Metascore
39

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 35
  2. Negative: 10 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 19, 2012
    63
    Efron, who wears an "All glory is fleeting" tattoo on his back and a soulful look on his face, gets to be more of a grown-up in The Lucky One than in most of what he's done before.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Apr 19, 2012
    63
    The most fortunate thing about The Lucky One is that despite a plot hole so big it could generate its own gravity field, it's still not a bad movie.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Apr 18, 2012
    63
    The Lucky One is at its heart a romance novel, elevated however by Nicholas Sparks' persuasive storytelling.
  4. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 18, 2012
    63
    The Lucky One delivers what's expected from it: a heartfelt romantic melodrama with attractive actors in the lead roles; gauzy, moody photography; a saccharine score; and all the heat that a PG-13 production can muster.
  5. Reviewed by: Emma Dibdin
    May 7, 2012
    60
    A through-and-through weepie that's unlikely to convert any Sparks naysayers. The darker hues of its war-based story nonetheless make the sugary excesses easier to swallow.
  6. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Apr 20, 2012
    60
    Efron's stopped-clock seriousness is more convincing on a melancholy loverboy than it is on a melancholy soldier. We can't quite sense the harrowing torment of lives lost before his eyes, but we can sense the sweet anguish of being around the woman you adore. It'll have to do.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 19, 2012
    60
    The Sparks-styled romance has almost become its own movie genre - predictable, pure of heart, sentimental and never straying from the boy-meets-girl basics, or the surface, for that matter - and in that The Lucky One delivers.
  8. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Apr 19, 2012
    60
    The Lucky One aspires to but never reaches the grandly melodramatic heights of the über-Sparks adaptation "The Notebook," though a reconciliation embrace in an outdoor shower of some sort seems deliberately staged to evoke the earlier feature.
  9. Reviewed by: Tal Rosenberg
    Apr 22, 2012
    50
    As long as Efron's shirt comes off, he could play an accountant and no one in the target audience would care.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 19, 2012
    50
    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.
  11. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Apr 19, 2012
    50
    When it sticks to its central flirtation, the latest movie based on a Nicholas Sparks romance, The Lucky One, is blandly pleasant enough.
  12. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Apr 19, 2012
    50
    As a person who removes a woman's clothing in the half light of a Southern afternoon, Efron acquits himself reasonably well.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 19, 2012
    50
    The leads' chemistry in The Lucky One is more theoretical than actual. Still, the sunsets and sunrises and sunbeams through the windowpanes fall easily on the eyes.
  14. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Apr 18, 2012
    50
    As a pretty, low-stakes bayou romance The Lucky One works well enough. When asked to carry any kind of dramatic weight, however, it collapses.
  15. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 18, 2012
    50
    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.
  16. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Apr 17, 2012
    50
    At this point, Sparksian romances unfold via their own preordained formula, and measures of their merits largely hinge on how well each can bend the cookie-cutter.
  17. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    Apr 30, 2012
    40
    "The Notebook" may have had us blubbing but since then Nicholas Sparks adaptions have offered thin pickings for cinemagoers. For all Efron's boyish charms, this one could be the most ordinary of the lot.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 20, 2012
    40
    As with its gooey, smoochy predecessors, The Lucky One is, beneath it all, a fairy-tale romance, just one with modern trappings.
  19. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 20, 2012
    40
    The biggest problem, however, comes down to chemistry. If the leads have it, a Sparks romance will work.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 19, 2012
    40
    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.
  21. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Apr 19, 2012
    40
    It's all just empty calories and little more than an excuse to watch Zac Efron play with puppies. It's nice, but for anyone who's too mature for Tiger Beat, it's not enough.
  22. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Apr 19, 2012
    40
    The emotions are flat, predictable and forced when they ought to be romantic.
  23. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Apr 18, 2012
    40
    The chickiest flick you're likely to see this season. Depending on your taste in romantic fare, you'll either find it toe-curlingly dreamy or ploddingly predictable.
  24. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Apr 17, 2012
    40
    When a novel gives you soapsuds and washboard abs to work with, what other choice does a director have but to provide the most aesthetically pleasing actors, scenery and sets to disguise the thinness of the underlying material.
  25. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 17, 2012
    40
    Question: What's the only thing worse than doing an unfaithful film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel? Answer: Doing a completely faithful one.
  26. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Apr 19, 2012
    38
    Another Nicholas Sparks novel, another cinematic brush with insulin shock.
  27. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Apr 19, 2012
    38
    Director Scott Hicks lavishes good taste and sunsets on a story that - devoid of genuine tension, conflict or combustible chemistry between its two stars - just prettily sits there.
  28. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Apr 19, 2012
    38
    Seeing her (Schilling) and Efron fumble at each other is like watching a stick of butter and a bag of flour not turn into a cake.
  29. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 19, 2012
    30
    If realism is what you're after, you'll do better at "The Three Stooges." The Lucky One is where you will find death, redemption and kisses in the rain.
  30. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Apr 17, 2012
    30
    No amount of neck nuzzling or back arching can make us believe there's real heat rising between these two. Onscreen chemistry between actors is a mysterious thing - 100 years into cinema, it remains the one story element that Hollywood can't fake.
  31. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Apr 17, 2012
    30
    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.
  32. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Apr 20, 2012
    25
    Supposedly he's suffered, supposedly there are demons lurking within, but guess what: This is a movie. If we can't see it, it's not there.
  33. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Apr 20, 2012
    25
    I'm beginning to think writer Nicholas Sparks isn't one person at all, but a roomful of ladies doing Harlequin-romance Mad Libs. Occasionally they'll hit a winning combination, as in the Sparks novel "The Notebook." More often, you get eye-rollers like "The Lucky One."
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 19, 2012
    25
    Is it the worst of the seven screen Sparks so far? Nope. My vote still goes to 2009's "The Last Song" with Miley Cyrus mothering those unhatched turtle eggs. But it's still pretty damn insufferable.
  35. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 18, 2012
    25
    Move along, guys. Nothing to see in The Lucky One, unless you're in the doghouse at home and need to make nice.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 5 out of 15
  1. Apr 20, 2012
    4
    I've got to admit, the setup works, but the climax is pure deus ex machina. The Lucky One begins with circumstances falling upon Logan, and ends with circumstances exonerating him from the need to do anything about his rival, Keith. This is weak storytelling. At least the cinematography has everything there should be in a date movie; sunrise and sunset shots, carefully placed lens flare in moments of passionate kissing, etc. It's a pretty movie, I'll give it that, but the casting in The Lucky One doesn't work. Efron is all wrong for the role, in any realistic sense. He's got to be the scrawniest, most sensitive marine I've ever seen, and Schilling is lacking in the having "it" category. For a tale of love and lust, The Lucky One comes up half short. Full review on my blog. Full Review »
  2. Apr 20, 2012
    3
    This movie is almost identical to the notebook and other movies. This movie had its moments but most of the love moments have been seen in alot of other movies. The Lucky One is just another repetitive movie Full Review »
  3. Apr 20, 2012
    6
    Sorry to all the people, but I think that the movie is guy (yes I'm like this type of movies), I think that is good watching Zac Efron in other movies (after HSM), but the problem is his performance, is not the better, have some moments but need be better, the rest of the cast have regular performances. Now the story, is good, romantic, and all this things, but the problem is the development, have some problems in the story of the movie. The Lucky One is for the girls that like of this genre of movies (I included), but the rest of the people can watch other thing. Full Review »