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Parents' Guide to


By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Elderly existential angst, plus language, drinking, smoking.

Movie NR 2017 88 minutes
Lucky Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

A thinking moviegoers movie. Nobody dies, nobody gets shot. Harry Dean Stanton is fabulous . The actors are to be commended. The sound track is perfect. A colorful film noir.Pay attention to the dialogue and you will be rewarded.

Not for kids. Millennials probably will not get it. A must see for a film buff.
age 15+

No to kids, yes to adults

It takes a thinking adult to appreciate the grace of this film. It does not glamourize smoking - smoking was a powerful and ever present vehicle. There is swearing, but not gratuitous. The brief incidence of pot smoking was not glamorized. It would be odd to imagine anyone who'd want to run out and start smoking pot after seeing this. Among many other "adult" themes, the film covers the nature of existence, life, and death. Growing old. Religion. Compassion. Free will. Never mind keeping kids away because of the swearing and smoking; kids can't process intellectual topics of this level (I have a hard time and I'm 61!) and will probably be confused or maybe even scared a bit. The age at which anyone will make sense of this film will vary. Some people may never have the capacity - or interest - to grapple with these real-life complexities that are uncomfortable or challenge their own beliefs. I thought it was a complex and moving film. That Harry D Stanton died before its release was a powerful coincidence, but not at all essential to an appreciation of the movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Despite the quirky townsfolk and the always-appealing Stanton, this desert town-set film feels slow and, well, dry. The late, storied veteran actor plays an elderly man suddenly facing his own mortality and experiencing an existential crisis. Lucky meanders through his tiny town, interacting with the quirky residents, wondering whether there's any kind of objective truth to the universe or if it's just a collection of subjective realities. Yes, that's what the film is about. It straddles the line between slow-moving slice-of-life drama and surrealism, at times a cross between David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch. Will Lucky have an epiphany? Will anyone find the missing tortoise? What's behind that mysterious door? The answers, cinematically, are a collective shrug.

As it sounds, the film is somewhat in its own head. The script painstakingly reminds us on multiple occasions that its central question is one of "realism" -- that's realism as a philosophical concept, not a cinematic school, as Lucky contains some pretty heavy-handed symbolism (the obligatory red door, the phone calls without obvious participants on the other end, etc.). That's not to say there are no Lucky charms: It's generally amiable, Livingston's harmless lawyer has an affecting speech about a life-changing event, and Skerritt delivers a disturbing monologue about a war experience. But in his directorial debut, veteran character actor John Carroll Lynch has created a lightly genial atmosphere that can't quite get the script's heavy subject matter to float. The point seems to be that there are no definitive answers. That's hard to make dramatically involving. Perhaps the enduring memory of this film will be Stanton's impromptu singing of "Volver, Volver" with a mariachi band. The moment is a lovely keepsake of the longtime actor and singer, whose performances often left viewers with warm feelings.

Movie Details

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