Lucky (2011) Poster

(III) (2011)

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Skillful and Innovative Independent Film
kevin-127225 February 2012
I'm stunned by the reviews this film received. It makes me wonder what audiences are looking for. Giant robot cars, maybe? Stereo-typical heroes and bad guys (with capes!)? This is an independent film and the reviews read like they were written by a church group. This film is innovative and clever and extraordinarily well written. Sublette and Cates' work here deserves better reviews than these. I feel bad that they have to be subjected to this type of unenlightened ridicule for such a wonderful film. I suspect that the film just didn't get a chance to find its audience (which is not the Bridesmaids/Hangover crowd). Lucky is a different type of romantic comedy that successfully takes brave risks and they all pay off. On to specifics:

The screenplay was an extraordinary piece of writing. I won't give anything away, because if you like quirky independent film, you should see this movie. But, some of the scenes were beautifully nuanced. In particular, the final scene, which was an extremely difficult scene to pull off. Sublette manages to make it work. The pacing, editing, and direction are all as good as it gets. And the way the screenplay subtly builds these characters so that we believe their relationship (as bizarre as it may be) is masterful.

The acting is superlative. Hanks and Ari Graynor are ideally cast as nebbish serial killer and quirky love interest, and their performances are exquisite. I was amazed at their work in this film. The emotionality of the scenes required refined acting chops and they delivered.

I'd kill to work with any one of these creative talents and think they should be lauded for this film.
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Worth watching
Antonio Diggs19 May 2012
Lucky is the kind of film that proves indie movies can hold their own against the studios. This dark comedy is a movie-lovers movie. Well written, superb acting, great directing and a memorable soundtrack make this a fun, if quirky film.

The pace of the movie is good in that it takes it's time to tell the story without unnecessary scenes or long silences. It baffles me that some people find this movie dull of boring. It doesn't have car chases or CGI characters throwing crap at the audience. "Lucky" is not for kids, anyone who think it's dull should find the next 3D IMAX extravaganza to keep their attention.

Hanks is ideal in this role playing a mild mannered serial killer who still lives with his mom (Ann Margret – looking great) with a lifelong crush on Ari Graynor who doesn't give him a second glance until he wins the lottery.

If you like movies like "Heathers", "Fargo" or "Lars and the Real Girl", you'll enjoy "Lucky."
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It's a comedy about killing people, people! Lighten up!
rooprect25 March 2013
I'll assume that you know this is a dark comedy about a serial killer. If you can swallow that premise, you're halfway there. If not, walk away while you still can.

Good, you're still here. Maybe you have a slightly sick sense of humor, or maybe you're simply able to differentiate fiction from reality. One way or another, I think you'll be entertained by this film.

Like any good dark comedy, it makes no attempt to moralize, rationalize or justify the characters' criminal actions. Think of the scene in "Pulp Fiction" when they accidentally blow a guy's head off and sit there bickering with bits of brains in their hair. Think of the scene in "The Prophecy" where Christopher Walken, playing the angel of death, snatches a poor dying cancer patient from her blissful demise and forces her to become his servant simply because he can't drive a car. If you cracked a smile at these or any other shockingly morbid bits of dark comedy, then read on.

Though not as hyper violent as "Pulp Fiction" or as action packed as "The Prophecy", this film "Lucky" keeps the same sort of biting, surreal, amoral humor. There haven't been too many romcoms that center around murder and psychosis, and for that I give this bonus points for originality.

It earns extra points for Ari Graynor's EXCELLENT performance as the detestable gold-digger whose wacky descent into madness makes us suddenly start to root for her. Again, this is in keeping with the theme that even detestable characters can become our heroes. Ari's performance is one of the best examples of how to sway the audiences sympathy even though, in real life, such a character wouldn't be worth the trouble of spitting on her.

Similarly, Colin Hanks, with his boyishly innocent face and perpetual deer-in-the-headlights expression, makes you cheer for him even though he butchers people with no remorse. Throw in the lovely Ann-Margaret as the creepy mother, and you have a film with flawless casting. Oh, and how could I forget Jeffrey Tambor? Note to self: never, ever forget Jeffrey Tambor.

