Action / Comedy / Drama / Western

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

David Lynch Photo
David Lynch as Howard
Ed Begley Jr. Photo
Ed Begley Jr. as Dr. Christian Kneedler
Tom Skerritt Photo
Tom Skerritt as Fred
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
750.47 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 4
1.41 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 4
745.49 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.4 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by maurice_yacowar8 / 10

90-year-old atheist prepares for death by enjoying last days on earth

Lucky moves — and moves us — on two levels, the personal and the thematic.

Our visceral experience is of Harry Dean Stanton's valedictory. He died shortly after completing this work. Across a career of (IMDB says:) 200 film/TV roles, he fashioned the persona of a stoic, weather-pounded and beaten survivor. He had — nope, has — one of the most lived-in faces and starved bodies in American cinema. His role in Big Love was one of the few which let him wield power. But that role apart, moral authority he always had.

So when Stanton at 91 plays the 90-year-old veteran living out his last solitary days in a desert town, Stanton is living out his last days too. He's telling us he feels Lucky — lucky even to be living this reduced hard-scramble life, lucky to have stumbled into that long and rich career, lucky even to be moving towards his — our —unpromising end.

The film's major themes centre on two phrases. One is the definition of "realism" that Lucky seizes upon: It's a "thing," the ability to see things as they are and to learn to live with that. When he describes realism and then freedom as "a thing" he blurs the line between the material and the abstract. There is no abstract beyond our physical existence.

As an atheist, Lucky has no afterlife to worry about, nor any judge to whom to hold himself ultimately accountable. He is free to do what he wants and to accept only what responsibility he chooses. He chooses when and when not to light up a cigarette in a no-smoking area.

The second phrase is the fall that gives Lucky his first intimation of mortality. He literally falls. But in a broader sense, Lucky is postlapsarian man. Adam's fall left mankind mortal and alienated. The harsh desert landscape here is relieved solely by the plush garden/oasis of Eve's, the fancy dining spot from which chef Lucky was fired for toking up in the kitchen. That's weed as the Forbidden Fruit.

Whenever Lucky passes that garden he spits the misogynous c-epithet at it. But not the last time. The last time he passes it without resenting his expulsion, his alienation. Perhaps that shows his response to some particular episodes of community. In his daily morning coffee shop, he chats with a fellow WW II vet. He also engages with an irritating insurance agent Lucky earlier challenged to a fight over this predatory job.

Two key scenes involve his engagement with women. The black waitress drops by to check on him and they share a joint, then a hug. The corner store owner invites him to her five-year- old son's fifth birthday party, where Lucky to everyone's surprise breaks out in a warm, gravelly Spanish song. After these scenes, he doesn't resent Eve's any more, because his community on earth is the only Eden we can expect. That we need to enjoy.

At first Harry lives days of unthinking ritual. He buys the daily quart of milk even though he still has two in the fridge — and little else. He mechanically lights up and tosses cigarettes because he has outlived their threat to his health. He swaps barbs with the coffee shop staff and regulars. He paces out the desert.

The two scenes with the women restore his sense of genuine community, recover his awareness of the richness of life — even at this reduction, in the arid land and aging.

So here is Lucky living out his last days, sharply attuned to seizing the present riches — such as they are — because there is no beyond to diminish them. If there is a faith to be had then it's in what we find on earth, not in anything supposedly beyond. In two scenes he talks on his red phone to some man — whom, we never learn. That's a parody of speaking to someone supposedly in the beyond, of uncertain existence. That's where he learns his "realism" — from the implied absence at the other end of the line.

Lucky here recovers his faith in the people around him, the friendly and accepting community. If there is any justice or reward it will have to be here on earth, nowhere else. That may dishearten the conventionally faithful but it should hearten the rest.

And once we accept the limits on our existence, the futility of our attempts to control what lies beyond us, once the only "things" we need are that "realism" and "freedom," that's when we can get the most out of life.

After all, once the other man gave up his hopes for finding his escaped tortoise, once he sat back and accepted his fate, that's when the tortoise came back. That's the "new deal" that President Roosevelt (that tortoise) here represents.

