Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jack Nicholson
Morgan Freeman
Sean Hayes
Rob Morrow.
Directors
Rob Reiner.
Screenwriters
Justin Zackham.
Running Time
97 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Mr. Morgan's Last Love
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

The Bucket List
Jack and Morgan don’t fear the Reaper


submit to reddit


Plot
Billionaire Cole (Nicholson) and auto mechanic Chambers (Freeman) have just one thing in common: both are dying of cancer. After bonding in hospital through their chemotherapy ordeals, the odd couple embark on a globe-trotting adventure...


Review
The Bucket List

Everybody has a list these days. Besides the grocery shopping, screeds of places to go, movies to see and books to read, things to do before you kick the bucket are pretty popular. So while audiences may have cold-shouldered a string of films about older women making whoopee, the prospect of Jack Nicholson being characteristically, quixotically Jack-like, and Morgan Freeman, playing his steadfast foil and doubling as sage narrator, gives Rob Reiner his likeliest shot in years.

This is a feelgood comedy about dying, with a message of ‘finding your joy’ and some delusions of profundity. Thus we are supposed to get over the preposterousness of a tycoon and a garage guy sharing a hospital room in the first place. Edward Cole’s (Nicholson) presence there is explained ad tedium as a necessary PR exercise. The billionaire actually owns the hospital and enforced a strict two-beds-per-room policy, blah-blah-blah...

It’s less clear how Freeman’s Carter Chambers has managed to pay for the insurance that keeps him in hospital for months on a mechanic’s salary. Never mind; Edward’s filthy lucre is the means for them to run off for a lifetime’s worth of fantasies and longings squeezed into their remaining weeks, before some inevitable 11th-hour relationship repairs.

And awww, we wouldn’t want to be deprived of the chaps gazing in awe at the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids, the Himalayas and the Great Wall Of China, enjoying an African safari, eating caviar in the south of France, skydiving and driving vintage race cars. Of course, they can’t just go do these things; they have to have 80 conversations around the world, in which they ponder the meaning of life, debate the existence of God and all that stuff while Edward’s long-suffering factotem (Sean Hayes) brings up the rear with the baggage and the wisecracks.

Dismayingly, the visual effects are so dodgy it’s obvious the actors are sitting on the same soundstage while the second unit’s holiday snaps pass behind them. There is some joy to be found, however, in the interplay between the duo, and some good laughs: “What the hell are you doing here?” “Fighting for my life. You?”


Verdict
The script is weak and obvious and the direction disappointingly unimaginative. But stars are stars, and the old boys are terrific - enough to make this a funny and sometimes moving buddy picture.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Bucket List
Empire Star Rating

Melodramatic Claptrap

Enjoyable though it may be, The Bucket List paves a way for itself by hitting the audience with a bombshell in the opening reel, and, in all honesty, never quite recovers from it. The characters that we're meant to sympathize with are underdeveloped and somewhat one-dimensional. The script suffers from severe monotony, despite some amusing scenarios, and the two leads look like they'd rather be anywhere else on the planet but on set. Not bad, but not a great movie either. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 10:29, 16 March 2011 | Report This Post


Empire way off the mark

This isn't a comedy a thriller or a horror. Its simply a film about life and it makes you think about your own and not to waste it. No film like this can be the greatest film ever, however it fulfills it purpose of making you think. 4stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by logansbearing at 10:04, 07 August 2008 | Report This Post


Not quite so succesfull

Saw it in the sneak yesterday: A not totally succesfull mix of comedy and drama about 2 men (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who both get the news that they`re terminally ill. They make a list (The Bucket List) of things they wanna do before they pass on. The choice of making it a mix of 2 genres isn`t quite succesfull. The comedy part as well as the drama part on itself are good and make you laugh and (almost) cry. That makes it all the more a pity that they didn`t decide to go fo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 20:18, 21 March 2008 | Report This Post


A 4 star comedy

This is a delight. it IS funny...it IS moving...and its predictability is not such a fault as you make it out to be. It is almost fairy-tale like in its approach so i don't mind the unrealism. Jack N. is HILARIOUS in this film....can't rem the last time i laughed so hard....best 'Jack' quote: "...never trust a fart..." ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by claudemg at 21:49, 04 March 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Bucket Of Shit !

I actually enjoyed this a whole lot more than I thought I would, mainly due to Nicholson and Freeman being as watchable as ever. This is clearly not a film aimed at the younger generation and the direction and pacing are perfectly suited to a film of this kind. 3 stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 17:03, 27 February 2008 | Report This Post


Bucket Of Shit !

There's something about a Morgan Freeman voiceover that gets you onside immediately. And Jack Nicholson has the market for cantankerous old farts cornered. However, they both need better material than is afforded here. The two unlikely friends join forces and scribble down a list things they'd like to do before they kick the bucket - hence the title. A turgid drama, The Bucket List starts and finishes even worse than the way you'd imagine, offering little or no surprises along the way. It uses... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 10:12, 19 February 2008 | Report This Post


RE: This is where Empire is wrong.

Is it wrong that I started to cry at the end??? I expected it to be funnier, and if anything found it a little dull. ... More

Posted by Walkerboy at 19:49, 15 February 2008 | Report This Post


This is where Empire is wrong.

They expect a Superbad or Knocked Up comedy, truthfully this is a 4 star fun and moving buddy comedy that's made to make you feel good. The script is not weak, the direction doesn't have to be imaginative. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by indysid at 22:45, 11 February 2008 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)