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Parents' Guide to

The Lucky Ones

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

War/road trip dramedy is cliched but affecting.

Movie R 2008 115 minutes
The Lucky Ones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Pretty good watch.

This movie wasn't bad. I mainly watched for Rachel McAdams who did a wonderful job playing one of the soldiers on her way back home from Iraq. She meets two other men and together they share a van to all return to their destinations. Each character has issues of their own, they help each other solve them along the way which makes their friendships stronger in the end. A very laid back road trip movie with great characters played by a great cast. Language is strong with plenty of curse words including the f-word. Violence has arguing of a married couple with loud yelling, a close-up bullet wound, a fight scene at a bar, injured soldiers and lots of bickering and complaining. Sexual content has a character having sexual issues after getting shot in the thigh, lots of talk about sex stuff, guy looks for prostitutes to see if they can "cure" him, a married woman goes to bed with a man right after meeting (moaning sounds heard) her husband walks in, sexual remarks throughout. Plenty of drinking. Pretty safe for the 16+ crowd I think.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

THE LUCKY ONES has lots of flaws, including artificial twists, cliched setups, and all-too-familiar road-trip snafus (keys left in a locked car, bickering travelers, etc.). The story opens up like a highway with uninteresting pit stops. But the movie has heart, and that's what saves it. It plays on a low register, smartly aware that its basic premise -- veterans who are hobbled physically must endure emotional warfare, too -- is already intense. Given the heavy subject matter, director Neil Burger smartly realizes that it's better to keep a light touch and deftly mixes humor with drama.

The Lucky Ones is also fortunate to have a great cast. Robbins is sympathetic yet subtle, McAdams balances fear and awkwardness with optimism and spirituality (she really is lovely, even in a role this gritty), and Pena is surprising in a role that's hard to pin down because it's refreshingly complex.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 26, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: January 27, 2009
  • Cast: Michael Pena , Rachel McAdams , Tim Robbins
  • Director: Neil Burger
  • Inclusion Information: Latino actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 115 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language and some sexual content.
  • Last updated: September 15, 2023

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