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"THE BUCKET LIST"
(2007) (Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Mild Heavy *Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Extreme Heavy Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: Two terminally ill men decide to live life to the fullest in the short amount of time they have left.
PLOT:
Edward Cole (JACK NICHOLSON) is a successful businessman whose practical approach at privatizing and then running hospitals has made him fabulously rich. Yet, he comes to regret his steadfast and no-exceptions "two beds and two patients per room" rule when he ends up hospitalized due to a serious illness. It's a point repeated with more than a touch of irony by his long-suffering but highly efficient personal assistant, Thomas (SEAN HAYES), when Edward ends up sharing a room with auto mechanic and trivia expert Carter Chambers (MORGAN FREEMAN).

He's also been hospitalized due to a life-threatening illness, a development not lost on his wife of many decades, Virginia (BEVERLY TODD). Carter is amused by Edward's tantrums and antisocial behavior, but the two soon become fast friends due to sharing similar medical experiences. Thus, when both receive news that they only have months to live, Edward tries to convince Carter that he should not only resurrect his previously discarded "bucket list" -- things you'd do before "kicking the bucket" -- but also expand upon it so that they go out with a bang rather than a whimper.

From that point on, and as they travel around the world and experience things they've always wanted to do, they must contend not only with their respective illness and pending mortality, but also other matters in their lives, all as they attempt to accomplish everything on their collective bucket list.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language, including a sexual reference.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JACK NICHOLSON plays a wealthy but ailing businessman who finds himself as a patient at one of his hospitals while facing a terminal illness. He uses profanity, is angry about his situation, apparently has some sort of sexual encounter with a younger woman, and is unwilling to reconcile with his estranged adult daughter, but wants to go out from life with a bang, with Carter alongside him.
  • MORGAN FREEMAN plays a far more reserved auto mechanic and trivia expert who uses some profanity, briefly smokes, and is tentative about joining Edward. He eventually does, partly due to having grown apart from his wife whom he leaves behind to worry about him as he jet-sets around the world.
  • SEAN HAYES plays Edward's personal assistant who must put up with his often outrageous demands and occasional bad/demeaning attitude toward him. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • BEVERLY TODD plays Carter's long-married wife who's concerned about his illness but also perturbed that he'd go off and leave her to have fun with Edward.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, an off-screen sexual encounter is heavily suggested, and a married couple prepares to have sex, but sickness interrupts that before anything happens.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, tense family material is present in several forms, and thematic elements involving that as well as dealing with terminal illnesses also occur. Some blood and other scatological material/behavior is also present.

