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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2007), PG-13 [PG-13*] (1hr 32min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
June 20, 2008
June 21, 2008

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2007), PG-13 [PG-13*] ... If one feeds it through a curse-free filter...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Storyline Entertainment, Two Ton Films, Zadan/Meron
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures (2007)
Director(s): Rob Reiner
Producer(s): Frank Capra III, Alan Greisman, Travis Knox, ,Neil Meron, Rob Reiner, Jeffrey Stott, Justin Zackham, Craig Zadan
Written by: Justin Zackham
Cinematography/Camera: John Schwartzman
Music: Marc Shaiman
Film Editing: Robert Leighton
Casting: Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins, Michelle Lewitt
Production Design: Bill Brzeski
Art Direction: Jay Pelissier
Viewed on Warner Brothers Home Video DVD

It may be just me but it seemed that Morgan Freeman was just tolerating Jack Nicholson's mouth. Nicholson spewed so many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary that it tended to mask Freeman's few uses. But it is probably just me since I enjoy Freeman's performances so much more than Nicholson's. Indeed, if it were not for the tons of foul language and a few of the "lesser" examples of assault on morality and decency, this would have been an enjoyable film (see CAP Rule of 1000 for more information about "lesser" examples).

Life throws aging self-made billionaire Edward Perriman Cole (Jack Nicholson) and likewise aging genius auto mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan freeman) together in the same hospital room. They are both victims of cancer. Told they have but a few months to live, the pair decide to "live it up" and see the world.

In his hospital bed, Carter wrote what his sociological professor suggested years ago -- a bucket list. A bucket list is a list of all the things you want to do before you die ... before you "kick the bucket." Carter had been told he had cancer but not that it was malignant. He wrote the list before he knew he was going to die of the cancer. Once Carter was told he wadded up the list and threw it on the floor.

Later Edward picked up the list, made a few derogatory remarks about it then invited Carter to let him take Carter on trips to live his bucket list. Ed even added a few items to the list for himself. Reluctantly Cater decided to humor Ed and the two embarked on a world-wide fling. That is what most of the story is about.

It is a story of bonding of unlikely friends. The writers came up with one of the most touching lines I have ever heard in a film. In their travels Carter had shared with Ed whether Ed had joy in his life and whether Ed had brought joy to someone else's life. At carter's funeral, Ed spoke to those assembled saying "The last months of his life were the best months of my life." That line connected the entire film into one warm moment.

Another successfully moving line by the writers was one of Edward's bucket list items -- to kiss the most beautiful girl in the world. He figured he would achieve that goal by volume kissing. But it didn't happen. After years of bickering and hatred between his daughter and he, Edward had never met his granddaughter. Shortly after his return from world travels with Carter, Ed found the courage to visit his daughter ... and kissed the most beautiful girl in the world, his granddaughter.

There is little more to be said for The Bucket List. If one feeds it through a curse-free filter it would be a lot more enjoyable.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 100 out of 100
There were no examples of typical Hollywood violence in the entire 92 minutes of film ...

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
... but the same cannot be said of profanity. Twenty-nine uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary made ugly much of the story. This is one of two areas the film is rather ugly. [Col. 3:8] A discussion of suicide, tattoos and facial piercing plus a lie and an episode of hateful dialogue made up the content applicable to the Impudence/Hate investigation area. These latter issues of assault on morality and decency are contrary to the examples set for us by Paul for Jesus in 1Cor. 11:1 and Titus 2:7 and by Jesus Himself in John 13:15.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
The sexually immoral matters consist of a few issues of anatomical references, vulgar gestures, one instance of implied (off screen) intercourse and a prostitute inviting Carter to participate in adultery in her hotel room. [Mark 7:18 - 23]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 86 out of 100
One case of smoking, one case of drinking plus a scene with alcoholic beverages were the only matters found to cause loss of points in Drugs/Alcohol content.

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
Here is the second of the two major areas the film gets ugly. God's name is abused 12 times without the four letter expletive and five times with it. Whether people believe that such use of God's name is offensive it Him, it is. So much so that He will not hold guiltless s/he who uses his name in vain. [Deut. 5:11]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
No cases of murder or suicide were noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • 1Cor. 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
  • Titus 2:7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness ...
  • John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
  • Hebr. 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
  • Mark 7:18 - 23 "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." [BTW, in saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean."] He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Bucket List (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 0 out of 100
  • 29 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • discussion of suicide as a relief
  • massive tattoos
  • facial piercing
  • lie
  • hateful dialogue

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 75 out of 100
  • vulgar gesture, twice
  • anatomical reference, twice, one particularly vulgar
  • implied intercourse (off screen)
  • invitation to adultery by a prostitute

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 86 out of 100
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • booze

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive plus 5 with it
  • smooth talk against God and faith
  • faith in reincarnation

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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