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The Bucket List

Release Date: 
12/25/2007
Rated: 
MPAA: PG-13
Star Rating: 
6 out of 10
Maybe it's just us, but is Jack Nicholson actually getting kinda old. Watching him play an overweight, sometimes bald cancer victim in his latest, The Bucket List, made us think no one is going to get out of this life alive—even Jack! Still, although it's primarily about facing death, The Bucket List actually makes you feel good about life. Terminally ill patients Nicholson, a rich entrepreneur, and Morgan Freeman land in twin hospital beds and make a pact with each other that they will fulfill all the goals they put on a (kick the) "bucket list" before it's time to say adios. So after initial scenes establishing this, the pair set off on one incredible adventure after another, including skydiving, driving race cars, living the high life in Europe, and even trying to climb imposing snow-capped mountains. They develop a strong bond with each other as they soon realize the greatest pleasure in life is who you spend it with, now what you do. Complications arise, however, in their personal lives before they both learn that lesson. Despite strong support from Sean Hayes as Nicholson's personal assistant and Beverly Todd as Freeman's wife, this is really a two-man show, and Jack and Morgan have rarely been better, a couple of cool, iconic stars playing at the top of their game and still showing us how its done. As you might expect from stars of this caliber, these are two of the finest performances of this year—or any other. Despite the AARP factor, audiences of all types will probably love this film for what it says about our own mortality and how we handle it. Director Rob Reiner, despite a tendency to overdo some of the comedic schtick, has basically delivered a winner that ought to top anyone's own "list" starting with the words "must-see."