I don’t understand why so many people reference things back to Ebert and what rating he gave a film. Honestly who cares. He isn’t at all an interesting reviewer. He very rarely has interesting things to say about a film or has an interesting view or interpretation. He also give out 4/4 star ratings way too often, so I never really want to see a film because he has done so.
Compare him to say, Ed Gonzalez, who even though I disagree with his reviews a lot, they are always interesting and I will take the time to read them, and he doesn’t give out 4/4 reviews like free candy either, so when he does I am much more inclined to see the film.
From skimming through other topics on the Mubi forum, I expect some more experienced user to start bitching about how this thread has been done before. I honestly don’t care if it has because I want to see what, if any, responses I get to this, possibly from different users.
From skimming through other topics on the Mubi forum, I expect some more experienced user to start bitching about how this thread has been done before.
We don’t just bitch about the thread being done before, we drag up the thread that should have been revived rather than starting a new thread on a well trodden subject and tell you to use the search engine:
That said, I don’t get strong opinions about Ebert. He is what he is and as mainstream film critics go, there is much worse (Lenny Maltin).
At least this thread doesn’t have the whiny attention seeking movie geek title ‘Roger Ebert worst critic ever’.
For mainstream films he is decent. For ‘art films’, however, he is OK at best, and that’s on a rare good day.
yeah the world, ahGH! right?
I still respect Ebert, he has seen a hell of a lot of films, but he is never interesting. If a film is a classic, unless it’s arty, chances are Ebert gave it a 4/4.
I give Roger Ebert 3/4 stars.
Roger Ebert is a Renaissance Man and you all are totally underestimating him!
^ Fun Fact – He wrote that book after he lost the ability to eat.
I like the fact that he gives out good ratings a lot, he’s not a cynical asshole like many critics, but he still has intelligent observations. Plus he has said numerous time that he doesn’t like posting star ratings, and that if you are going to complain about his opinion, you should complain about his review, not his star ratings, which are really just a signifier of how well the film did in achieving it’s particular goals.
I find Ed Gonzalez a frightful bore who assume an air of superiority to the films he is reviewing and can rarely muster more enthusiasm for a film that 2 of 4 stars. If one is reading reviews because s/he wants to feel intellectually superior to the films one sees (or doesn’t), Ed’s your guy. But broadly dismissive criticism is not really my bag.
Taste is a funny thing.
His review of Ulysses’ Gaze is the worst thing I’ve ever read in regards to film criticism. It’s awful.
I think Ebert’s reviews are thoughtful and interesting. It’s all subjective as far as which critics you prefer to read.
He is one of Chicago’s finest, and there is a few there. If I see a film I’ll always check to see Ebert’s opinion if he has also seen it. Not quite so interested in reading his books Your Movie Sucks as much as his journalism.
I enjoy Ebert’s blog posts, particularly that one where he said video games can’t be art. That was entertaining.
His favorite film from 2011? A Separation.
Yeah, what an idiot…
Now, as a political pundit, Ebert is hilarious, I follow his Twitter simply because he has the most interesting things to say about politics. His attacks on Newt and Santorum are hilarious.
@ Shih Tzu
Ebert’s sometimes at his most entertaining in his very negative slams. Check out his review of Transformers 2 for an example. I’ll bet it’s more fun than the movie (not a high bar, granted.) The original I Spit on Your Grave review is also worthwhile reading.
@Mubians in general
Some of you like to dismiss him as a mainstream critic and its true that he has probably not reviewed most of the obscure Cup films. But keep in mind this is a guy that champions directors like Ozu and Bresson.
He’s definitely a “good writer,” in that he’s fun to read or whatever, but barring some of his late 60s/early 70s writings (when he seemed to have a more distinct voice… or maybe just balls) I’ve never “learned” anything new about a movie from him. Every time I read one of his reviews even if I disagree it’s just like “well oK”
@ Brad S.
That’s the whole thing, he just champions any notable director unless they get too arty.
This is probably a good point at which to refer back to this oldy—ROGER EBERT RESPONDS TO PEOPLE CALLING HIM ‘OUT OF TOUCH’
“But keep in mind this is a guy that champions directors like Ozu and Bresson”
yeah but they are now canon directors.
But yes, he does like Haneke, Denis etc as well. However, i think his taste is middle of the road generally.
agree with Ben about his Ulysses gaze review, and his reviews for Taste Of Cherry and Ten are almost as bad.
He appealed to a broader audience than most critics, and he was fine at what he did. I wish Mr. Ebert good health.
Ebert doesn’t give a damn what you think about him and I respect that. He gives good insight and writes exceptionally well. I always give him the benefit of the doubt even if he can go off on rants sometimes (Ulysses’ Gaze and Blue Velvet come to mind.).
siskel & ebert at the movies was a big influence on me taking film at all seriously. sometimes they would talk about foreign films, which were hard to come by in the suburbs. they seemed exotic and mysterious!
^ People seem to think Ebert is famous for reviews. This is not the case. He and Siskel brought criticism to the household, which was brand new at the time. That’s why he’s famous.
Yeah, but if you look at his Top 10 lists over the years, he has Watkins’ War Games on his 1967, Battle of Algiers and Faces and 2001 in ‘68, Godard’s Weekend, Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace and Costa-Gravas’s in ‘69. He was a proponent of Rohmer and Fellini and Malle and Truffaut and Wenders and Cassavetes and Herzog and Scorsese and Coppola while their critical reputations were far less settled matters. He championed Eustache’s The Mother and the Whore, Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August, Do the Right Thing, Bad Lieutenant, David Gordon Green’s George Washington, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Moolaade
. . . just to mention a few.
“He was a proponent of Rohmer and Fellini and Malle and Truffaut and Wenders and Cassavetes and Herzog and Scorsese and Coppola while their critical reputations were far less settled matters”
really? Most of those directors were praised heavily in their time though, or at least by their 3rd or 4th film, except for perhaps Cassavetes, who was always divisive.
He is a witty writer that is pleasant to read. Unless someone is already in the canon he doesn’t seem to be a big fan of say “challenging” work though.
>>That’s the whole thing, he just champions any notable director unless they get too arty.<<
>>i think his taste is middle of the road generally<<
What are some examples of films Ebert didn’t like because they were too arty or non-middle -of-the-road? Do they represent a pattern?
>>yeah but they are now canon directors.<<
Partially because critics like Ebert have been championing them.
Oh look. Ebert gives Maborosi four stars.