30 days, the other out for good. Instead ofsticking to the usual downbeat tones of other Iraq films, it's more ofa hopeful charmer and quite a funny one too. It's really more of a goodold fashioned American road movie with soldiers than a war movie. Butthat didn't stop people from not going. The film got only limitedrelease through 2008, despite gaining fans on the festival circuit.

    Three soldiers return home from Iraq after meeting each other on theplane ride. When they arrive on American soil to catch their connectingflights, they discover that the airport is backed up solid due to ablack out. Rather than wait around, Cheaver (Robbins) decides he'sclose enough to his home in St. Louis to rent a car and drive. TK andColee (Pena and McAdams) decide they should join him. They're bothheading to Las Vegas and figure they can probably make the drive andcatch a flight out of St. Louis by the time they would here.

    Colee is heading to Vegas to return her boyfriend's vintage guitar tohis family. He died in the war. TK is heading to Vegas for someprofessional help before he meets up with his fiancé. Hookers andstrippers? Colee inquires. Kind of – but not for the usual reasons. Yousee, they all have wounds, but some more sensitive than others. Cheaverinjured his back in a not so heroic way, but he's more amused andrelieved about it than embarrassed. Colee's been shot in the leg, andsports an unhealed wound and a limp. TK gets the best of both theirworlds: he's been wounded by shrapnel in a not so public area. Now, ashe says, it doesn't work right. He's going to Vegas to meet with some"professionals" to test his own little soldier out. "I can't go back tomy fiancé without knowing it works, we'd have nothing to talk about!" Astrange predicament for two people about to be married.

    Cheaver, being the oldest in his 40s, is usually something of a fatherfigure to the younger TK and Colee. On their trip those two firstbicker before becoming closer. Colee openly talks about her late ex,and tells the tales he told her of robbing a Casino in Vegas to pay offhis loan shark debts. TK responds with coldness and ridicules the deadman for his character. It results, inevitably in having to pull overand the keys inevitably being locked in the car.

    The Lucky One's certainly doesn't go anywhere we really don't expect itto, but the paths it takes to get there aren't necessarily always theone's we expect. For example, given how quickly the trio arrive in St.Louis, it's obvious something will have to happen to keep it going.It's no big surprise to reveal that his wife wants a divorce, thoughshe apparently is not cheating on him. Meanwhile their son breaks thebig news that he got into Stanford, but needs 20 grand to secure hisspot. So Cheaver decides he'll go to visit his brother or maybe even goto Vegas and win the money. That guitar Colee carries around isactually even worth 20 grand, though he doesn't want it, and she has togive it to her dead boyfriends family. She wants to give it to him butobviously knows she can't, although what she knows about her deadboyfriend seems to be less and less as time goes on.

    The movie is populated with the usual oddball characters and chanceencounters you find on cross country road trips, or in cross countryroad trip movies. There's a stop over at a church where they meet avery wealthy parishioner who invites them to a party, where among otherthings they encounter a young man against the war, another man whothinks after meeting the trio there's a good reason why they're losingthe war, and a horny wife with the hots for the old Cheaver. Elsewherethey encounter the usual road side bars and motels, traveling sexworkers and a rogue Tornado. And of course, along the way eachconfronts their own issues and demons.

    The Lucky Ones is a funny and winning little movie. It's above all elsea very human movie. The characters are what makes it succeed, not it'sstory. All three leads give wonderful and sincere performances,particularly McAdams as Colee. She's naive but not unintelligent, andtough but still vulnerable.

    What could have been a downer filled with cheap shots and cheap tacticsis instead smart and even handed, and above all respectful. That's notto say that it's necessarily a "safe" movie – but then again a moviethat's best described as a road comedy about Iraq Veterans probablycannot be. It's above all else a very human movie. The characters arewhat makes it succeed, not it's story. All three leads give wonderfuland sincere performances, particularly McAdams as Colee. She's naivebut not unintelligent, and tough but still vulnerable. The movie endsas the soldiers' leave expires and they must return. At least for nowthey've been the lucky ones. Here's to hoping they stayed lucky.

  6. moviewaffle from Ireland
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    I'd never heard of Neil Burger's "The Lucky Ones" until a friendrecommended it to me after catching it on a flight to Australia.Released in theatres stateside last year, it was pulled after making apaltry $267,000 in its opening week. This is a hell of a shame as whatwe have here is the first great movie about the Iraq war. Threesoldiers return to the states on leave and through circumstances end upon a road trip to Vegas. Michael Pena is a cocky Sargeant with a woundin his manhood, struggling to come to terms with how his Fiancé willreact to his impotence. Tim Robbins is a veteran trying to find themoney to send his kid to college and thus stop him enlisting. But thestandout performance, and quite possibly the standout performance ofthe past year full stop, comes from Rachel McAdams as a naive privatereturning her dead boyfriends guitar to his family. Her turn here isfar superior to anything Oscar nominated this year and probably thebest from an American actress since Hilary Swank in Million DollarBaby. The films strongest point is its lack of a "message". Pro war orAnti war, you'll find your own point of view here and Burger is subtleenough to allow you the privilege. I won't give it away but this has agreat ambiguous seventies style ending, just the way I like 'em. It'salways a good sign when a movie ends and you wish you could get to seemore of the characters, and it's an all too rare occurrence in moderncinema. For this Burger and his cast should be applauded.

