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Struck by Lightning (2013)


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 21

No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 13

No consensus yet.


User Ratings: 9,361




Movie Info

High school senior Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer, "Glee") was on a path to greatness, when he was suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot. Carson recounts the last few weeks of his life via witty, insightful flashbacks, including a blackmail scheme targeting the popular kids concocted with his best friend (Rebel Wilson, BRIDESMAIDS) and a home life that includes a mother (Allison Janney, JUNO, "The West Wing") 's more interested in the bottle than her son's future and an … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 21, 2013
Box Office: $22.9k

Tribeca Film - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Struck by Lightning

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (21)

Colfer is still very young, but he needs to learn that "snide" is not a point of view.

Full Review… | January 11, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Ultimately, it all portends a much brighter future for Colfer than for Carson.

Full Review… | January 11, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

If only "Struck by Lightning" had a sharper, stronger perspective, it might have made more of its conceit.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Except for Ms. Janney's monstrous mother and an Alzheimer's-afflicted grandmother (Polly Bergen), "Struck by Lightning" gives its characters no dimension.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

There isn't much to say about Struck by Lightning, except that it's one of those interchangeable teen movies that lands in theaters in early January, the morgue for films nobody knows what to do with.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
Top Critic

In his screenwriting debut, Glee's gifted Chris Colfer, 22, proves he can lace a line with sass and soul.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A sincere rather than charming or laugh-out-loud movie-and tonally, one of the latter would have made it work much better. It's also too serious-one wants more outrageousness-because that's what the fun little premise promises but doesn't quite deliver.

Full Review… | June 27, 2014
Windy City Times

This is a highly confused film that doesn't seem to know exactly what it wants to be.

Full Review… | October 5, 2013

Likeable, frequently funny comedy enlivened by snappy dialogue and strong performances from a superb comic cast, though the overall plot is weak and the opening conceit referenced in the title fails to convey any dramatic or emotional weight.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013

There are some nice spins on old high school clichés and enough off-center characters and good, occasionally great, dialogue that should make this one of the year's early hits in the art house market.

Full Review… | June 6, 2013
Film Threat

The main character is more off-putting than endearing.

Full Review… | January 14, 2013

Edgy high school comedy from Glee star has some iffy stuff

Full Review… | January 11, 2013
Common Sense Media

Struck By Lightning possesses a jarring mixture of tones, with moments of dark comedy sitting somewhat uneasily alongside scenes of quiet domestic drama.

Full Review… | January 11, 2013
Television Without Pity

It's not exactly ambitious, but Struck by Lightning is a noble failure, with individual elements more interesting than the strangled, distracted whole.

Full Review… | January 10, 2013

Audience Reviews for Struck by Lightning


I guess I was expecting the movie to be funny considering it listed as a comedy. Instead what I got was a quite dark and depressing film about a boy desperately wanting to escape his life. I couldn't find any of the characters likable. Especially the MC Carson. He is very cynical of everyone and quite closed off and a bit bratty when he doesn't get his way. I did like Rebel as Malerie. But the rest of the characters where dull and boring. The acting wasn't so great either. A decent movie but nothing worth seeing again.


Super Reviewer


I really enjoyed this. I thought it was really funny but also poignant. I liked the message in their about staying true to yourself and how it's important to dream and have aspirations. Sure, Carson could kind of be a jerk sometimes but you could see why he was so sarcastic. I think it was his way of dealing with the crap in his life. His mom was pretty much an alcoholic, his dad left them and didn't seem like he wanted to be a part of his life. Not once, while he was April (hid fiancee who was 6 months pregnant) did he ever mention that he had a son. His grandma has Alzheimer's. She doesn't even seem to remember him most of the time. But even so, I dont think he was always a jerk. I really liked the scene with him and Claire (Sarah hyland) where he asks her why she thinks she'll never make it out of this town and do better for herself. And he talks about how in grade 2 she told everyone she wanted to be a ballerina, and he asks "What happened to that girl?". And as she responds that everyone laughed at her. He tells her "I never laughed". I think its sweet that he wanted her to do something that SHE wanted. The ending had me in tears. It was sad of course that he died and didn't go on to college and do the things he wanted, but he did inspire people while on earth and I thought that was powerful in a way. I also cried for his mom Cheryl (Alison Janney) when she finds out that he dies. The way she keeps calling him and hoping that its just some mistake. She wasn't perfect (far from it), but she did care for him.

All in all, I enjoyed this film and recommend it.

m h

Super Reviewer


A filmed filled with failed one-liners and bad acting and horrendous camera work. The film had so much potential with the star-studded cast, but the horrible script just didn't work, not with the stereotypical characters and forced added pop culture references. It's pretty much as if you are watching Glee, the only difference is the changes of actor. Rebel Wilson did shine as an awkward side kick of the protagonist. It had a good idea, if only someone else other than Colfer himself wrote the script, there might be a better product.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

Struck by Lightning Quotes

Grandma: Sometimes a personal rain cloud, can be deadly.
– Submitted by Kristy L (20 months ago)
Malerie Baggs: Carson, Are we friends? Carson Phillips: I think we're best friends, Malerie. Malerie Baggs: Cool.
– Submitted by Tim L (21 months ago)
Claire Mathews: Oh Carson, you always thought you were so much better than us because we all couldn't stand you but get ready for pure hatred coming your way because as soon as the rest of the school finds out about this and they tell their parents, the entire town will actually hate you! Carson Phillips: ALRIGHT, ENOUGH! ALRIGHT!? I didn't just stand up for myself in there, I was standing up for all of you! The minute you guys walked onto this campus, you were labelled as high school royalty and you would rather maintain that label then heaven forbid stand up for yourselves! But high school ends! And for your sakes, I hope you guys aren't the walking cliches everyone thinks you are 'cause life is going to walk all over you - it's going to bite you in the ass!
– Submitted by B A (21 months ago)
April: Your dad tells me you're quite popular at school.
– Submitted by Chris P (21 months ago)
Carson Phillips: Why is it that some people are selfish by nature and others have to be selfish just to survive?
– Submitted by Arri M (21 months ago)
Carson Phillips: And then it suddenly came to me. I had one more story to add.
– Submitted by Tim L (21 months ago)

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