Box art for The Lucky One

The Lucky One

drama, romance


U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alivea photograph of a woman he doesn't even know.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    20%
  • Audience Score
    68%

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Violence
3 out of 5
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5

Sweet but formulaic love story OK for teen romantics.

what 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.

what 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 reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    20%
    reviews counted: 19
    see all The Lucky One reviews
  • Audience

    68%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A lazy (in all ways) Nicholas Sparks romance that's as pretty and vacant as its hero.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, April 20, 2012

Rotten: A sudsy romantic melodrama that in the 1950s would have been directed with lurid overkill by the likes of Douglas Sirk.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, April 20, 2012

Rotten: Even taken as simple schmaltz, 'The Lucky One' lacks the romantic impact of the adaptation of Sparks's 'The Notebook' or even the Channing Tatum-starrer 'Dear John'.

- Anna Smith, Time Out, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Audience Reviews

2 stars

The Lucky One is another film adaption of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and by this point I have come to realize that these films are going to be as clich (C) and predictable as possible. They will make more oh don't you worry, and sadly they will probably all be as pointless as this film. I have not seen a good adaption of his books since The Notebook which I enjoyed, but others like The Last Song, Dear John, and A Walk to remember have been pathetic attempts at romance films and this film joins that league. This movie is just like every single Nicholas Sparks story, just with some small changes with characters and a different scenario. You know that one movie every woman just falls head over heels for and tweets about it looking so romantic but it is actually a bad film, this is that new movie. I was not a fan of the movie for it being very predictable and overly dramatic, but it has its good parts and it was not as bad as some really bad romance films I have seen lately. The story follows U.S. Marine sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) who was serving his country overseas when he happened across a discarded photo of a beautiful woman. An inscription on the back read "Keep Safe," yet the photo revealed no clues about either the subject or her whereabouts. Upon returning home to civilian life, Logan conducts his own research and discovers that the woman's name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and that she cares for dogs at a small-town kennel. Before long, Logan manages to get a job at the kennel, and sets his sights on winning Beth's heart. But it won't be easy because Beth's past experiences have made her wary of relationships. Meanwhile, as Logan works to earn Beth's trust, a dark secret from her past threatens to derail his hope for a happy future together. The plot was definitely and almost completely what I expected it to be, a predictable romance where everything you guess will happen ends up being correct. There were no surprises, there were no new formulas being tried, there was just an empty feeling in my stomach that I had just paid money for a movie that I have seen a thousand times before. The characters are melodramatic dorks who spend half the time just trying to appeal to the female audience, while leaving the men of the audience asleep and waiting for their money on their wives and girlfriends to be put to good use. This movie almost made me cry with how many bad clich (C)s they have in it, and it(TM)s almost laughable looking and how desperate they are for money that they made a film this pathetic. If you are looking for a great romance, I suggest you look elsewhere. The cast has a good group of actors, but they are destroyed by a bad script and boring characters. Zac Efron has had some decent performances in his career and some very bad ones, this movie his performance was about on the middle of that line since his boring character with no true background other than he is a nice fella, and it hurt Efrons performance. Taylor Shilling has not really been in any films that are memorable, and here she shows her potential but her incredibly clich (C) character drags her down, just like Zac Efron. The rest of the cast was decent but like I mentioned before with detail, these characters destroyed the ensembles chances at being truly recognized. The Lucky One didn't bring anything new to the table, so it failed to entertain me and that is the main thing that film should do. The cast was decent but they were ruined by the script that could've have been saved if they had tweaked it a lot, or at least gave it some interesting characters. Zac Efron is one of the main reasons people will go see this, an honestly his career may be getting bigger but he needs to star in some better movies (with the exception of me and Orson Welles). When watching this movie, I could have left for like 20 minutes and still would have been able to understand everything, and it is ad when I a movie am that slow and uneventful. It(TM)s a very boring movie, and I could have cared less what was going on during it.

- fb1526363679, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2 stars

Oh geez, why do I keep subjecting myself to failed Nicholas Sparks attempts? Because I am hoping for another Notebook or Walk to Remember that will never come. Taylor Schilling gave us an incredible sob fest in the garden. Great acting. I was hoping that would be the last melodramatic part but I hoped too soon. (With Sparks films, there is always more melodrama.) It started out really great until the two main characters had premarital sex and then the rest of the movie went downhill as the ending seemed to be a very heavy-handed formulaic script where I could pretty much guess what happened next... right down the melodramatic storm and subsequent death. WHY Nicholas Sparks, why? PLEASE give us something more.