My only criticism of this film is that the ending comes upon you quite fast and may seem slightly implausible the way it's hastily explained in the final scene. But maybe that's the point. Like an unexpected punchline to a joke, it's probably designed to whack you senseless. But I would've loved to have seen more of Ari losing her mind, having ghostly hallucinations and transforming from clever manipulator to total flake. That's really what made me love this movie.

I also seem to recall that the music was pretty cool. I had never heard of the band Transcargo before, but I really liked their song "Kissing the Day" (listen to it on Myspace). I also liked "Whatever Gets You By" by The Features. These and other songs are quirky, happy-ish tunes that are brilliantly juxtaposed against the macabre story.

If you like dark comedies that make light of murder, don't hesitate to check this out. So many dark comedies rely on unspoken satire for laughs, but this one dives boldly into comedy territory. I haven't seen too many of those madcap, slapstick style dark comedies. Similar films include the Roberto Benigni film "Il Mostro" about a nerdy schlep (Benigni) who is being investigated for multiple gruesome murders, the Chinese film "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop" which is a comedy remake of the Coen Brothers' thriller "Blood Simple", and an obscure gem called "Mambo Cafe" about a family that tries to stage a murder at their restaurant to improve business.
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A subject treated differently with a surprise at every turn
Avid Climber12 June 2013
Lucky is a serial killer's tale through the eye of a cynic. It's a dark comedy that anyone can easily enjoy.

The good. Surprising scenario, nicely put together. When you think it's going to go left, it goes right. Imaginative ideas in the story. Excellent ending. This is not your Hollywood mush, it has realism mixed in the movie flair.

The bad. A few logical hitch, but easily ignored.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. If you like films that are different, offbeat, this is for you. Everyone else should at least give it a try.
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Partly a noir parody, black comedy, and romantic comedy.
Matt Kracht15 December 2012
The plot: A gold-digging woman ends up attaching herself to the wrong person when she marries a rich serial killer.

Despite how oppressively dark the summary sounds, this is actually fairly light-hearted and harmless. The plot is essentially a parody of classic noir movies, with a femme fatale and guilty protagonist being pursued by a dogged cop. Everything is played for laughs, and there are few serious scenes. The movie starts off a bit boring and unfunny, but it gets better toward the middle once it can abandon the clichéd romantic comedy elements and switch to being more of a black comedy. The tone is still more lighthearted and wacky than I'd like for a black comedy, but it did at least keep me vaguely amused for the remaining runtime.

There's no real blood, gore, nudity, or violence. If you're looking for something like Very Bad Things, I think you'll be very disappointed. However, if you're looking for a quirky romantic comedy with a dark edge to it, you'll probably enjoy Lucky. My own tastes are more in line with Very Bad Things.
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Love it or hate it, this film is amoral
vtdr29 October 2011
Very rarely do I have any desire to post a review. I've seen it, I know what I think, and usually someone else has said everything that needs to be said. Not so with "Lucky."

This film shocked me with its amorality. And I liked it.

Before I watched this, I thought, perhaps, that it would be akin to "Dexter" - a serial killer that the viewer is asked to empathize with, maybe forgive, and perhaps even root for. I mean, what else could I expect from what the synopsis seems to suggest is a serial killer rom-com. I was wrong. No one in this film is asking for forgiveness. No one in this film seems to even imagine that a universal or objective morality exists which would pass judgement.

This is one of the only, if not the only, film I have seen that exemplifies rationally self- interested actors carrying on their affairs as though no religious or societal morality existed or, at the least, was valid. Even in the films based on Ayn Rand's fiction (a person who championed "the virtue of selfishness" and fought against religion and collectivism/humanism), there was always a wink or a nod when some character violated the Judeo-Christian-humanist morality. The same can be said of most of the horror and "shock" films - the shock and horror are usually caused by reactions to the violation of societal norms. Here, there is nothing.

One previous reviewer implied the film was boring. I wouldn't go so far, though I would accept "anti-climatic." Indeed, amorality is certainly that. If one starts from a place where killing and kissing are of equal objective moral value - none whatsoever - then it stands to reason that neither occurrence has any higher meaning.

