The Bucket List is a 2007 American buddy comedy-drama film directed and produced by Rob Reiner, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.[2] The main plot follows two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket".

The Bucket List
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRob Reiner
Written byJustin Zackham
Produced by
CinematographyJohn Schwartzman
Edited byRobert Leighton
Music byMarc Shaiman
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 15, 2007 (2007-12-15) (Hollywood)
  • December 25, 2007 (2007-12-25) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$45 million[1]
Box office$175.4 million[1]

Zackham coined the expression "bucket list" after he wrote his own "List of Things to do Before I Kick the Bucket" and shortened it to "Justin's Bucket List". The first item on his list was to "get a film made at a major studio". This list gave him the idea for the screenplay, and The Bucket List became his first studio film.[3]

The film premiered on December 15, 2007 in Hollywood and opened in limited release in the United States on December 25, 2007, by Warner Bros. The film then had a wide release on January 11, 2008. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2007 and was a box office success, opening at #1 in the United States, and grossing $175.4 million worldwide.

Plot edit

Two elderly men, blue-collar automotive mechanic Carter Chambers and billionaire Edward Cole meet for the first time in a hospital owned by Edward after both men are diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Carter, a gifted amateur historian and family man, wanted to become a history professor in his youth but chose to start a family instead. Edward, a four-time divorced healthcare tycoon and cultured loner, enjoys drinking kopi luwak, one of the most expensive coffees in the world and mocking his personal valet Matthew, whom he wrongly but intentionally calls Thomas.

While in the hospital, Carter and Edward manage to find common ground. For fun, Carter started writing a list of activities to do before he "kicks the bucket." After hearing he has less than a year to live, he dejectedly discards his list.

Edward finds the list the next morning and urges him to do everything on it, adds his own items and offers to finance all expenses. Carter agrees and though his wife Virginia objects, the two patients begin their globetrotting last vacation along with Matthew. They go skydiving, drive a vintage Shelby Mustang and Dodge Challenger around California Speedway, fly over the North Pole, eat dinner at Chèvre d'or, visit the Taj Mahal, ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China, attend a lion safari in Tanzania and visit Mount Everest.

Atop the Great Pyramid of Giza, they confide mutually about faith and family. Carter reveals that he has long been feeling less in love with his wife and feels some regret for his chosen path. Edward discloses that he is deeply hurt by his estrangement from his only daughter, who estranged him after he drove away her abusive husband. Later, while in Hong Kong, Edward hires a prostitute to approach Carter, who has never been with any woman but his wife. Carter declines and insists they stop the bucket list and go home.

During the return journey, Carter tries to reunite Edward with his estranged daughter. Considering this a breach of trust, Edward scolds Carter and then angrily storms off. Carter returns home to his family while Edward, feeling alone though breaks down weeping in his luxury home. Carter’s family reunion turns out to be short-lived as while readying for marital romance, he collapses and is rushed to the hospital, where it is discovered that the cancer has spread to his brain. Edward, now in a remarkable remission, visits him to reconcile.

Carter, always a Jeopardy! fan knowledgeable about trivia, reveals how Edward's kopi luwak coffee is fed to and defecated by a jungle cat before being harvested. As the two laugh hysterically over the obscure fact, Carter implores Edward to finish the list for him.

After Carter dies during surgery, Edward manages to reconcile with his own daughter and she introduces him to the granddaughter he never knew he had. After greeting the little girl by kissing her cheek, Edward thoughtfully crosses "kiss the most beautiful girl in the world" off the bucket list. Soon after, Edward delivers a eulogy at Carter’s funeral, during which he explains that the last three months of Carter's life were, thanks to Carter, the best three months of his own.

An epilogue reveals that Edward lived to age 81 and Matthew then took his ashes to a peak in the Himalayas. As Matthew places a Chock full o'Nuts coffee can of Edward's ashes alongside another can of Carter's ashes, he crosses off the last item on the bucket list, "witness something truly majestic" and tucks the completed list between the cans.

