Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
Watch On
  1. 75
    This formula is fraught with pitfalls, but the characters and the actors redeem it with a surprising emotional impact.
  2. This is more than the story of soldiers grappling with stress and doubt as they reenter the "normal" flow of domestic life. It's about strangers bonding, about friendship and discovery, about the comedy and tragedy of the human experience.
  3. 75
    This movie has its own emotional sorcery. In a raw, humorous way, it grasps how hope and desperation spur magical thinking and, sometimes, real magic.
  4. 70
    Because the lead actors work so well together, adding depth and levels of vulnerability to fairly underwritten roles, the emotional consequences of the sense of displacement these "lucky" characters -- lucky to be alive, lucky to have met one another -- must deal with always ring true.
  5. 70
    I'd hate to guess whether most Americans know, any more than these fictional partygoers, what soldiers go through in Iraq. But if the market for movies about the war is any indication, they don't want to.
  6. 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.
  7. 67
    Like its lead characters, Lucky is wounded, lost, and impractical, but it has a messy, winning humanity and an agreeably leisurely pace that almost redeems it.
  8. 63
    The weakest aspect of The Lucky Ones is by far the conclusion, which is flat and contrived.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    An entertaining road movie with a topical point: The three passengers on this cross-country trip are U.S. soldiers who've just returned from Iraq.
  11. 63
    As close as a movie about three Iraq war soldiers should come to mediocre TV comedy.
  12. Reviewed by: Stuart Levine
    63
    While the journey is somewhat bumpy and awfully contrived at times, the characters making the trek are ones we don't mind being cooped with for long stretches of highway.
  13. 58
    It's not a political film, but it's also not a bland recitation of homilies about the honor of serving one's country. It's a jokey road movie, in which three soldiers heading home from Iraq are forced into a cross-country van ride together.
  14. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    55
    There's something centrally pat and predictable about the coincidence-laden story, and by the time they get to Vegas, The Lucky Ones has been all but done in by a surfeit of serendipity.
  15. Reviewed by: Sura Wood
    50
    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.
  16. More than a story about Iraq war veterans, The Lucky Ones is a movie about carefully considering one's options.
  17. The film itself, which has everything from erection jokes to a computer-generated tornado, comes down to a battle between the interpreters and a screenplay riddled with convenience, cliche and well-meaning contrivance.
  18. Burger is so respectful of the trio that he never gets under their skin. Apart from the generosity of strangers who pay tribute to the soldiers with little acts of kindness, you get the same generic observations of any road movie.
  19. If this is meant to look fresh while still being sensitive, it doesn't and it isn't.
  20. As the film meanders, the powerful moments barely outnumber the ridiculous. And another excellent performance from McAdams isn't quite good enough to mask the distractions.
  21. About the only thing I like about this movie is its shaggy, relatively apolitical stance. Instead of setting itself up as a brief for or against the Iraq war, it just moseys along without much on its mind except how to connect the dots in the plot.
  22. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    It's hard to find the genuine heartfelt moments in The Lucky Ones.
  23. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    40
    Its hopelessly schematic road-trip arc (bond-fight-reconcile-repeat) grows increasingly tedious.
  24. 30
    Could be filed under "wacky misfire."
  25. 25
    Cheap, ignorant, tone-deaf and condescending, but what's strangest about it is that it actually thinks it's pro-soldier even as it portrays vets home on leave as foolish (Rachel McAdams), desperate (Tim Robbins) and dishonorable (Michael Pena) while playing all three situations for laughs.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. BryanS
    Jun 13, 2009
    8
    More subtle/less obvious than I expected, *for the most part* ... a couple scenes in the middle with odd clippy stereotypes -- not on the More subtle/less obvious than I expected, *for the most part* ... a couple scenes in the middle with odd clippy stereotypes -- not on the part of the main actors -- fell completely flat for me. Full Review »
  2. JohnT
    Jun 1, 2009
    10
    If you cannot find the sincerity in this movie, you may have to check yourself. While it is not billed as the most "realistic" of welcome If you cannot find the sincerity in this movie, you may have to check yourself. While it is not billed as the most "realistic" of welcome home veteran movies, it does an AMAZING job of hitting the right notes on the emotional scale. It is a more heartfelt Little Miss Sunshine with a bit of reality check in the middle. Obviously between the hard right and hard left, critics did not see fit to give it a good score. Watch this movie. Full Review »
  3. MichelleS
    Mar 14, 2009
    10
    I thought this movie was great, as long as you are not trying to get some deep meaning out of it. It was entertaining and that's all I I thought this movie was great, as long as you are not trying to get some deep meaning out of it. It was entertaining and that's all I expected out of it. I like that the story was different from other movies and I liked how the characters slowly unfolded. The movie made me laugh and held my interest and it made me want to watch it again, so in my book that makes it good. Full Review »