Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tom Shadyac|
|Produced by||Tom Shadyac
James D. Brubaker
|Screenplay by||Steve Koren
|Story by||Steve Koren
|Music by||John Debney|
|Editing by||Scott Hill|
Shady Acres Entertainment
Pit Bull Productions
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures
Buena Vista International
|Running time||101 minutes |
Bruce Almighty is a 2003 American religious comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, written by Steve Koren, Mark O'Keefe, and Steve Oedekerk, and starring Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan, a down-on-his-luck TV reporter who complains to God (Morgan Freeman) that he is not doing his job correctly, and is offered the chance to try being God himself for one week. This is Shadyac and Carrey's third collaboration after working together on Shadyac's first film, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which also launched Carrey's career, and Liar Liar.
When released in American theaters in May 2003, it took the #1 spot at the box office, grossing $85.89 million - higher than the release of Pearl Harbor, making it the highest-rated Memorial Day weekend opening of any film in motion picture history (until the release of X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006). The movie surprised media analysts when it beat The Matrix Reloaded after its first week of release. By the time it left theaters, it took in a United States domestic total of over $242 million and $484 million worldwide.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2013)|
Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a television field reporter for WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York, but desires to be the news anchorman. He is passed over for the promotion in favour of his co-worker rival Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) and becomes furious and rages during a live interview at Niagara Falls. His actions lead to his suspension from the station, followed by a series of misfortunes when he is assaulted by a gang of thugs for protecting a homeless man they are bullying. Shortly after getting fired from his job and crashing his car, Bruce complains to God that He isn't doing His job correctly.
Bruce later receives a message in his pager, directing him to an empty warehouse where Morgan Freeman (God) appears. God offers Bruce His powers to prove that He is doing his job correctly. God tells Bruce not to tell others he has God's powers nor use the powers to alter free will. Bruce is initially jubilant, using his newfound abilities for personal gain, such as impressing his girlfriend Grace Connelly (Jennifer Aniston) (including using an invisible rope to pull in the moon and create a romantic backdrop, unknowingly causing a tsunami in Kitamoto City in Japan as a result), taking revenge on the gang that assaulted him, and getting his job back, causing miraculous things to occur at otherwise mundane events that he covers, such as making a meteor land near a cook-off, earning him the name "Mr. Exclusive". Bruce then gets revenge by altering the news scripts, causing Evan to embarrass himself on-air, which results in Evan being sent back to his reporting job and Bruce installed as the new anchor. Bruce then invites Grace out to the restaurant that they went to on their first date. Grace believes that he will propose to her. However to her shock and disappointment he only informs her that he has been given the job of anchorman. Bruce was very mad.
Bruce hears voices in his head that (at first) he cannot understand. He later re-encounters God on Mount Everest, who explains that the voices are prayers meant for God that Bruce must deal with. He also confronts Bruce on using the powers for personal gain and not for helping people. Bruce creates a computerized email-like system to receive the prayers and respond. Predictably, he finds that the influx is far too great for him to handle – even though God has stated that Bruce is only receiving prayers from the Buffalo area. To save himself time, Bruce sets the program to automatically answer every prayer as Yes for the duration of his stint as God, without regard for the consequences.
Bruce attends a party celebrating his promotion. When Grace arrives, she finds Bruce and his co-anchor Susan Ortega (Catherine Bell) kissing, after she had forcefully come on to him, and flees, refusing to believe his pleas that it was a misunderstanding. Bruce follows her, trying to use his powers to convince her to stay, but cannot influence her free will. As Bruce looks around, he realizes that the city has fallen into chaos due to his actions: parts of the city believe the Apocalypse is near because of the meteor strike at the cook-off, while a large number of people, all who prayed to win the multi-million dollar lottery, are now rioting because they've all won and each prize has been reduced to $17. Bruce returns to God and asks how people can all act this way after he gave them what they wanted. God explains that nobody ever has a clue about what they want or the consequences that come with it. God then explains that people always want Him to perform miracles for them but they don't realize that they can perform the miracles themselves. So God gives Bruce some words of wisdom: "If you want to see a miracle, be the miracle." Bruce returns to his computer and unplugs the prayer system. He then resigns from his short-lived anchorman career and informs Evan that he will be given back the job. Bruce proceeds to live his life without using his powers. Among other things, he helps a stranded motorist push his car, makes his own sign and stands with the homeless man, and finally trains his dog Sam to urinate outdoors. Grace's sister Debbie stops by to retrieve her things and sees how Bruce has changed. She chooses to inform him that every night Grace prays, and that usually it's for him. Bruce reactivates the prayer computer to search for Grace and finds countless prayers asking for his success and wellbeing. As he reads them, another prayer from Grace arrives, asking not to be in love with Bruce anymore.
