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The Lucky Ones
The Lucky Ones
Actors: Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, Michael Peņa, Howard Platt, Arden Myrin
Director: Neil Burger
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Military & War
R     2009     1hr 55min

Three Iraq War vets bond while driving from New York to Las Vegas.

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Movie Details

Actors: Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, Michael Peņa, Howard Platt, Arden Myrin
Director: Neil Burger
Creators: Declan Quinn, Rolfe Kent, Naomi Geraghty
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

JC B. (peditex) from MT PLEASANT, TX
Reviewed on 3/6/2011...
"The Lucky Ones" as a title may have been somewhat misleading...however, in the end, maybe just maybe being "The Lucky Ones" describes more about how the three main characters imagine themselves as a consequence of being thrown together as initially unimaginable "partners" via an unplanned roadtrip born out of desperation. Rachel McAdams, Michael Pena, and Tim Robbins portray three soldiers trying to find their individual way home--both literally and figuratively--after a prolonged tour of duty in Iraq.

This movie is not so much about the war experience (although there are elements woven into the story); nor is it about cliche' conflict between soldiers (although moments of conflict do occur); nor is this a "buddy movie" (although portions of the film do favor buddies laboring together for the common good of all). "The Lucky Ones" is a worthwhile movie done on a smaller budget nonetheless with talented actors providing a credible job in their craft.

There are moments of comedy which sometimes catch the viewer by surprise. There are moments of candid reality checks that you knew were coming, but not managed in heavy-handed way. There are elements of heart-warming redemption that serves to pull the movie all together; even making sense of a non-sensical situation.

OK, sure, while it's not "Gone With the Wind" in theatrical character, the movie IS about character and characters that you will have a hard time putting out of your mind, even long after the movie has ended. You will not regret the time you spend sharing your life with this movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL
Reviewed on 6/25/2010...
I have to admit, this was indeed a PLEASANT surprise. A drama/road movie about 3 soliders on leave, which will make you laugh, make your cry, make you cringe a bit (although nothing overly gross or bloody), and at the end, I almost wished the movie was LONGER!

The 3 stars turn in BRILLIANT performances and I couldn't help but fall in love with Rachel McAdams' character.

Very High Recommend!!!
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC
Reviewed on 12/31/2009...
This is a Masterpiece. I can't say enough good things about it. We all know that mega budget movies , showing the end of the world with dazzling special EFX captures the attention of a certain demographic - namely the young who are fond of white knuckle adrenalin rushes. But what about those of us looking for timeless literary qualities-the kind that lasts into the next generation? This low key, low budget movie is flawless.
I need to underscore having come home from a combat zone in the 60's, only to discover there was no honoring of the vet that we see today. To this nation's credit, we do that now. But back then, movies portrayed combat veterans in a grotesquely distorted way. The end result was permanent unemployment for life for all of us. Those movies made people , namely human resources folks who do the hiring, scared to death of us. We came home to a chicken s___ bunch of save their own asses, selfish jerks. Fifty thousand died in V/N, and another 50,000 died after coming home. That is a criminal indictment if there ever was one.
This movie touches on that, briefly. Rachel McAdams who plays the wounded female soldier on leave, encounters a group of these chicken s___ jerks in a bar...and opens up a can of whip ass on them. By and large though, these soldiers are people just like you-with normal wants and needs, and fears. Many of the 'civilians' portrayed in the movie are very nice and helpful to these vets struggling mightily with individual issues. The soldier played by Tim Robbins is informed by his wife that she no longer wants to be married. This, of course, is a bigger bombshell shock than any that he experienced in combat. Millions of us V/N vets experienced that exact same shock.
That's all I can reveal. I encourage you to watch and enjoy this extremely well produced movie-thank you producers from the bottom of my heart for making this great movie, that you knew would fly under the radar, and hardly be noticed. The acting on the part of all, especially Tim, Rachel, and Michael Pena will astound you. This is a masterpiece of film making.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Good and Fair Look at Our Soldiers and Very Entertaining
Ken Douglas | Landlocked in Reno | 03/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though I think Tim Robbins is a fine actor, too often I think his politics sneak into his roles and though politically I pretty much agree with him, when I see a movie I want to escape the real world, usually anyway. Robbins was better than excellent as the wacko in the cellar in The War of the Worlds and he was superb in Mystic River, so he can and does act well above his politics.

But when Vesta brought this one home I knew I was going to get a preachy anti-Iraq war film, but I was wrong. This movie is about three very different kinds of people, two young people home on leave and an older reservist, played by Robbins, whose tour is over. Bad weather forces them to rent a car and the movie turns into a road trip.

And there is road trip humor here. And there are characters who are opposed to the war, as I would have expected. But what I didn't expect was to see the characters who support the war portrayed as decent, caring, human beings. Actually, if anything, the characters who one would think agree with Robbins' politics, come off as being close minded and a bit simple.

The movie, on the other hand, is anything but simple. It's a complex look at the soldiers who are fighting the war, their beliefs, what they face when they come home and why they're in the all volunteer Army in the first place. This is a good and fair movie, what's more it's entertaining.

PS. I'd be remise if I didn't mention the outstanding acting of Michael Pena as the soldier who was wounding in the privates and is on his way to Las Vegas to find some of those special kind of women they have there who might be able to get it working again. And rounding out this ensemble is Rachel McAdams, a girl returning the guitar of a fallen comrade to his parents. She's wacky, zany, quirky and charming all at the same time and she'll steal your heart. Mr. Robbins couldn't have found better people to be in a movie with."
Lucky enough to be alive and enjoy life
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 07/03/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"While there are some disassociations with reality and home life for those stationed overseas in war, three returning wounded soldiers must objectively view their fortune when their home lives begin to dissolve around them. T.K. (Michael Pena), a leader returning to his fiancée in a precarious situation; Cheaver (Tim Robbins), an old veteran who is bidding adieu to his Army career but facing a home life that is potentially more volatile than war; and Colee (Rachel McAdams), a naïve but fresh-faced Private returning a loved one's heirloom to his family while dragging around her bum leg.

This wonderful tale of three soldiers sharing time on a cross-country road trip moves a bit slowly, but the realism, character development, and impeccable acting helps the pacing move along a bit. Friendship among the three appears to be real, and their bond forms quickly as they learn about one another's life and troubles. Charming chemistry is tough to come by; yet the camaraderie among these three returning soldiers feels genuine.

Much like Home of the Brave, there are some unfortunate clichés holding back the script. Not all soldiers sleep in their PTs, all soldiers coming home from war do not have PTSD, and despite what Hollywood would have us believe, they don't resort to violence as a first response to difficult situations when they have difficulties fitting into "normal" society. It's just a slanted view of troubled soldiers that gives the impression of people who are different from the rest of us, and I wish there were more movies that showed similarities instead of perceived differences. Our society has evolved quite a bit since the post-Vietnam days. I hate to say it, but I suspect this paragraph has something to do with Tim Robbins' politics. Thankfully, Robbins doesn't let his beliefs get in the way too much, and the majority of the film rightfully shows detractors of the military as close-minded idiots.

Despite the mixed politics and predictable ending, the majority of the movie is full of humor and humanity. Subtle inertia seems to drive the characters' decisions, creating a heart-warming rendering of their time together. Finding the positive side of one's misfortunes is what truly makes the beginnings of a hero; it's the ability to get back up after life has knocked you down. I recommend this film for those tired of the typical plot-less CGI-lovefest being regurgitated by contemporary Hollywood shills."