It was a great honor to be included on today’s panel of movie critics, along with superstars Godfrey Cheshire, Scott Foundas, Matt Zoller Seitz, Rebecca Theodore Vachon, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Michael Phillips, Brian Tallarico, and Sam Fragoso.
A couple of weeks ago, “The Best Years of Our Lives” was on TCM and I decided to watch the first few moments to enjoy again scenes I have enjoyed many, many times. I promised myself I would go to […]
Of all the tributes and critiques of “Saturday Night Live” as it starts its fifth decade, none is more astute than Tom Shales’ for Daily Beast. Shales is the co-author of Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday […]
No one is smarter about actors and Oscars than Susan Wloszczyna, and I was honored to be included in her latest Big O piece about front-runners Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette, and why wins for the two of them will […]
Johnny Depp’s “Mortdecai” is sure of a place of dishonor on the end of the year worst lists. Business Insider and Huffington Post have some choice quotes from some of the movie’s best bad reviews, and I’ve found some good ones, too, […]
Until a few years ago, the movie critics you read were determined by geography. There were a few critics in national publications, like Pauline Kael in the New Yorker and the critics for Time and Newsweek. If you lived in […]
Susan Wloszczyna’s terrific series on women filmmakers for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists continues with a profile of Gail Anne Hurd, producer of films like “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” and television like “The Walking Dead.” Hurd has appeared on some […]
What does “based on a true story” really mean? The Washington Post had a front-page story titled, “‘Selma’ sets off a controversy amid Oscar buzz,” describing the objections by Lyndon Johnson administration insiders to the way he was portrayed. They […]
If I were going to make a top ten list of movie top ten lists, Christopher Orr‘s would be number one. I love reading his end-of-year pieces in The Atlantic. The best of the year list is just the beginning. […]
Ten is an arbitrary number, a year is an arbitrary span of time, and it makes no sense at all to try to rank movies that are so different in concept, genre, and aspiration. Nevertheless, as I always say when […]
I am proud to be a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and very pleased to announce this year’s awards: Best Picture: The Grand Budapest Hotel Best Animated Feature: The Lego Movie Best Film Not in the English Language: […]
I am very proud to be a member of the Broadcast Movie Critics Association and very excited about attending this year’s award ceremony on January 15, 2015, hosted by Michael Strahan. I’m thrilled that we will be presenting special awards […]
My friend and fellow critic Lauren Bradshaw has a great new series on the very earliest appearances by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. You can see Emma Stone, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain in their very first roles, and give […]
Thanks again to Criticwire for including me in their survey about how movie critics feel about the way that critics themselves are portrayed in movies. Sometimes filmmakers take a bit of revenge on those of us who judge them and […]
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need […]
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about how important it is to watch a movie as it was filmed. If it was made on film stock, is it unfair to the artists’ vision to watch […]
Many thanks to Criticwire for inviting me to participate in an intriguing survey: what films would you give to aliens to explain life on earth? Here’s what I wrote: I’d have to include a silent comedy, something that would be […]
One of my favorite critics writes about one of his favorite movies in The Atlantic: the highlight of Christopher Orr’s outstanding series on the Coen Brothers‘ films is his essay on Miller’s Crossing. Whether you’re a fan of the Coens […]
Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me to talk about the movies I am most looking forward to this fall, along with my fellow critics Mack Bates and A.J. Hakari!
Leonard Maltin was only 17 years old when he was offered the chance to create his guide to movies on television. For many years, I kept the latest copy on my desk and anyone who came into my office could […]
“The Expendables 3″ inspired a lot of geriatric-themed commentary. Some of it was pretty funny (“a fraternity reunion with the brothers at Alpha Delta Viagra“, “Sylvester Stallone’s jobs program for expired action heroes“). The Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert had a distinctive […]
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie inspired some howls of outrage from critics. As usual, when movies are good, the writers I admire are good, but when they’re bad, they’re better. I enjoyed this one from Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir: Yes, […]
It seems like yesterday, but it was 19 years ago this week that I first began writing reviews online as The Movie Mom®. Anyone remember Prodigy? The first appearance of my website was via the Sears-owned online service, so long […]
Roger Ebert said that Steve James’ documentary “Hoop Dreams” was the greatest film of the first decade of the 21st century. He wrote, “A film like “Hoop Dreams” is what the movies are for. It takes us, shakes us, and […]
Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of all time, gets the film he deserves directed by one of the many filmmakers he championed, Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters”). It is co-produced by Martin Scorsese, whose emotional appearance in […]
Many thanks to Rogerebert.com for interviewing me in their series on movie critics. Where did you grow up, and what was it like? I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. But when I was in 4th-5th grade, we lived […]
Today, Wed, Jun 18, from 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM, you can join Chaz Ebert and Steve James, the director of the Roger Ebert documentary, “Life Itself,” in a Google Hangout. Participants can win tickets to the Los Angeles, Chicago […]
The folks at Criticwire have a weekly survey of questions for movie critics. This week’s question is especially important. Q: Many of the positive reviews for “The Fault in Our Stars” boil down to either “It’s good for what it […]
Many thanks to Sam Fragoso and his colleagues at Movie Mezzanine for including me in their round-up of the best films of the 1960’s. I really enjoyed reading through all the different selections. Check it out and add your own […]
I had a lot of fun taking this quiz from Politix — and it got even more fun when I found out that one of the answers came from one of my reviews. (P.S. I got a perfect score.)
