15 January 2010 | imdbbl
A nice light-hearted drama
The Lucky ones concerns three Iraq War soldiers who have just returned to the States: Fred Cheever (Tim Robbins) is out for good, and can't wait to reunite with his wife and son in St. Louis; T.K. Poole (Michael Pena) has suffered an embarrassing injury and is on his way to reconnecting with his fiancée before heading back overseas; and the also-injured Colee Dunn (Rachel McAdams) is on a mission to deliver a precious guitar to her deceased boyfriend's parents in Las Vegas. These strangers are brought together when JFK Airport is shut down indefinitely. Deciding that renting a car is a better option than twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the planes to fly, they hit the road on an eventful journey that will bring them closer together than they ever would have expected... The Lucky Ones is a film that doesn't really make any statements about the war. Instead it's a character study of these 3 soldiers and it shows how the return from war can be weird and bizarre. The film handles some very dramatic subjects but, always in a light way. As in every road trip film, the character's journey is full of chance encounters and misadventures, and each one of the soldiers ends up fighting some of their own demons or coming to certain realizations. Granted, some of the events feel a bit contrived, but this is a dramedy, not a realistic war drama. The film was very well acted starting with Michael Pena, who despite doing mostly small roles, was a pleasant surprise as a central character. The veteran Tim Robbins delivered a good, even if subtle, performance as the older soldier who's life becomes upside down. However the film belongs to the gorgeous Rachel McAdams; she was feisty, charismatic and overall, just great, as she usually is. One cannot help but to fall a little bit in love with her every time she does a film. At the end of the day, The Lucky Ones is a quirky little film with a certain gentleness that works mainly, because it focuses on the characters and their emotions and not on the war and it's motives. Definitely a nice watch.