Saddened, Bruce walks alone on a highway in a thunderstorm. He asks God to take back the powers and to remove his fate from his own hands. Bruce is suddenly struck by a truck and, upon regaining consciousness, finds himself in a white void (presumably Heaven). God appears, and asks Bruce what he really wants; Bruce admits that he only wants to make sure Grace finds a man that would make her happy. God agrees, and Bruce finds himself bruised and bandaged in the hospital, shortly after having been near-miraculously resuscitated by the doctors thanks to God. Grace arrives and the two rekindle their relationship, later becoming engaged. After his recovery, Bruce returns to his field reporting but takes more pleasure in the simple stories and interviews. The film ends with him doing an item at a blood drive with the same bakers he was with in the beginning – this time his charm, enthusiasm and an uplifting speech cause his colleagues, Evan and Grace to break spontaneously into joyful applause. As Grace drags an unwilling Bruce to give blood, the homeless man stands in the background with a sign reading "Armagedon outa here," [sic] slowly morphing into the form of God. God then claps his hands and everything cuts to black.
- Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan
- Morgan Freeman as God
- Jennifer Aniston as Grace Connelly
- Lisa Ann Walter as Debbie Connelly
- Philip Baker Hall as Jack Baylor
- Steve Carell as Evan Baxter
- Catherine Bell as Susan Ortega
- Sally Kirkland as Anita Mann
- Nora Dunn as Ally Loman
- Eddie Jemison as Bobby
- Micah Stephen Williams as boy on bike
- Tony Bennett as himself
- Juan Valdez as himself
- John Murphy as himself
- Madeline Lovejoy as Zoe
- Noel G as hood
Reception and controversy 
The film received mixed reviews, with a score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 181 reviews and a weighted average score of 46 out of 100 on Metacritic. It received a B rating at Box Office Mojo and a score of 6.6 on Internet Movie Database.
The film was banned in Egypt due to pressure from Muslims who objected to the portrayal of God as a visually ordinary man. Bans in both Malaysia and Egypt were eventually lifted after the Censorship Board gave it the "18PL" rating (suitable for adult viewers only for a combination of two or more of the given parental ratings). Also, since God contacts Bruce using an actual phone number rather than a number in the standard fictional 555 telephone exchange, several people and groups sharing this number subsequently received hundreds of phone calls from people wanting to talk to God. The producers noted that the number was not in use in the area code (716, which was never specified on screen) in the film's story but did not check anywhere else. The home video and television versions changed it to the fictional 555.
On June 22, 2007, a sequel to Bruce Almighty entitled Evan Almighty was released, with Steve Carell reprising his role as Evan Baxter and Morgan Freeman returning to his role as God. Although Shadyac returned to direct the sequel, neither Carrey nor Aniston were involved with the film, though Carrey's character, Bruce, is mentioned in the film's teaser trailer. The sequel was not as well received as the predecessor, with a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of 37/100 on Metacritic.
On January 12, 2012, another sequel to Bruce Almighty was announced starring Jim Carrey.
|Bruce Almighty: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by John Debney, Various Artists|
|Released||June 3, 2003|
The soundtrack was released on June 3, 2003 by Varèse Sarabande. Tracks 9-14 are from the score composed by John Debney, performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony (conducted by Pete Anthony) with Brad Dechter and Sandy De Crescent.
- "One of Us" - Joan Osborne
- "God-Shaped-Hole" - Plumb
- "You're a God" - Vertical Horizon
- "The Power" - Snap!
- "A Little Less Conversation" - Elvis vs. JXL
- "The Rockafeller Skank" - Fatboy Slim
- "God Gave Me Everything" - Mick Jagger featuring Lenny Kravitz
- "AB Positive"
- "Walking on Water"
- "Vertical 69"
- "Bruce Meets God"
- "Bruce's Prayer"
- "Grace's Prayer"
- "God's Prayer"
- "Seventh at Seven"
- "BRUCE ALMIGHTY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2003-05-22. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- "Box Office Mojo - Bruce Almighty". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com.
- "Bruce Blesses Memorial Weekend with $85.73 Million".
- Rotten Tomatoes on Bruce Almighty
- Metacritic on Bruce Almighty
- "Middle East Online".
- "Bruce Almighty (2003) - Trivia".
- "Malaysian Muslims call for ban on movie, AFP, Fri July 13, 2007".
- "Bruce Almighty". Joe does the Movies.
- Sheridan, Michael (January 11, 2012). "‘Bruce Almighty’ gets a sequel with Jim Carrey". Daily News. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
- Phares, Heather. "Review: Bruce Almighty: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Bruce Almighty|
- Official website
- Bruce Almighty at the Internet Movie Database
- Bruce Almighty at allmovie
- Bruce Almighty at Box Office Mojo
- Bruce Almighty at Rotten Tomatoes
- Bruce Almighty at Metacritic