Today’s Prayer Focus

The Lucky One

MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for some sexuality and violence.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Romance Drama
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 20, 2012 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: August 28, 2012
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

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Featuring Zac EfronLogan
Taylor Schilling … Beth
Blythe Danner … Ellie
Riley Thomas Stewart … Ben
Jay R. Ferguson … Keith Clayton
See all »
Director Scott Hicks
Producer Warner Bros. Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
See all »
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures

“The Lucky One” is the newest Nicholas Sparks novel to be made into a feature film. In this latest romance, Luke (Zac Efron) is an Iraqi-War veteran whose 3 tour duties and survivor’s guilt has rendered him with intense post-traumatic stress. His return home is bleak, save for his dog and one RAY OF HOPE: a photo of a beautiful blond stranger.

Luke understandably feels a strong connection to the unknown female. Upon finding her photo in the Middle East, it had put him out of the range of a lethal missile. With the photo giving him new purpose, he walks across several states to find her.

When Beth (Taylor Schilling) first meets Luke, she assumes he’s at her dog kennel for a job. She’s quickly, however, creeped out by his intense stare and story of enormous walking. Her witty grandmother (Blythe Danner) sees the good in Luke and hires the handsome soldier, despite Beth’s reluctance.

Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron have good chemistry and work well with what they’re given. Though their characters are somewhat limited by the script, both have admirable qualities. Beth works hard to be a good mother to her son. She shows growth in dealing with her over-bearing ex-husband. Luke is a hard worker, genuine, and very reserved. Since he is reserved, one could say that his character lacks a bit of a spark. My favorite scenes are when he deals with Beth’s ex. Despite taunts and even threats, Luke remains unprovoked and responds accordingly.

The violence is moderate. There is a war scene in the beginning of the film. Several soldiers are shot, and some blood splatter is shown on a wall. Some missiles explode, and afterward there’s a slow montage of a tank exploding. Besides war scenes, there are a few more instances of violence. One male character punches a man in the shoulder, and then proceeds to spit food in another male’s face. Afterward, he draws a gun and points it. No one gets shot, since the assailant is subsequently punched in the face, and the gun is taken from him.

The film does have a heavy amount of sexual content, especially for a PG-13 rating. Throughout the film, Beth sometimes wears low-cut shirts and is once shown briefly in a towel. During their second kiss, Beth straddles Luke, as he touches her behind. She puts her head back in enjoyment. There are two sex scenes. In the first scene, Beth begins to kiss Luke passionately while in an outdoor shower. He then pushes her against a wall, while still kissing. She undoes his pants, , and he touches her derrière. In the subsequent scene, they begin to remove each other’s wet clothes. Beth’s bra is shown being unsnapped, and she puts her hand underneath Luke’s underwear. In the second sex scene, they are shown in bed together with Luke on top of Beth. This scene is milder than the first and is shorter.

There is also some profanity. In all, I counted 14 uses. One sounded like the “F” word, but I am not quite sure. In all, there are 5 sh_t, 6 hells, 1 a_s, and 1 d_mn. Alcohol is also in the film. While many people are shown having beer, only two are shown drunk. One is immediately taken to bed, while the other becomes threatening and pulls out a gun.

“The Lucky One” briefly addresses the theme of fate, but never becomes too preachy or New Age. However, it’s enough to make one ponder. Was Luke meant to find Beth’s picture? If this were so, was the original owner meant to lose it and die? As humans, our perspective of the world is so mortally limited. It can be frustrating at times when God humbles us and either allows or requires our lives to take a whole new direction. Whenever in an unpleasant predicament, I try (but don’t always succeed) to see it as a fertile training ground for spiritual growth (Proverbs 2:2-12). As our King, the Lord isn’t required to give us reasons why, but His word tells us to trust him, for we serve a holy king who loves us. In Proverbs 3:5, King Solomon wrote,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Due to the amount of objectionable content, I do not personally recommend the film. Though it has good qualities, I don’t find “The Lucky One” a stand-out film. In my opinion, Blythe Danner gave the best performance and elevated the film’s quality up another notch.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—So far I’ve ended up liking about half of these Nicholas Sparks movies… but I did enjoy this one. It very predictably traveled the typical path set down for this kind of movie, but I still liked it. I liked how Zac Efron’s character bonded with the little boy, and how he sort of stepped in as that family’s protector since the jerky ex-husband wasn’t doing his job. I did not like the longevity of the bedroom scene… it took away from the story, in my opinion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Kadie Jo, age 20 (USA)
Negative—I saw the movie with my 2 children, 13 and 15 years old, and while the story line was okay, the sexual content was totally not necessary and is the main reason the moral rating is extremely offensive. The sex scenes were too long and left little to the imagination, in my opinion, for a PG-13 rated movie. After this movie, I feel like PG-13 is the new rated R. I am so sorry that I didn’t check this site before seeing this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Ann, age 46 (USA)
Negative—I think this movie was not something any one should pay money to see. As a Christian, this film is very offensive in aspects of language and sexual scenes. Also, I feel the story line was lacking something and could have been done better. The language was mild, but enough to hit deep when you are wanting to please God with you whole life.

As far as the sex scenes go, I think they went on too long and left little to the imagination. Although I disagree with the whole idea of having sex before marriage, as does God. I personally feel the movie would have been better without it.

The storyline was a little odd, like it wasn’t put together well. I was uncomfortable from the beginning of the movie and wished I never saw it. Please don’t waste your money, time and more importantly compromise your Christianity. God bless
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Soli, age 28 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—This film is all alike like Nicolas Sparks other dirty books and movies (except “Walk to Remember”). There may be love in here, but it isn’t true love of a pure mind. In almost every Sparks movie I hear about, they show nudity and bed scenes. This isn’t what love and sacrifice is about. You are supposed to sacrifice your temptations and wait to have sex until marriage. Not appropriate for teens.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Anna, age 19 (USA)