- crazydannielle16, Tuesday, November 13, 2012

0 star

Nicholas Sparks should stop writing novels for all of our sakes. "The Lucky One" is yet another failed attempt at adapting a Sparks love story onto the big screen, as well as a lackluster directorial choice in the once promising, but now spiraling career of Scott Hicks (Hearts in Atlantis, Shine). And did I mention that his film stars Zac Efron (17 Again, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax) adding another B list role to his filmography? Before I begin my review, I want my readership to know that I am not dumb. I know that no matter what I say, good or bad, about "The Lucky One", it will in no way deter the excitable Efron fans from wasting their money. But like so many "don't text while driving" PSA's, I will do my best to prevent the inevitable. If I can just reach that one girl (or sadly, woman) who still has a "High School Musical" poster on her bedroom wall, then this review will have not all been for nothing. Synopsis: A Marine, named Logan (Efron), fighting in Afghanistan or a place resembling such, finds a mysterious photo of a very average looking woman, (played by Taylor Schilling) in the dirt. When he goes to retrieve it, a bomb goes off behind him, killing three other soldiers. Taking this photo as a sign of good luck, he decides to keep it in his wallet for the rest of his tour, in order to avert death. No, this is not the beginning of the new "Final Destination" film, even though there is one other instance where Logan is yet again attacked, but emerges as the only survivor. Anyways, once back home (in Colorado) Logan decides that he must investigate who this mysteriously average looking woman is. It turns out that her name is Beth. It also turns out that Beth lives in Louisiana. So, such as any sane man would, he decides to walk there. Yes, walk from Colorado to Louisiana! Ok, so I haven't even broached the heart of the film (the love story) and yet anyone with half a brain reading this can already tell that "The Lucky One" was clearly setting itself up to be heavily criticized by someone like me. And don't even get me started on how barely there the conflict between Logan and Beth is. Suffice to say, "The Lucky One" is a film which could have been resolved in the first 5 minutes, by Logan just revealing to Beth the circumstances of how he came to acquire a picture of her. But, due to the fact that ALL feature length movies are over 5 minutes long, it is written into the script that Logan can't seem to find the words to tell her the truth. Talk about a stretch. Ok, so along with the plot being a mess (and very forgettable) the characters are as well. In fact, audiences (even fans of the Sparks novels) will find it extremely difficult to care about anybody in "The Lucky One". Furthermore, whenever a truly emotional scene occurred, which had the potential of reducing everyone in the theater to tears; the lack of any expositional connection only worked to reduce the audience into a shrug inducing coma. As for the acting, it's pretty much as average as it gets. Schilling, who should never again be cast as the female love interest, horribly overacts her way through this film. Well, maybe "horribly" is too harsh of a word, and I guess she was better here than she was in that awful "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1". But saying that is like saying that getting punched in the face is a better alternative to being kicked in the groin. Efron, on the other hand, is just not given anything to work with here. In the past he has shown himself to be better than this Hallmark Channel crap, and thus I am still holding on to the notion that Efron is just a good actor, making poor choices. But this notion has been getting more and more lonely with each passing film. Side Note: Do you know why there hasn't been any good Nicholas Sparks adaptations since 2004's "The Notebook" or 2002's "A Walk to Remember"? Simple. "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember" (more so "The Notebook") were the only two adaptations working with the holy trinity: a solid script, talented leads (Mandy Moore, Ryan Gosling, James Garner and Rachel McAdams) and a credible director (Nick Cassavetes and the multi-talented Adam Shankman). So, in short, Nicholas Sparks has hardly been the problem (with the exception of "The Last Song", which he co-wrote the screenplay for). The problems seemed to have arisen when Hollywood types saw a gold mine in a fan-base which would pay to see anything with the Sparks name on it and proceeded to roll films such as "Dear John", "The Last Song", "Nights in Rodanthe" (and lets add "Message in a Bottle " in there as well) off of the assembly line as quickly and haphazardly as possible; to the dismay of boyfriends everywhere. Final Thought: As bad as "The Lucky One" is, fans who have been waiting to see a more manly Efron (or Efron with a five o'clock shadow) will find teenage-like enjoyment in watching him walk, run, sit and stand around with no shirt; and an equal amount of enjoyment watching him stare longingly off into the distance (seemingly in deep thought). But, unless you fall into one of these categories, steer clear of "The Lucky One"; as if you needed me to tell you this. Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland Please visit my page on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/x-52464-San-Jose-Indie-Movie-Examiner and leave any comments you have about this or any review. The more hits I get the better. Thank you. Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus

- ghostdog86, Tuesday, April 24, 2012