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  • Writer's pictureTony Fronza

Lucky Louie (2023)

Lucky Louie is a tale of redemption that touches on many aspects of the human spirit and the uncertainty of having a second chance to make things right. As a proud Lehigh Valley native and cinephile, I find tremendous joy seeing Hollywood's presence in my current hometown of Bethlehem, PA. And this would not be possible without Daniel, Tammy, and Grace Roebuck.

Directed by Daniel Roebuck and co-written with his daughter, Grace, Lucky Louie is an exceptional and emotional tale about the incredible power of faith in people's aptitude to acknowledge their sins and mistakes and unite their faith to perpetuate justice - and maintain a clear conscience.

IMBD summarizes the film as “A retired cop teams up with four ex-convicts and a behavioral science student to solve a fifty-year-old bank robber,” but it’s much more than your average “heist” film.

Fifty years is a long time for anyone to shoulder the burden of the unknown. And no one knows that better than Wilbert Moser (played by Basil Hoffman, whose acting career spans over 60 years).

Moser is a retired, decorated detective who wrestles with an unsolved case from five decades ago. Basil’s performance immediately invokes a character anyone could love—a peaceful, kind, and genuine person who dedicates his time to helping others through charitable offerings, volunteering, and supporting friends without prejudice.

And let’s not forget about Wilbert’s endearing concern for his beloved pet cat – his lone companion in a home that feels, to the audience, more lonely and emptier after the loss of his wife.

Throughout the film, Wilbert’s faith in people’s redemption persists in the present as he struggles to let go of his past failures. He reluctantly befriends Alex, a “detective-in-training,” who cajoles Wilbert into re-examining the “Donald Duck” cold case that’s eaten at him for half a century.

Alex’s youthful exuberance and witty resolve, combined with support from his faithful comrades Pete, Payton, Hitch (played by Daniel Roebuck), and Lincoln (Hitch’s nephew), and his confidant, Pastor Mimi (played by Stephanie Zimbalist of Remington Steele fame), drives Moser to persist in his heroic endeavor to decipher the final wrinkle in a case he was nearly ready to leave unsolved.

I could add so much more to this charming family film’s review, but that would diminish the surprise and delight of watching it yourself. Rent Lucky Louie today on Prime Video with your family or alone—either way; you’ll feel reassured about the strength of the human spirit.

Selfishly, I enjoyed knowing the film was shot in the Lehigh Valley. I anticipated local area scenes and sprang out of my seat when I glimpsed a bottle of A-treat soda, the interior of Hotel Bethlehem and a local art gallery, and neighborhoods where my wife and I ride our bikes.

I genuinely hope the Roebucks keep producing films in the Lehigh Valley.

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