Rachel McAdams works through the pain in “The Lucky Ones”

From the Queen of Mean Regina George, to the saucy 1940’s beauty Allie Hamilton, Rachel McAdams is an actress who can generally get me to watch just about anything — even a Rob Schneider movie.

But when I read about her latest release, The Lucky Ones, I worried it would fall into the slew of weird Iraq War movies popping up recently (with really awful, new-metal soundtracks). After watching the trailer, though (which fortunately features a Sarah McLachlan song rather than Kid Rock), I found myself actually wanting to check it out.

McAdams joins a cast including Tim Robbins and Michael Peña as Colee, an injured Iraq War vet heading to Las Vegas to return her boyfriend’s guitar to his family after he dies in the war. She ends up in an impromptu road trip across the country with two strangers, as they all realize that, despite their injuries and absence, the world has gone on without them.

In Roger Ebert’s review of the movie, he points out that McAdams is generally seen as “a hot chick” (see the aforementioned Rob Schneider film, The Hot Chick) or “idealized sweetheart,” but viewers may see her “come into her own” in this film:

[In The Lucky Ones] she is feisty, vulnerable, plucky, warm, funny. This is her coming of age as an actress. She provides yet another lesson that you can’t judge acting ability until you see an actor given a chance to really stretch.

The trailer definitely shows some of the feisty. When a girl mocks Colee’s leg injury at a party, she throws quite the punch, and she looks damn good doing it.

Colee wears little to no makeup and rocks plain tank tops. Her Southern drawl and slight limp may be an attempt to make her appear less hot than in previous roles, but it fails miserably. McAdams can wear a poncho and flip-flops and still be smokin’. She pulls off being a “real” American girl more than most actresses can — and she’s Canadian.

The Lucky Ones opens tonight, and I plan on checking it out. It’s the first of the Iraq War movies that seems to focus on the characters’ relationships and not the director’s political agenda. And then there’s that whole McAdams in tank tops thing. That Ryan Gosling is a lucky man.

Have you seen any soldier-after-the-Iraq-War movies that may be worth a view?