People often tell me they’d like to be movie critics. I usually say, “Okay, I just waved my invisible magic wand. You’re a movie critic! Now, if you want to be a professional critic, you need to do this: watch […]
The highlight of the first full day of Ebertfest was the unveiling of a new statue of Roger, at the movies, thumb up. The statue will be installed in front of Roger’s beloved Virginia Theater situated so that visitors can […]
Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday wrote a brave and very moving essay about being a writer sustained by Christian faith and how that affects the way she approaches all films and especially those with religious themes. As a critic, […]
It’s not unusual for low-budget horror films, movies based on video games, and Tyler Perry movies to open “cold,” without giving critics a chance to see and review them before they are in theaters. The usual reason is that the […]
A year after his death, some of the writers Roger Ebert encouraged remember him with words and pictures. And the love of his life, Chaz Ebert, writes movingly about her year without him.
Many thanks to Dimitri Sotis for inviting me onto WTOP to review “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”
Rogerebert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz spoke to Steve James, one of Roger Ebert’s favorite filmmakers, and the man behind the crowd-funded documentary about Ebert, based in part on his autobiography, Life Itself: A Memoir. Seitz writes It seems fitting that […]
My friend Chaz Ebert is profiled in today’s Chicago Tribune as she prepares to go to the Sundance Film Festival for the first time since Roger’s death last April. This time, she is not going as the wife of a critic. […]
Indiewire’s weekly poll turns the critics on themselves, asking them to disclose what words they would ban from reviews. From “epic” to “game-changer” to “Oscar-worthy,” they tell us what terms are overused, under-specific, and just too easy. I admit […]
Thanks to New York Magazine’s Vulture column for including my thoughts in the round-up of the worst films of 2013. Here’s the consolidated list. As always, there are some movies that end up on both best and worst lists, notably […]
Many thanks to “Marcus Julianus” of Existimatum for this lovely interview about how I became a movie critic and how I approach my reviews. Early Career EX: Tell us about where you grew up and what kind of childhood you […]
Chaz Ebert has announced that everything posted on rogerebert.com this week will be written by a woman. I’m delighted to kick it off with my tribute to Barbara Stanwyck, inspired by the Pre-Code film series I am co-hosting with Margaret Talbott […]
No one has ever loved movies more than Roger Ebert. Now it’s time for the movies to love him back — I’m a backer of this new movie about Roger and hope they get enough to do him justice and […]
Leonard Maltin answers viewer questions on obscure (but cherished) Disney programs, the future of the movie business, “Citizen Kane,” Kickapoo Joy Juice, and more.
One of my all-time favorite critics — and one of the nicest guys in this field — is Leonard Maltin. Be sure to check out his new series on YouTube.
I was honored to be invited to talk about “Rush” for the Voice of America’s Russian channel!
The masterful critic Stanley Kauffman, whose writing career stretched over eight decades, died this week at age 97. Adam Bernstein’s perceptive Kauffman obituary in the Washington Post noted: “He was one of the few critics who could watch a 1997 […]
Chaz Ebert wrote to Rob Schneider to ask him about a story that was mentioned in many of the tributes to her late husband, Roger Ebert. Roger loathed Schneider’s movie “Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo.” He memorably wrote that the film […]
I am delighted that Rotten Tomatoes, the pioneering aggregator of movie reviews, is taking on television with its new TV Zone. Check out the reviews of scripted (non-reality) shows. So far, the widely-reviled “Dads” show gets a big rotten tomato […]
See if you can guess the Rotten Tomato rankings for these romantic comedies (plus “The Notebook”).