In "Lucky", the lack of regard for morality, as understood by the majority of the populace, is not obvious. It isn't a clear part of the plot. It isn't relied upon to engender fear or revulsion. I almost didn't notice it until near the end of the film. It is as if the film was made entirely by people unaware that such a concept as "objective morality" even existed. Of course it wasn't. If for no other reason than that, "Lucky" deserves praise.
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kinda lame effort
Matthew Stechel22 July 2011
I like Colin Hanks. A lot of people just say that he's a complete knock-off of his father but that comment always completely misses the point. His father was darn likable even when being prickly or sarcastic he's still just effortlessly likable. Colin has a similar likability, one that certainly veers more to the prickly or complainy side--but still he's a guy you can either like or at least watch in most things that he appears in and not have a problem with. The casting of him in this movie should've been so perfect--unfortunately the movie itself is way too slow to set its premise up, even slower to get its other main character up to speed with what the audience already knows which kind of kills the suspense that's suppose to be building up. I should single out the other lead in the film--the nicely daffy Ari Gaynor plays her and if the movie works at all i would say its completely because of her ability to show you why she would do the things she does in the movie even if you're sitting there questioning why she would or should, you completely buy her character's motivation and reasoning.

If you're reading this you probably already know the set-up and that's about all there is to know for this movie quite honestly. I was hoping for something a little more funny...or maybe even a little bit darker---the plot was really promising after all but its as if once the idea is established, the writer/director couldn't think of where else to take it other then the usual cat and mouse games that normally occur in these kinds of movies. (will the wife eventually snap? will the husband eventually snap? is the husband even the real killer? is the detective played by a seemingly bored Jeffery Tambor getting ever closer to the 2 of them? and what's the deal with Ann Margaret as Hanks'mother?) All of what happens in the movie happens really slowly until maybe the last ten minutes at which point if you're still watching, you're just trying to figure out how the director is going to wrap it up. The wrap up actually is pretty good--there's even an actual honest to goodness laugh from the delivery of one of the one liners here. (One of the few one liners that completely lands too) Its unfortunate that the director couldn't find this perfect balance in tone between discomfort and humor before the end of the movie but what can you do? movie's already finished at that point. I didn't dislike the film really--but there were scenes where i was more bored then interested in the storyline and that's not a good thing for any kind of movie. Essentialy the film could've done so much more with its plot line that its unbelievable that it doesn't.
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A movie that is hurt by the trailer. I expected this to be much funnier. Not a bad movie though, just not what I thought. I say B-
Tony Heck9 October 2011
"I think you won the lottery." Shy and Goofy Ben (Hanks) has had a crush on the receptionist Lucy (Graynor) at his office for a long time. She doesn't know he exists. When Ben comes home and finds that he has won the 36 million dollar lottery Lucy finally talks to him. When secrets come out their relationship, and morals are challenged. This is a hard movie to review. While it wasn't a bad movie and did have some funny parts, the trailer is misleading and this wasn't what I was expecting. The trailer made it look like more of a comedy then it was. Hanks does a good job playing this type of character, but the movie overall felt a little flat and boring. Like so many other movies recently it feels like there is something missing to make this better. It also felt like with this idea they could have done so much more. All that being said this movie is not terrible and if you go in expecting less of a comedy then the trailer shows you will probably enjoy this. Overall, not a bad movie, but nothing like I was expecting. Because of my expectations I didn't like it as much as I thought. I give it a B-.

Would I watch again? - Most likely no.
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A for effort.
Robert J. Maxwell28 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The director, Gil Cates, does what he can to pep up this bizarre story without distracting directorial displays, but the screenplay doesn't give him much to work with.

It's not impossible to make very funny movies about serial killers. "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Kind Hearts and Coronets" are both successful. But this movie doesn't seem to know where it wants to go. It's an ineffective hash of comedy and horror and it gets nowhere.

As comedy it fails because there's nothing particularly funny about it, outside of one scene towards the opening, in which Ari Graynor interrupts a board meeting to tell some intimate and disgusting secrets about the chairman. It's a nicely caught moment.

But -- well, what is the story about, anyway? A greedy and noisy young blond marries the office nerd, Colin Hanks, for his money after he wins the lottery. It turns out that this nebbish has no idea how to handle this sudden flow of cash and, on top of that, is the notorious serial killer the police are hunting. There are three bodies buried in the back yard, in addition to those cadavers he's left on the spot. So what does Graynor do when she digs up the bodies? (There is no hint of cadaverine.) She drags them and buries them somewhere else, an act which, along with one or two other utterly inexplicable acts, leads to her conviction as the serial killer and after a year or so, Hanks visits her in prison for the first time. She heaps her calumny upon him. And then what? She quietly asks him to keep visiting her and smiles gently. The last scene is an appealingly artsy overhead shot, as the director's joints creak while he reaches for SOMETHING to serve as a climactic moment.