  7. KVolchok from Portugal
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    The Lucky ones concerns three Iraq War soldiers who have just returnedto the States: Fred Cheever (Tim Robbins) is out for good, and can'twait to reunite with his wife and son in St. Louis; T.K. Poole (MichaelPena) has suffered an embarrassing injury and is on his way toreconnecting with his fiancée before heading back overseas; and thealso-injured Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) is on a mission to deliver aprecious guitar to her deceased boyfriend's parents in Las Vegas. Thesestrangers are brought together when JFK Airport is shut downindefinitely. Deciding that renting a car is a better option thantwiddling their thumbs and waiting for the planes to fly, they hit theroad on an eventful journey that will bring them closer together thanthey ever would have expected… The Lucky Ones is a film that doesn'treally make any statements about the war. Instead it's a characterstudy of these 3 soldiers and it shows how the return from war can beweird and bizarre. The film handles some very dramatic subjects but,always in a light way. As in every road trip film, the character'sjourney is full of chance encounters and misadventures, and each one ofthe soldiers ends up fighting some of their own demons or coming tocertain realizations. Granted, some of the events feel a bit contrived,but this is a dramedy, not a realistic war drama. The film was verywell acted starting with Michael Pena, who despite doing mostly smallroles, was a pleasant surprise as a central character. The veteran TimRobbins delivered a good, even if subtle, performance as the oldersoldier who's life becomes upside down. However the film belongs to thegorgeous Rachel McAdams; she was feisty, charismatic and overall, justgreat, as she usually is. One cannot help but to fall a little bit inlove with her every time she does a film. At the end of the day, TheLucky Ones is a quirky little film with a certain gentleness that worksmainly, because it focuses on the characters and their emotions and noton the war and it's motives. Definitely a nice watch.


  8. Nathaniel Sundberg from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    This is one of the funniest movies about serious topics, and I thoughtthe acting was excellent. Almost every scene in the film has the threemain actors in it, and the dynamic between them is fun to watch. Thethree soldiers coming home on leave find themselves stuck together, anda road trip adventure ensues. The circumstances they get into tell us alot about the characters, and each scene gives more depth to theindividuals and the relationships that develop. I really liked allthree main characters even with their flaws.

    I laughed more during this movie than I usually do during comedies so Iguess that means it has my kind of humor. Unlike the review by "Superand Mik", I didn't think it was slow or the ending at all predictable.I thought the plot was engaging. I rated the movie 9 out of 10 stars,but I'm not sure what could have made it a ten. It's well written witha balance between comedy and drama. It's perfectly cast, and I alsoliked the directing and attention to detail. I highly recommend thisflick. I don't understand why it flopped at the box office.

  9. dave-sturm from Baltimore
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    Three soldiers back from Iraq team up and rent a car to drive to theirrespective destinations. Things happen to them along the way. When theyget to their destinations, what they find is not what they expected.

    That's "The Lucky Ones" in a nutshell. But it doesn't do justice tothis quirky, touching and funny film.

    Tim Robbins and Michael Pena give sturdy, soldierly performances, butthe real story here is Rachel McAdams, who is mesmerizing as the blunttalking, somewhat naive, wounded (literally, in her thigh), deeplyreligious, sexually open minded and perpetually optimistic Pvt. ColeeDunn. She is a ray of pure southern sunshine and steals every scene sheis in.

    Some highlights: A furious McAdams throws her soda on Pena when heinsults her boyfriend, killed in Iraq, by saying he was unfit to be asoldier because he supposedly did armed robbery.

    McAdams lashes out in a bar when some valley girl-types mock her limp."Good thing I didn't have my weapon," she says after.

    All three end up at an evangelical service and McAdams stands up totestify, blithely telling embarrassing secrets about her companionswhile they cringe.

    After locking their keys in the car, they trudge off for help and endup at a Hummer dealership. On the way back in a luxury Hummer, theycompare this one with what they're more used to.

    When McAdams arrives at her dead boyfriend's family, she finds out hiscolorful depiction of them was somewhat embellished. What she decidesto tell them about him is even more embellished to spare theirfeelings. In fact, this scene is so moving it is probably the highlightof McAdams acting career.

    Robbins is at a rich man's party and meets a beautiful woman who beginsflirting with him. He asks if she's married and she says, "Umm." Theyboth start laughing hysterically.

    This movie has many such moments.

    One lowlight: A contrived, cheap-looking tornado scene that's just inthe movie to give Pena and McAdams a chance to huddle in a drainpipe,allowing a certain delightful discovery to be made. Afterward, thetwister has blown the landscape to pieces, but their vehicle isuntouched.

    Final thought: This is not an Iraq movie. This is an America movie.

  10. benbree from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 2:54 pm

    This is excellent. This movie is a great example of how those in themilitary take care on one another. After my five years of militaryservice as a Marine, I have found no other organization that works sowell. This was a great example of how we (those in the military) get itdone each and every day. It also illustrates that in the military welearn to work with both men and women and all colors. It is a simplematter of what is required to get the job done. Thanks for a goodexample of life in and out of the military.

    The characters were true to form and based on my experience showed theway it really is as one tries to adapt and adjust to live afterreturning from a deployment. It was so smart to include a woman and towrite the lines in such a way to show that she was an equal. While onlya newbie to the military, she demonstrated life experiences andknowledge that helped the more senior members of the cast. A great jobof balancing and showing that life experiences help those in themilitary deal with situations.

    I do not think I can say enough how much I enjoyed watching this movieand experiences the life of military members through the characters inthis film. Again, great job!

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