Many thanks once again to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me on her Movie Addict Headquarters show. This time, the topic was the best and worst of 2013’s summer movie releases and I had a lot of fun sharing my […]
Have you ever wondered what movies scare professional movie-goers? I can’t really answer that as I don’t go to super-scary movies. Fortunately, there are some braver critics out there, and while I don’t like scary movies, I do like this […]
It’s often more fun to read about a bad movie than a good one (more fun to write about a bad one, too). “The Lone Ranger” is not a terrible movie. It does not inspire the kind of horrified hyperbole […]
I’m interested in James Franco’s take on “The Great Gatsby” because of what this polymath who attended two grad schools at once has to say about the challenges of adapting great writing to the screen and the differing goals and […]
Roger was very excited about his new website and invited me to be a contributor, along with my friends Odie Henderson, Jim Emerson, Michal Oleszczyk, Thomas W Shales, Omer M. Mozaffar, and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky. We are going forward and will try […]
Today, just one day after announcing he was taking a “leave of presence” to deal with a recurrence of cancer, Roger Ebert died at age 70. His influence, like his greatness, is incalculable. Ebert was a great critic, a […]
I have been a proud and happy subscriber to Roger Ebert’s wonderful newsletter, always filled with intriguing trailers and commentary and much more. Check out this free issue of the Ebert Club Newsletter and sign up for the teeny price […]
I’m honored to be included in New York Magazine’s round-up of the worst movies of 2012. You can see the full ballots of all of the critics, too.
January is traditionally the worst month of the year for movies, as the studios take a break from releasing their big, ambitious, awards contenders. That makes it a perfect time to read Roger Ebert’s series of books about the movies […]
In honor of today’s release of “Looper,” IndieWire asked a panel of movie critics about their favorite time travel movies. The answers are a lot to read, with many mentions of blockbusters like “Back to the Future” (and “Back to […]
I was moved and inspired by Roger Ebert’s book Life Itself: A Memoir and I’m thrilled to hear that it may become a documentary thanks to three brilliant filmmakers, Martin Scorsese (“Goodfellas,” “Hugo,” “Raging Bull”), Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List,” “Moneyball,” “Searching for […]
The new horror film “Possession” is a kind of Jewish version of “The Exorcist,” the story of a little girl who is possessed by an evil spirit. Like “The Exorcist,” it was inspired by a true story, and focuses on […]
It seems there’s a lot of criticism of critics lately. Some think they’re too soft. In Slate, Jacob Silverman bemoans the Twitter-fied outbreak of niceness in literary culture. Whereas critics once performed one role in print and another in life—Rebecca […]
Every ten years, the prestigious film journal Sight & Sound polls critics and film-makers on the greatest films of all time. Citizen Kane has led the list for decades, but this year it was toppled by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. While […]
Indiewire asked its panel of critics to respond to a great question from a critic who is mentoring a film-loving 14-year-old. “I mentor a 14-year-old from Harlem and nothing would make me happier then to have her enjoy ‘art house’ […]
The website Movie Tweeviews is conducting a competition for tweet-able movie reviews of classic films for inclusion in a possible book. Ira Deutchman will post the title of one classic film each day and invite all who want to enter to submit […]
David Carr and A.O. Scott had a lively discussion about the role of critics and whether they should lighten up a little bit when it comes to popular films. It is well worth watching for anyone who is interested in […]
People often ask me how to become a movie critic, and I usually reply: “You watch a lot of movies and you write movie reviews about them. This is the world’s best time to be a movie critic because anyone […]
Movieline did a round-up of the most scathing reviews of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and number two on the list was mine. A couple of the others: “The best seller What To Expect When You’re Expecting has been around for […]
Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells has conceded my points about his appalling comments on “The Hunger Games,” perhaps more than he realizes. To recap: I wrote about his offensive comments regarding the body of the movie’s lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence. He […]
Many thanks to Thelma Adams for including me in her critics roundtable discussion of this year’s Best Actress Oscar nominees. I found the debate fascinating!
Three new films feature nude scenes with three young actresses not thought of as bombshells or sex symbols. Kristen Stewart shows a bit of PG-13-rated skin in the latest”Twilight” movie, but in the R-rated “Melancholia” and the NC-17-rated “Shame” Kirsten […]
Movie critic Thelma Adams, the author of the Oprah-endorsed novel Playdate, has started a new column on AMC Filmcritic.com with posts on The Descendants, Paranormal Activity 3, and a must-read piece on why we need more women directors. She is always a […]
Roger Ebert, not just the greatest movie critic of all time but one of the most influential thinkers and brilliant writers on any subject over the past four decades, has written his story in Life Itself: A Memoir. When he lost […]
Jim Emerson of Indiewire takes viewers through the truck chase scene in “The Dark Knight” and explains how an action sequence works (and does not work). This is a superb lesson on visual story-telling, highly recommended.