Ari Graynor is almost always loud and teetering on hysteria, which isn't funny. Colin Hanks looks like the guy in some TV commercial who tries to fix a home appliance and gets shocked.

What does it all mean? The mismatched love, the lottery, the serial murders? Your guess is as good as mine. It all reminds me of a stew I once made out of canned foods whose sell-by dates were rapidly approaching. I called it an "olla podrida." This movie turned out better than the stew. The movie is at least a "ragout chez mois."
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The worst film I've seen since 'Santa Clause Conquers the Martians'...
westypool15 November 2011
Just wasted 103 minutes of my life and I'm afraid there's no way of getting back those precious minutes. Two hours ago I was in a good mood- now I feel like everything is pointless...

This attempt at comedy, or black comedy, fails miserably and completely.

Seriously, it's awful. In pretty much every way. If you are reading this because you are thinking of watching it, do something else. Honestly, I'm helping you.

To say it's like made-for-TV-movies is an insult to made-for-TV-movies.

I'm going to cheer myself up by spending another 103 minutes watching some shopping channel in a foreign language that I don't understand.
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inkslayer9 April 2018
Serial killer Ben Keller (Colin Hanks) murders a woman and steals her winning lottery ticket. After his newfound "luck," coworker Lucy (Ari Graynor) - who has known Ben since childhood, but have never given him the time of day, decides he's a catch. When Lucy finds out Ben is a serial killer, she helps dispose of the bodies. Then she decides she wants to wait until the next lottery check shows up in the mail box, take it, and skip town without Ben.

There is a lot wrong with Lucky. First, the story. It's lame. (See above.) Second, the writer assaults the viewer with bland one-minute SNL-type scenes that are just not funny. Three, because the one-liners sink this movie like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, Ms. Graynor appears like she is overacting.

The only reason I popped the DVD in was because Ann-Margret was in it.
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Lucky - Stumbling but definitely watchable
Trekvogell29 October 2013
For the ones that don't know what Lucky is about, here is a brief description: Ben (Collin Hanks) is a nobody who has been in love with Lucy (Ari Graynor) since they were kids, though these feelings haven't been reciprocated in the slightest by the latter, when Ben suddenly wins the lottery, Lucy, previously annoyed by Ben now decides she wants Ben in her life but Ben is also (plottwist) a serial killer and in turn hilarity ensues.

The plot lends itself terrifically for all the bizarre things that happen in the film, however, I felt that the way that Gil Cates Jr. and Kent Sublette went with it was a bit lacking. For a movie about love, serial killing and all the money in the world, the movie stays a bit too grounded.

Colin Hanks is definitely the strong point in the film as everything more or less depends on the way he reacts to everything. How he doesn't change over the course of the film though the things that happen around him continue to escalate is something worth noting.

I wasn't familiar with Ari Graynor before this film but while she doesn't hold the (overrated) Hollywood look she maintains this magnetic aura that makes her likable. Along with that she has stellar comedic timing even with the lackluster script.

The pacing does seem to be a bit off at some points in the film but the ending, which I won't ruin because I do recommend this film, makes up for it.

Overall, there isn't anything to hate in the film, but for me, there wasn't anything to love either. I do want people to see it though, because it's different and a wobbly step into the right direction. We've all been raised with the idea that different isn't necessarily good, so I encourage you to watch it and make up your own mind.
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Interesting premise, annoying characters
scoup9 April 2012
I kind of wished Lucy died she was that annoying...and greedy.

Colin Hanks was fine but he played a wet doorknob.

Ending was a little off and slightly unbelievable.

It missed the mark of being a twist because it was underwhelming.

There should have been more development between mom and son because I still have some unanswered questions and their relationship was more interesting.

I don't recommend this movie, but if you need to kill some time go for it.