Reviewed by Bertaut7 / 10

A meditation on mortality

Lucky is the directorial debut of prolific actor John Carroll Lynch, who has worked with everyone from John Woo to David Fincher to Martin Scorsese, and appeared in recurring roles on TV shows such as The Drew Carey Show (1995), Carnivàle (2003), and American Horror Story (2011). However, more noteworthy than this is that Lucky features the last performance from the legendary Harry Dean Stanton, who was 90 at the time of shooting, and who died on September 15, 2017, two weeks prior to the film's North American release. Written specifically for Stanton by Logan Sparks (one of his closest friends) and Drago Sumonja, the film is a meditation on mortality, and is as much about Stanton himself as it is the eponymous character he's playing. Beginning like a quirky comedy full of strange characters with gentle eccentricities (imagine a David Lynch film softened by John Waters),the film later morphs into a more serious meditation on how a nonagenarian atheist with no family faces up to the fact that death is not that far away. Moving entirely at its own measured pace, the film manages to explore a plethora of themes along the way; mortality, routine, impermanence, friendship, love, loss, regret, hope. Laid back and tender, graceful and sedate, Lucky works primarily by way of presenting individual vignettes that very much add up to more than the sum of their parts.

The film tells the story of Lucky (Stanton),a 90-year-old living in an unnamed backwater town on the edge of an Arizonan desert. An atheist who doesn't believe in an afterlife or the soul, never married, and with no children, he is happy to explain to people that he's alone, but he is not lonely. Living his life by way of a rigid routine, Lucky's day begins with yoga exercises, followed by a walk to the local diner, where he chats with owner Joe (Barry Shabaka Henley) and waitress Loretta (Yvonne Huff Lee),and completes the crossword in the paper. Visiting the local shop run by Bibi (Bertila Damas),he buys a pack of cigarettes, and then returns home to spend a few hours watching game shows. At night, he heads to a bar owned by Elaine (Beth Grant) and her husband Paulie (James Darren),where he trades stories with his best friend, Howard (David Lynch; yes, that David Lynch),and barman Vincent (Hugo Armstrong). However, when he falls for no apparent reason one morning, the local doctor, Kneedler (Ed Begley Jr.),tries to explain that at his age, the body simply starts to break down. On the other hand, Kneedler is unable to find anything seriously wrong with him, despite his nicotine addiction, pointing out that trying to get him off cigarettes would probably do him more harm than good. Meanwhile, he continues with his routine, albeit more aware that he doesn't have a huge amount of time left. Over the next few days, he attends Bibi's son's birthday party, encounters life-insurance man Bobby (Ron Livingston),who he feels is exploiting Howard, and trades stories from the Battle of Okinawa with former marine Fred (Tom Skerritt).

And that's about it. That's the plot (if you can even call it that),and it should be obvious that this is a character-driven film, where the vagaries of a well-laid plot simply don't factor into things. That this is the case is signalled in the slow and methodical opening sequence, which depicts Lucky ambling past boarded-up and dust covered shops, as the hot sun beats down. This is an especially well-handled example of form and content mirroring one another, as the lethargic pace playing out on screen (no one ever seems to be in a rush) correlates with the lethargic pace of the editing rhythm (Lynch allows the scenes and the characters plenty of room to breathe, unburdened with trying to race to the next pivotal plot-point).

This sequence also works to set up the style and tone which the film will adopt for the remainder of its runtime. Rather than a standard cause-and-effect narrative, Lucky is instead built upon a series of small, usually idiosyncratic, moments, often with only the barest amount of connective tissue between them. Neither does Lucky, nor any of the other characters, have what you would call a significant character arc. He doesn't encounter something which forces him to go on a metaphorical/spiritual journey, arriving at some kind of universal truth which softens his gruff exterior. Instead, he's essentially the same man when the film ends as he was when it began, which is, of course, the entire point.

Also in the opening sequence, prior to seeing Lucky wandering around town, the film features a series of shots of the barren desert, with a tortoise slowly ambling into view. The film then cuts to Lucky waking up. This could have been a trite metaphor, but in actual fact, this tortoise becomes a plot-point later on; his name is President Roosevelt, and he belongs to Howard. However, he recently escaped from Howard's yard, sending the man into an emotional meltdown, as Roosevelt is his oldest friend. The missing tortoise is one of the few strands which occurs over multiple scenes, and is central to the way the film defines Howard's character, whilst Lucky's incredulity that Howard could be so upset over a tortoise affords him the opportunity for some nihilistic philosophising.