Roger Ebert’s wonderful newsletter is a steal at $10 a year. This week only, it’s even more of a steal with a FREE issue that includes a glimpse of his upcoming autobiography and trailers for some of the coolest upcoming […]
Slate has taken data from Rotten Tomatoes to compute the career trajectories of actors and directors. The results are unexpected — would anyone guess that the actor with the best reviews is….Daniel Autueil? And the worst actress…Jennifer Love Hewitt? I’m […]
Roger Ebert has posted a crossword puzzle for movie fans from 2007. Enjoy!
Northwestern University is hosting a three-day conference April 21-23 called Illuminating the Shadows: Film Criticism in Focus, with top critics from around the country discussing the past, present, and future of serious writing about film. All sessions are free and […]
Roger Ebert says the case is closed on 3D — it can never work. He has some powerful support for his position, a letter from Walter Murch, “the most respected film editor and sound designer in the modern cinema.” Murch […]
Roger Ebert’s new show, Ebert Presents At the Movies, debuts this week on PBS stations across the country. The original show was an inspiration and a guide to me and I am honored beyond words to be invited to contribute […]
For me, the big story of the movie of 2010 was the animated films and the documentaries — we had more great films in both categories than ever before. So I was delighted to see Roger Ebert’s list of the […]
Slate movie critic Dana Stevens brought together an enormously engaging and thoughtful group for the annual “movie club” round-up discussion of the year in film. Reviewing films is a lot of fun, but one of the drawbacks is that we […]
I am thrilled that I have been invited to be one of the correspondents for Roger Ebert’s new show, “Ebert Presents At the Movies.” With AP’s Christy Lemire and the 24-year-old Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of MUBI.com as co-hosts and Roger and […]
I am honored to be mentioned in Roger Ebert’s outstanding op-ed about the MPAA ratings, and thrilled with his support for what I do. Last week, on appeal, the MPAA lowered the rating of “Blue Valentine,” a searing portrait of […]
Some suggestions for the movie-lovers in your life (and face it, that includes everyone)! DVDs For the movie historian: Three sensational documentaries from Disney and about Disney. Walt & El Grupo is a fascinating look at one of the turning […]
And the Washington Area Film Critic Awards go to… Best Film?: “The Social Network” Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network” Best Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech” Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone” Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The […]
Roger Ebert has a superb rebuttal to Andrew O’Hehir’s review of “Secretariat” in Salon. Ebert is careful to say that he respects O’Hehir but that this review goes far beyond the usual disagreements about taste and aesthetics. O’Hehir read into […]
Most welcome news! Roger and Chaz Ebert have announced a new edition of the legendary movie review show, “At the Movies,” featuring AP movie critic Christy Lemire, with help from luminaries like Elvis Mitchell and Omar Moore. “This is the […]
Thanks so much to my dear friend Tim Gordon for including me on his fall preview show along with film critics Dann Gire (Chicago Daily Herald), Eli Savada (FilmThreat), Wilson Morales (Black Film), Arch Campbell (WJLA-TV), Daryle Lockhart (The Black […]
My friend and fellow critic Christian Toto has some good advice for anyone thinking of being a movie blogger. He knows what he’s talking about — he’s one of the best. I love his emphasis on focus and finding a […]
Belated but heartfelt thanks to Jinni for including me in the list of the top 60 movie blogs. I’m honored. The other 59 are well worth checking out, too.
Want to be a movie critic? Here’s your chance! Ovation TV is showing some certified classics this summer and inviting viewers to submit their reviews. They will show landmark films from big-time directors like David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola and […]
Happy birthday wishes to my friend and the greatest movie critic of them all, Roger Ebert. Here’s to a year of great movies and great reviews of awful movies! Be sure to check out his classic “glossary” of movie cliches […]
There have been many articles about the end of the era of the movie critic as print media cuts have led to the departure of many of the best-established and most widely-read commentators on film. But Roger Ebert says this […]
Be sure to read the stunning profile of Roger Ebert by Chris Jones in Esquire. Ebert, the country’s foremost movie critic, has been one of my great influences and inspirations since he first began reviewing movies for the Chicago Sun-Times […]
My dear friend and fellow critic Tim Gordon starts a new weekly podcast about the movies tonight. He always has something interesting to say and it is always fun to listen to him say it, so be sure to tune […]