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The Lucky Ones

Rating: 3.5

Rated: R for language and some sexual content.
Release Date: 2008-09-26
Starring: Neil Burger, Dirk Wittenborn
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I can’t believe I’m going to say this, and probably never will again, but this is one of those rare times that I found a soldier film to be ‘delightfully lovable’. Yes, I said it. It is due in part to an endearing story concocted by director/writer Neil Burger and a great group of actors who turned on the charm.

In ‘The Lucky Ones’, three wounded soldiers come back from the war cherishing to return to a life of normalcy, or at least what is left of it. With flight delays threatening to hinder their plans, they rent a car to St. Louis where they hope the city’s airport will have a batch of planes ready to depart to Las Vegas. The road trip back home is where the true journey begins for these three servicemen.

Tim Robbins is a wonderful every-man’s actor. He manages to capture the reality of daily living in all his characters. Michael Peña continues to deliver solid performances demonstrating a range of emotion in his roles, even if they are confined in lawmen and soldier characters. I mustn’t dismiss though, the unexpectedly comical, yet solemn performance of Rachel McAdams, who in my mind, was the star of the film. I would dare say, this is an Oscar nominated performance. She is not known for her comic timing, nor delivering amusing lines with deadpan expressions, but McAdams not only proved she is actually funny, she showed she can carry and steal a movie from under the nose of a proven veteran actor such as Robbins.

If you are feeling lucky and in the mood for a small, independent, but very good film in the tradition of Little Miss Sunshine, do yourself a favor and see ‘The Lucky Ones’.

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