    There's some brief drinking, while one character briefly smokes, and there's other behavior that might be enticing to imitate. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Carter and Edward have wine with a meal, as do others.
  • Edward comments on not being invited to his daughter's wedding, but then comments on his son-in-law hitting his daughter, with her saying it was due to her husband drinking.
  • Carter has a drink in a bar, while a woman joins him and orders wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Edward coughs up blood, and we some on his handkerchief, and some on his chin.
  • We see Edward vomiting into a toilet (his head there, but not the actual act, but we hear it). He then does that again and wipes his mouth after he's done.
  • We see a large incision scar on Edward's head from his recent brain surgery.
  • Edward rushes off to the bathroom, holding his covered rear.
  • We see a heavily tattooed man giving Edward a tattoo (with some slightly bloody results).
  • We see blood on Carter's shirt from a catheter breakage under his shirt.
  • Carter has Edward read a story about his favorite coffee that's made from beans that are eaten by and then pass through the intestinal system of wild cats. Edward didn't know this and states, "You're sh*tting me," followed by Carter laughingly saying, "Cats beat me to it."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Edward isn't happy to have to room with Carter (based on his own rules), and is initially disrespectful to him.
  • Edward occasionally treats Thomas (his employee) badly and/or in a demeaning way that he (Edward) thinks is amusing.
  • Edward doesn't believe in God (some viewers might not like that).
  • Carter states that he and his wife lost something between them along the way of their kids growing up. Accordingly, that's part of the reason he decides to go off and leave her at home worrying about him as he jet-sets around the world with Edward.
  • Edward comments on not being invited to his daughter's wedding, but then comments on his son-in-law hitting his daughter, with her saying it was due to her husband drinking. Edward then says he hired someone to take care of that, resulting in the daughter being mad, and saying that he didn't exist to her from that point on.
  • A miscellaneous woman shows some cleavage, and after she and Carter talk for a little bit, she says she's never done this before, but says she has a room upstairs. Carter turns her down, and he later realizes Edward set that up to test him, and make him want to go home to his wife.
  • Edward is angry with Carter for trying to intervene in Edward's relationship with his estranged, adult daughter.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The overall issue of facing a terminal illness might be unsettling for those experiencing or who have experienced the same themselves or in their family.
  • We see surgery being performed on Edward, but don't see the actual operation.
  • There's a view out of a skydiving plane looking down (for those with height/vertigo issues).
  • Virginia comes out into the bedroom, and finds Carter on the floor by the bed, his legs shaking from his illness.
  • Carter has surgery, but we don't see the actual act.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Old TV footage shows soldiers carrying rifles.
  • Edward fires a hunting rifle just to experience discharging it (not firing at an animal, and the kick of it knocks him to the ground).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You have no f*cking idea who I am," "Doctor sh*t for brains," "I don't give a sh*t about PR," "Won't catch me drinking that sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Sh*tty news or really sh*tting news?" "That's the really sh*tting news in case you were wondering," "You sh*t," "You look like sh*t," "You're sh*tting me" (followed by "Cats beat me to it"), "Gotta enough for you, sunny Jim...dangling" (a penis reference taunt), "You really are sick," "Who the hell /is this guy/ is that/are you?" "I'll be damned," "Zombie problems," "Pissed off," "Kiss my ass," "Love the smell of chemo in the morning," "Having a gay old time," "What, are you the devil?" "For crying out loud," "Don't you want to go out with some balls, guns blazing?" "You're damn right," "You're a fool," "Jeez," "The hell it's not," "I hate your rotten guts," "Pull the damn chord," "We live to die another day," "You gonna drive it or buy it a dress?" "You sound like someone looking for an ass whooping," "I'll show you Evel G*ddman Knievel," "Hallelujah brother, and pass the mustard," "He's like a broad," "You don't have to get chippy with me" and "Pea soup still sucks."
  • Edward gives "the finger" to Thomas about getting up in the morning.
  • Edward and a reluctant Carter go skydiving.
  • We see a heavily tattooed man giving Edward a tattoo (with some slightly bloody results).
  • Both Carter and Edward go airborne off an impromptu dirt ramp while doing some auto racing.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • An old ZZ Top song has the lyric, "I'm just looking for some touch" (that some could view as sexual in nature).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 12 "s" words, 7 damns, 6 hells, 3 asses, 6 uses of "Jesus," 5 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • About Carter being reluctant to get a tattoo and implying his wife wouldn't be happy, Edward tells him, "It's not like you're dumping her for another woman." Carter replies that he's never with another woman. Edward then replies, "Whoa, that's gotta be on the list." He then asks about it being 66 years and then adds, "We oughta have a big orgy." He then says it's not being unfaithful, but instead would be professional, and that he (Edward) doesn't even have to be there.
  • While competing at auto racing, Carter taunts Edward, "Gotta enough for you, sunny Jim...dangling," with Edward then getting mad and asking, "Did you just make a penis reference?"
  • Edward opens a door on a plane in flight, peeks out, and a young stewardess then comes out, buttoning up her blouse. Edward then says "Medicinal" when Carter looks at him.
  • We see Carter in a bubble bath, but nothing is seen beyond his bare chest.
  • A miscellaneous woman shows some cleavage, and after she and Carter talk for a little bit in a hotel bar, she says she's never done this before, but says she has a room upstairs. Carter turns her down, and he later realizes Edward set that up to test him, and make him want to go home to his wife.
  • Edward has two younger (and clothed) women in his house, but he's crying (and they comment on that and how he's usually so much fun - they're presumably there for sexual reasons, but nothing occurs).
  • In their bedroom at home, Virginia asks Carter if he knows how long it's been (since they had sex). He asks if he wants to know, and she says it's been longer than that. As she prepares herself in the bathroom, he comments on feeling like a teenager, and that it's like their first time. She replies that if they were teenagers, they never would have gotten out of the living room. She then adds that she remembers their first time, that there was no tiptoeing around, and "You were on my like that." She then comes out into the bedroom, but then finds him on the floor by the bed, his legs shaking from his illness (thus nothing sexual occurs).
  • SMOKING
  • Carter smokes once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Virginia is worried about Carter being sick.
  • Edward states that he never stayed married long enough to know if he had kids (although he's lying, as we later learn of at least one). He states that he was married four times, but the only successful marriage was to his work.
  • Virginia is upset upon hearing of Carter's bad news, and wants second opinions and such. This creates tension between them, as he doesn't want more tests or second opinions.
  • Edward has an adult daughter, Emily, but doesn't see her. Carter then puts her on Edward's bucket list, but Edward crosses that off.
  • Virginia demands that Edward give her husband back to her (while the two are out traveling the world), saying she's accepted his illness, but is not prepared to lose him while he's still alive.
  • Carter states that he and his wife lost something between them along the way of their kids growing up. Accordingly, that's part of the reason he decides to go off and leave her at home worrying about him as he jet-sets around the world with Edward.
  • Edward comments on not being invited to his daughter's wedding, but then comments on his son-in-law hitting his daughter, with her saying it was due to her husband drinking. Edward then says he hired someone to take care of that, resulting in the daughter being mad, and saying that he didn't exist to her from that point on.
  • Virginia comes out into the bedroom, but then finds Carter on the floor by the bed, his legs shaking from his illness.
  • Spoiler Alert: Virginia and her family get bad news at the hospital, and she then kisses the body goodbye. We then see the funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Terminal illnesses, such as cancer.
  • The question of how to measure one's life.
  • Edward states that his only successful marriage was to his work.
  • The fact that life goes by fast.
  • The five stages of dealing with bad news (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).
  • The notion of a "bucket list" (things you want to do before "kicking the bucket").
  • The question of whether people would want to know the exact time of their death.
  • Skydiving.
  • Edward not believing in God.
  • Edward's philosophy of we live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round.
  • The question of have you found joy in your life, and has your life brought joy to others?
  • Carter has Edward read a story about his favorite coffee that's made from beans that are eaten by and then pass through the intestinal system of wild cats.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Edward falls from a gurney to the floor while trying to move himself to his hospital bed.
  • Carter purposefully bumps Edward as they do some auto racing. They both then end up crashing through wooden arm gates in their way.



  • Reviewed January 8, 2008 / Posted January 11, 2008

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