The Lucky Ones

September 26th, 2008


The Lucky Ones

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Still of Tim Robbins in The Lucky OnesStill of Tim Robbins in The Lucky OnesEmmanuelle Chriqui at event of The Lucky OnesStill of Michael Peña and Rachel McAdams in The Lucky OnesStill of Tim Robbins in The Lucky OnesStill of Rachel McAdams in The Lucky Ones

The story revolves around three soldiers -- Colee, TK and Cheever -- who return from the Iraq War after suffering injuries and learn that life has moved on without them...

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 7.1/10 (6,659 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Neil Burger

Stars: Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins, Michael Peña

The story revolves around three soldiers -- Colee, TK and Cheever -- who return from the Iraq War after suffering injuries and learn that life has moved on without them. They end up on an unexpected road trip across the U.S., with Colee on a mission to bring her boyfriend's guitar back to his family because he saved her life, TK seeking confidence to face his wife after a shrapnel injury that threatens his sexual function and middle-aged Cheever planning to hit the casinos in a desperate effort to pay for his son's college tuition.

Writers: Neil Burger, Dirk Wittenborn

Rachel McAdams - Colee
Tim Robbins - Cheaver
Michael Peña - TK
Molly Hagan - Pat Cheaver
Mark L. Young - Scott Cheaver
Howard Platt - Stan Tilson
Arden Myrin - Barbara Tilson
Coby Goss - Peter Tilson (as Coburn Goss)
John Heard - Bob
Jennifer Joan Taylor - Bob's Wife
Katherine LaNasa - Janet
Leo Ford - Janet's Husband
Susan Yeagley - Kendra
Emily Swallow - Brandi
John Diehl - Tom Klinger

Taglines: Sometimes losing your way home means finding yourself


Official Website: Official site [United States] |

Release Date: 26 September 2008

Filming Locations: Alsip, Illinois, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $183,088 (USA) (28 September 2008) (425 Screens)

Gross: $183,088 (USA) (28 September 2008)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Canada:  | USA:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

The drinks that Cheaver's wife offers Colee and T.K. are Coca-Colas.

Factual errors: Cheaver could not use his $20,000 re-enlistment bonus for his son's tuition. The bonus would be given in increments and would be heavily taxed. He would not get more than $8,000 of that initially.

Janet: [In a heavy Southern drawl] Ah think ah'm fixin' to cum!

User Review

A very well-acted study of three fragile souls.

Rating: 9/10

Three soldiers are home from Iraq; a 40-ish Tim Robbins out for good and the young Michael Pena and Rachel McAdams on a thirty day leave. Each has their own problem that they are faced with at the beginning of the film. Robbins comes home to a wife who wants a divorce and a son who needs $20,000 for college, Pena suffered a wound that has made him impotent and McAdams lost her friend and wants to find his family in order to return his guitar and live with them since she's lost any ties with her own. Think every problem is going to be solved in a little bow by the end? Well, you'd be right. Think that it's going to really typical and schmaltzy? Not so much on that one. It seems like a film that's made for the obvious ups and downs throughout but it actually manages to be quite original and refreshing. Instead of feeling like a film that's just about resolving the individual situations, it's a lot more carefree and a lot more about these three people simply enjoying life together and keeping one another joyful.

Of course there are many different stops on the way to their ultimate destinations in order to give us some situations of them interacting in the real world, but each one is a lot of fun and we gain a little more depth to the characters at each stop. All of the characters are well-fleshed out and don't feel like just another retread of stereotypes we've seen over and over again. One of the things that really surprised me is that when a little romance starts to bloom between Pena and McAdams, I didn't roll my eyes like I would have expected but instead I smiled and enjoyed watching this flirtation grow between the two of them in a non-typical way. And all the way through we are treated to three strong performances from three solid actors.

The real star is Rachel McAdams, who I'd say is Oscar-worthy. She keeps the laughs coming all the way through and steals every single scene with her bright eyes and southern drawl, but you can tell that there is real emotion brimming just under the surface. She's a girl who has every reason to hate life with a fury, but she remains optimistic and tries to get those around her to enjoy living just as much as she does. One scene in particular, when she finally meets the family of her fallen friend, is a showcase for what an extraordinary actress she is. This is her best performance by a long shot, and definitely one of the best of the year. The Lucky Ones is something that could have been obvious and clichéd, but ended up being just the opposite; a refreshing and very well-acted story that I wish wasn't destined to be forgotten come awards season.


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