The Lucky One

  • Review Date: April 20, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Sweet but formulaic love story OK for teen romantics.
  • Review Date: April 20, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Lucky One promotes the ideas that struggles don't have to define you and that you must learn to stand up for yourself. Also, that love heals,  that family bonds are very powerful, and that loyalty matters. But it also perpetuates the notion that women, no matter how capable, need the love of a good man to be able to love themselves.

Positive role models

Almost all of the characters, even the one obviously pitched as the "bad guy," have a soft side. Logan is kind, earnest, and principled, and -- despite some nightmares and sadness -- appears generally intact after the war. Beth is a caring mother and daughter. Together, they're a beacon of niceness.

Violence

Gunfight in the middle of a war, with some soldiers shot dead. Innocent bystanders also die. Explosions in war zones. The war scenes in general feel menacing. An abusive man stalks his ex-wife and threatens her when she doesn't give into his demands. Later, he gets into a fight with another man and brandishes a gun at him. A harrowing scene shows people about to fall into a raging river during a storm.

Sex

Couples kiss passionately in the shower and in a bedroom while they remove each other's clothing (shot in close-ups that don't show private parts); sex is implied on more than one occasion. One scene depicts the woman with her hand down the back of a man's pants, with the upper part of his backside showing.

Language

Relatively infrequent use of words including "s--t," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," and "ass."

Consumerism

An iPod is seen, as is a Mitsubishi car.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink on dates and at social functions. The movie's bad guy gets drunk and starts a fight with another man. Beth gets a little tipsy during a date.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like other romances based on Nicholas Sparks novels -- including The Last Song, Dear John, and The Notebook -- The Lucky One is filled with swoony, sentimental moments involving a pair of star-crossed lovers kept apart by their life challenges and personal struggles. Expect some gauzy love scenes (mostly kissing and early stage undressing -- no private parts are seen, though the top of a male backside is visible); infrequent swearing ("s--t," etc.), some drinking by adults, some tense scenes of peril and confrontation, and jarring-but-not-graphic wartime scenes in which grenades explode and soldiers are shot dead. Although the movie means well overall, it does suggest that women need the love of a good man to be able to love themselves.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) returns from his third tour of duty shell-shocked, having survived not one but a handful of close calls. The biggest one was a face-off with the enemy that left many dead. But somehow, Logan was spared when he stopped to pick up a picture on the ground -- the good-luck charm of an unknown soldier. The photo is that of a beautiful woman, whose soothing face Logan thinks somehow protects him from harm. When he goes home, Logan makes it his mission to find the woman, Beth (Taylor Schilling). While winning her heart isn't hard, keeping it is.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As Nicholas Sparks romances go, THE LUCKY ONE is one of the better ones -- quite a feat, considering it doesn't star Ryan Gosling. Efron and Schilling share an easy chemistry, which is key, of course. But as a romantic story on its own, The Lucky One doesn't hold a candle to the classics of the genre -- The English Patient if we're to get lofty, or even An Officer and a Gentleman.

Those movies boast a complexity that evokes the complications of life on two battlefield fronts: love and war. The Lucky One isn't so lucky (or, rather, well crafted). It's bogged down by hokey dialogue and stilted acting. Efron, who actually has shown some talent, appears to think "wooden" passes for "mysterious" here. Only Blythe Danner, as Beth's grandmother, is unscathed. She's witty and breezy and soulful in all the right moments, and we're lucky for that.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why romantic movies often seem to have female characters who can't seem to find their strength and center without first falling in love. What's the message here?

  • How does The Lucky One depict romance and relationships? Do you think it's realistic/accurate?

  • What is the movie saying about the toll that war takes on soldiers?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 20, 2012
DVD release date:August 28, 2012
Cast:Blythe Danner, Taylor Schilling, Zac Efron
Director:Scott Hicks
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Romance
Topics:Book characters
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexuality and violence

This review of The Lucky One was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old April 21, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Lucky One

I loved it it was so good.They did make out but no private things were shown

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byChembuh April 21, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Zac Efron transforms into an okay adult.

I read this book when I was 15. I know I am mature enough and I hope I can watch it. It was a great and romantic read. Logan Thibault just wanted to find his place in the world with his dog, haha. I hope Zac Efron plays out the role well. I am 16 now. If you have a teenager, let them watch it if they are 14 and over. And make sure they know what sex is and blah blah. I'm fine, I'm not pregnant young, so there are actually mature teenagers. Teach your kids right, and give them the opportunity to experience life and feelings.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byjoshua martinez April 22, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

14 and up.

The Lucky One is a great romance movie about love and family bond stars with zac efron from high school musical but parents this movie The Lucky One has some intense war violence in the beginning of the film and there are some sex scenes shown but no nudity shown also some mild language used and a little bit of drinking the message in this movie is about that the ideas that struggles don't have to define you and that you must learn to stand up for yourself. Also, that love heals, that family bonds are very powerful, and that loyalty matters But it also perpetuates the notion that women, no matter how capable, need the love of a good man to be able to love themselves and the role models are that Logan is kind, earnest, and principled, and despite some nightmares and sadness appears generally intact after the war. Beth is a caring mother and daughter Together, they're a beacon of niceness.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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