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The Bucket List

A comedy movie directed by Rob Reiner

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A Light, Heartwarming Movie, by two Hollywood Greats

  • Dec 26, 2008
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The Bottom Line: Heartwarming and entertaining I’d say. 

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

A Bucket List: is a list of things to do before one dies that one didn't get a chance to do while alive and, well, well enough to do them. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, now there's a combination you no doubt thought you'd never see on the silver screen.  But here they are nonetheless in 2007's The Bucket List.              
The Story

Directed by Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, The American President, Alex & Emma) The Bucket List opens in an automobile garage of all places, as Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman ~ Glory, Million Dollar Baby, Lucky Number Slevin) explains life to one of his associates as they fix an car.  That is until Carter feels a silly little pain where that shouldn't be one. 

Cut to Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson ~ Ragtime, Ironweed, The Departed) the CEO of a hospital corporation who is in the middle of a board meeting when he collapses and is taken to one of his hospitals and roomed with Carter.  Seems both men are suffering from cancer and after all of the tests are done and operations performed neither man is given long to live. 

So Carter starts to create a bucket list, but then throws it away, and Edward retrieves it and highly recommends they fulfill the items on the list much to consternation of Carter's wife Virginia (Beverly Todd ~ Lean on Me, Six Feet Under).  But, Carter who gave up much to raise his family decides to do something for himself and off the two go.          

My Thoughts

The Bucket List is a heartwarming, light hearted movie that is both great fun and sad to watch unfold.  Both Freeman and Nicholson turning in heartwarming mild and genuine performances that frankly I didn't believe Nicholson had in him. 

These two are no Grumpy Old Men, Carter with his seeming knowledge of everything acts as a tour guide, while Edward spreads his tacky though buoyant, bravado even as he picks up the tab for jaunts around the world from the Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, from sky-diving to high performance car racing. 

But of course this is a movie and happy ending are expected, nay demanded, so the very messy and complex quandary's the two find themselves in are resolved with Hollywood ease.  But, for some reason it doesn't matter because when the final curtain fell, The Bucket List did what is was supposed to do, entertain.  


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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More The Bucket List (2007 movie) reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
When you think about it, The Bucket List is not a horrible movie. It's a creative, somewhat thought-provoking premise, and it has two capable lead actors. However, its main weakness that keeps me from enjoying this movie is its script. The same person that convinced me to watch Pay It Forward is the person that convinced me to watch this, and I liked this better than Pay it Forward. You see, I don't watch movies to be sad, I watch movies either to laugh or appreciate how well-done they …
review by . November 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   I should have loved this film. I really like Nicholson and Freeman. I also enjoy a good dramedy, even those about death -- one of my all-time favorites is Better Off Dead. It must be very difficult to pull off funny when the subject is death, so to do so is impressive. The Bucket List tries, and sometimes gets very close... but I didn't love this film. It was okay. I don't regret the time invested, but, I'm not adding it to my library.      Why?   …
review by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are two of the best actors out there. That alone makes The Bucket List a treat. It features both men at the top of their game. Nicholson as the millionaire hospital magnate and Freeman as the lowly mechanic strike an unlikely friendship while commiserating over their cancer. It's easy for movies about the elderly and death to take on an almost didactic air. However, The Bucket List is a much more subtle about two imperfect men trying to find an appropriate way …
review by . October 16, 2010
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are two of the best actors out there. That alone makes The Bucket List a treat. It features both men at the top of their game. Nicholson as the millionaire hospital magnate and Freeman as the lowly mechanic strike an unlikely friendship while commiserating over their cancer. It's easy for movies about the elderly and death to take on an almost didactic air. However, The Bucket List is a much more subtle about two imperfect men trying to find an appropriate way to …
review by . January 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Nicholson & Freeman - outstanding     Cons: none     The Bottom Line:   “Walk on, walk on  With hope in your heart  And you'll never walk alone,  You'll never walk alone”  ~Rodgers & Hammrstein     Edward Cole is an obscenely rich man. He sits on many boards, owns countless companies, dines with Presidents and Royalty, eats only the best food and dines on the choicest …
review by . October 05, 2008
This movie brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderfully performed by the one and only Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The story is about two men, Edward, a rich businessman, and Carter, a mechanic. Both men have cancer and are roommates in the hospital. Thinking they will die, they go on a trip around the world trying to fulfill Carter's (Freeman) bucket list: A list of things to do before you kick the bucket (aka die). Throughout the movie, the men deal with their fears, families and foster …
review by . June 18, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
(3.5 *`s) You've probably seen the previews, so much elaboration isn't needed, but `Bucket List' is still a worthy journey even if the plot is laid out for you already. Sweet, sage, and funny, Rob Reiner delivers another heartwarming gem that's rejuvenating to watch.    They couldn't be more opposite. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) is a wealthy owner of hospitals where the frills are fleeting at best. "We run hospitals, not health spas," Edward brashly tells his potential clients. …
review by . June 15, 2008
Selecting a category for this very fine film results in the all-encompassing label 'mixed media', for lack of a better term. It is smart (with an excellent script by Justin Zackham), addresses some important social issues, and it has moments of touching tenderness and equal moments of very sold comedy. AND it greatly benefits from the casting of Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, two consummate actors playing out a theme that is unexpectedly a solid study of friendship and love.    Carter …
review by . June 07, 2008
This is a painfully sentimental movie about love and death. You would be a hard soul indeed if you could sit through this without choking just a little. What makes it worth watching is that it calls the question of the bucket list: just what would you do if you knew your time was limited?    If you're willing to stay with it, it also calls for two more reflections:    *What sort of things are on your list? Is it mostly a check-off of things that other people …
review by . April 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) is a relatively happy man. Carter is a self-taught man with a thirst for knowledge that is never quite quenched. He has three children, a devoted wife, and is an ace mechanic. A telephone call one morning from the hospital changes everything. The operation he had months before was unsuccessful and has terminal cancer in the brain. Carter finds himself in the hospital participating in a "promising" experimental treatment. Carter's roommate in the hospital turns out …
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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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"You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you," says the quietly wise Carter Chambers, played with gravitas and grace by a Morgan Freeman. In Rob Reiner's moving, often hilarious filmThe Bucket List, all sorts of people measure themselves against the two heroes, Chambers and his hospital suitemate, Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson). But as Cole finds, having spent his entire life building a Fortune 500 company, none of that much matters when cancer, the great equalizer, pays a visit. The film traces the adventures of the two unlikely friends, who meet in a hospital cancer ward, each given six months to live. The "bucket list" of the title refers to a lifelong list of goals that a teacher of Chambers once advised him to compile--and achieve--"before you kick the bucket." Soon the two are off on what may be the last grand adventure of their life, vowing to tick off as many goals (skydiving, race-car driving, seeing the wonders of the world) as they can in the time they have left. What starts as a medical melodrama becomes a road trip, yet the men's mortality realities are never far from thought. The two leads give impressive performances, and remind the viewer of just how few American films focus on the lives and loves of senior citizens. Nicholson even manages to lose his persona in his character, much as he did inAbout Schmidt. There's a lovely John Mayer tune, "Say (What You Need to Say)," that's ...
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