I'd rather watch reruns of Murder She Wrote.
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You're so Lucky if you haven't seen Lucky.
anguslayne14 May 2012
Seriosuly what the F are these studios making these days. This movie might be a career ender for Tom Hank's one and only semi-famous son. This storyline is horrible the performances are a joke and I would rather dump pool acid on my face than watch this horrible excuse for a black comedy again. You've been warned. Clearly ripped off from Dexterand the familiar headlines of lottery winners going psycho. Ari Graynor will move back to Hollywood purgatory after this garbage. She will never become a known commodity in the game after this lead role. Maybe if she showed off those melon tots somebody might care about her. But unfortunately for us and her she choose not to and can now settle back into obscurity. The one positive thing about this movie is the last song played over the end credits (thank God) called I Choose Happiness by David Choi and it's a very fitting song since the movie was over.
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Brat Cinema...don't bother
phyllisknox31 May 2013
This film is on the cutting edge of a new genre...or maybe not so new...self-indulgent Brat Cinema....the character of the main characters and the writing could be straight from the mouths of grade 8 boys...with more than a little 'nasty girl' thrown in. It is adolescent in the a more deft writer's hands the premise could have created some interesting and original film-making. I feel sorry for the actors who were convincing, considering what lines they had to deliver. It made annoying watching and mostly not all that funny. I agree with a previous reviewer that the trailer was far better than the actually cinematic reality.
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The worst movie EVER!
caiamdq14 February 2012
I can't and I won't do an effort to explain this awful movie. It's plain horrible! Beyond ugly! Someone said amoral.That's right,amoral and extremely awful! Boring! Terribly boring! I don't understand how someone could spent money in making this movie! What a waste of resources! I watched all of it waiting for a good part that could justified the effort. But there wasn't any!

My advice? Do yourself a favor. Don't watch this movie!It has nothing valuable. Not even a beautiful view of anything. They show some very brief seconds of Hawaii,apparently, but you won't notice.Colin Hanks? I liked The Good Guys very much. But I never enjoyed any other thing he was in. But this Lucky just made the top of all.I will have nightmares with this movie. I swear! I'm not bluffing!

Now excuse me,but I need to watch something very good stuff before going to bed or I won't be able to get asleep! I hated it!
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Black comedy that isn't funny
SnoopyStyle1 December 2015
Blonde girl Leslie buys a lottery ticket and forgets her driver's license at the convenient store. Ben Keller (Colin Hanks) is a bumbling accountant who's in love with the firm's secretary Lucy St. Martin (Ari Graynor). She quits after an affair with the boss goes sour. Ben has known Lucy since childhood but she couldn't care less until he wins the $36 million lottery. His mother Pauline (Ann-Margret) found the ticket and cashed it in. Detective Harold Waylon (Jeffrey Tambor) is investigating a series of missing blonde women.

This is a black comedy that doesn't quite get to being funny. The black part is all there. The comedy part tries to be there. Ari Graynor is trying so hard. Colin Hanks is more or less the straight man. He has the persona of a bunny rabbit with a butcher's knife. Director Gil Cates Jr. isn't able to pull it off. He's not a particularly good director or a guy who does comedy. This doesn't working.
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Very interesting movie
scottyent27 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
If it weren't for the very bad reviews on here, I would probably make this a 6/10, but I think this movie is worth a watch...casually on Netflix or some other free form.

Did I love this movie? No. Not the best movie around, but I love Colin Hanks and the premise looked really interesting. It was rather slow moving at points, and as others mentioned, the characters can be annoying.

However, Lucy being a very annoying character was actually planned perfectly. At first I hated it, but once it played into her manipulating Ben, and how that dynamic just seemed incredibly realistic, I really felt what they were going for. It REALLY hit me when she witnessed the first murder though. You could see her character as this zany annoying girl who just manipulated into a marriage she didn't want just for some money, and then she walks into this nightmare and she realizes.

The battle between wanting to stay with a rich husband, and processing the murder is just a brilliant couple of scenes. She is zoned out, but slowly chooses to help her husband and try to live with it, but you can tell she isn't coping that well (who would!?). But every additional display of money is just edging her towards just dealing with it and enjoying a lavish lifestyle.

Also Colin Hanks was great as the serial killer, and the craziness with imagining Lucy all over was really well done. He also was believable in the way that he just snaps and kills and then kind of comes back to reality.
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