Cast edit

Edwards granddaughter

Release edit

The film opened in wide release in the United States and Canada on January 11, 2008 and grossed $19,392,416 from around 3,200 screens across 2,911 theaters, averaging $6,662 per theater ($6,060 per screen) and ranking #1 at the box office.[4] The film closed on June 5, 2008, never having a weekend-to-weekend decline of more than 40%, and ended up with a final gross of $93,466,502 in the United States and Canada and another $81,906,000 overseas, for a total gross of $175,372,502 worldwide, easily recouping the film's considerable $45 million budget and turning a sizable profit for Warner Bros.[1]

Reception edit

The Bucket List received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 41% based on 178 reviews, with an average rating of 5.20/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Not even the earnest performances of the two leads can rescue The Bucket List from its schmaltzy script".[5] Metacritic gave the film a score of 42 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[7]

On IMDb the movie has a more favorable score of 7.4/10.[8] A score given by at least 257K users.

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and whose lower jaw was removed in 2006, criticized the film's portrayal of cancer sufferers, writing in his one-star review that The Bucket List "...thinks dying of cancer is a laff riot followed by a dime-store epiphany."[9]

Accolades[10] edit

The Bucket List was named one of the ten best films of 2007 by the National Board of Review.[11]

Soundtrack edit

A score album from Varèse Sarabande was released on January 15, 2008, featuring composer Marc Shaiman's original score for the film as well as a selection of newly recorded themes from Shaiman's previous scoring projects, including City Slickers, Simon Birch, The Addams Family, Mother, North, Sleepless in Seattle, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, Mr. Saturday Night, and Stuart Saves His Family.

It also features a rearranged version of the James Bond theme "Goldfinger" (titled "Printmaster"), with Shaiman's own voice and lyrics in which he spoofs the industry's habit of tracking music in scenes where they don't belong.

The full list of 23 tracks is as follows:

  1. Hospital Hallway (from the movie)
  2. Like Smoke through a Keyhole (from the movie)
  3. Best in L.A. (from the movie)
  4. Really Bad News (from the movie)
  5. Milord – Édith Piaf (from the movie)
  6. Hotel Source (from the movie)
  7. Did You Hear It? (from the movie)
  8. Flying Home (from the movie)
  9. Homecomings (from the movie)
  10. Life and Death (from the movie)
  11. The Mountain (from the movie)
  12. End Credits (from the movie)
  13. Theme from The American President ("A Seed of Grain")
  14. Theme from City Slickers
  15. Theme from Simon Birch
  16. Theme from The Addams Family
  17. Theme from Mother
  18. Theme from North
  19. Sleepless in Seattle / A Wink and a Smile"
  20. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut/"Blame Canada"
  21. Theme from Mr. Saturday Night
  22. "Printmaster" (After John Barry's "Goldfinger")
  23. Theme from Stuart Saves His Family ("What Makes a Family")

The theme song, John Mayer's "Say," is not included on the Bucket List soundtrack, but included on the re-release of Mayer's third album Continuum.

Home media edit

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray June 10, 2008.

See also edit

Footnotes edit

  1. ^ The "Castle Rock Entertainment" logo does not appear in this film's opening.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "The Bucket List (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  2. ^ "The Bucket List". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  3. ^ Zimmer, Ben (29 May 2015). "The Origins of 'Bucket List'". Retrieved 3 January 2022.
  4. ^ "The Bucket List (2007) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  5. ^ "The Bucket List". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  6. ^ "Bucket List, The (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2022-01-19.
  7. ^ Joshua Rich (2008-01-14). "Bucket List tops box office". Entertainment Weekly. it received a nice A- CinemaScore review from an audience that was 59 percent female and a whopping 84 percent over the age of 25.
  8. ^ Reiner, Rob (2008-01-11), The Bucket List (Adventure, Comedy, Drama), Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Warner Bros., Zadan / Meron Productions, Two Ton Films, retrieved 2024-01-01
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 10, 2008). "O death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?". Chicago Sun-Times.
  10. ^ Reiner, Rob (2008-01-11), The Bucket List (Adventure, Comedy, Drama), Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Sean Hayes, Warner Bros., Zadan / Meron Productions, Two Ton Films, retrieved 2024-01-01
  11. ^ "Top Films Archives". National Board of Review.

External links edit