Indeed, in relation to philosophy/theology, Lucky's atheism is an important component of his character; he doesn't believe in God, an afterlife, or the soul, arguing instead that we only get one life, the corporeal one, and when we die, that's it, we turn to dust, and we're gone forever. However, as Lucky starts to become more and more conscious of the imminence of death, his darkly existentialist outlook starts to look less like a grumpy old man's innocent ramblings, and more like something which could genuinely make his last few years miserable. In relation to this, when Lucky goes to see Kneedling, the doctor stresses the fact that he is both blessed and cursed to have gotten as old as he has - blessed in the sense that very few people make it this far, cursed because physically, Lucky's body is beginning to fail him.

One of the major themes in the film is routine; Lucky's day is rigidly mapped out, to the point that if someone is sitting in his favourite diner seat, it throws him off and puts him in a bad mood. In this sense, repetition is a major part of both Lucky's life, and the film's structure (for example, we see him walking his route around town on four different occasions). Another important theme is impermanence, which ties into Lucky's rejection of a never-ending life after death. For example, when he visits a pet shop, he doesn't know what a "forever home" is, and even when it's explained to him, he still seems to be somewhat confused. Tied to this, the issue of mortality is brought up time and again, seen most clearly in Howard's dealings with Bobby, preparing for his own inevitable death. Indeed, it's worth pointing out that the five yoga exercises Lucky performs each morning are the Five Rites of Rejuvenation, so although he knows this life won't last forever, so too is he doing what he can to prolong it as much as possible. With this in mind, after he falls, the film shifts gears, changing from a pseudo-comic examination of a curmudgeonly old man into a subtle analysis of the inescapability of death and the transitory nature of existence.

The film also deals with the importance of small anecdotes and seemingly minor personal connections - scenes which aren't especially dramatic, but which tell us a huge amount about the characters. Working together, the acting, the expressive faces, the seemingly insignificant dialogue, the importance of routine, the crumbling town, the desert, all serve to create the whole, which conveys far more than any one aspect of the film could. However, this is not to say that individual scenes don't work, or are disposable. For example, several scenes contain achingly beautiful anecdotes; Lucky's story of accidentally killing a mockingbird as a child; Howard's narration of what he imagines President Roosevelt's birth must have been like; and, in a scene obviously paying homage to a very similar scene in The Straight Story (1999), Lucky and Fred swap heart-breaking stories of their time in the war (just like Lucky, Stanton was a cook on board the USS LST-970, which participated in the Battle of Okinawa). The film also contains one of the best lines I've heard in a long time - as Paulie is talking about how he used to be a bum worth nothing, but everything changed after he met Beth, he explains, "I'm still nothing, but now I have everything. Isn't that something?"

If I was to find fault, there would be a couple of things worth criticising. Although the film avoids mawkish sentimentality for almost its entire runtime, it does become a little maudlin towards the end. Additionally, by its very nature, the narrative is very episodic, which creates a slight impression of disconnection. For the most part, the tone and design of the film also work to keep the audience at arm's length, preventing us from becoming too emotionally involved with Lucky himself, something which I'm not entirely sure served the film, or the character, very well.

However, these are relatively minor flaws in an otherwise excellent film, and in the end, this is a fitting swan song for an actor of Stanton's calibre. And how many people can say they've appeared in their own filmic obituary?

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle8 / 10


Navy vet Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton) lives in a sleepy desert town. He has his daily routine and his smokes. He goes to the diner run by Joe for his morning crossword puzzle. Then he goes to the convenient store. Then he goes to the local bar with the regulars. Howard (David Lynch) loses his turtle. The flashing coffee maker clock takes him down although the doctor diagnoses him as simply old. Bobby Lawrence is a lawyer helping Howard to prepare for his death. Lucky meets Marines vet Fred in the diner. Lucky is surprising philosophical and surprising deep.

It's John Carroll Lynch's directorial debut and it's a solid debut thanks mostly to the aged presence of Harry Dean Stanton. If there is any drawback, this story needs a little more structure. The obvious structure is his constant daily routine. It could be closer to Groundhog Day. I'm not saying it's bad in any ways. It could be a little better. The movie introduces many things and most of them get a payoff. I would like more explanation of Eve's and the event being alluded to. Is it an allegory to the bible? At least, it's not Mother! Stanton takes the audience on a journey of life in this movie.

Read more IMDb reviews