10 Best Roger Ebert Put Downs

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Ben Cohen
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ThoughtCatalog has done a brilliant top 40 list of the best Roger Ebert movie review take downs. Here are (in my opinion) the best 10:

1. Atlas Shrugged (Part 1) (2011):

“And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault…There is also a love scene, which is shown not merely from the waist up but from the ears up. The man keeps his shirt on. This may be disappointing for libertarians, who I believe enjoy rumpy-pumpy as much as anyone.”

2. Armageddon (1998):

“Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. Armageddon is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you’d have a TV ad. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”

3. Battlefield Earth (2000):

Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It’s not merely bad; it’s unpleasant in a hostile way.”

4. Mandingo (1975):

Mandingo is racist trash, obscene in its manipulation of human beings and feelings, and excruciating to sit through in an audience made up largely of children, as I did last Saturday afternoon. The film has an “R” rating, which didn’t keep many kids out, since most came with their parents… if [Chicago] believes Mandingo should be shown to children, then there are no possible standards left and the only thing to do is transfer the censors to the parks department, where they can supervise paper‑plate‑throwing contests.”

5. Revolver (2005):

“Some of the acting is better than the film deserves. Make that all of the acting. Actually, the film stock itself is better than the film deserves. You know when sometimes a film catches fire inside a projector? If it happened with this one, I suspect the audience might cheer.”

 6. Sex Drive (2008):

Sex Drive is an exercise in versatile vulgarity. The actors seem to be performing a public reading of the film’s mastery of the subject. Not only are all the usual human reproductive and excretory functions evoked, but new and I think probably impossible ones are included. This movie doesn’t contain ‘offensive language.’ The offensive language contains the movie.”

7. Spice World (1997):

“The Spice Girls are easier to tell apart than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that is small consolation: What can you say about five women whose principal distinguishing characteristic is that they have different names? They occupy Spice World as if they were watching it: They’re so detached they can’t even successfully lip-synch their own songs..... Spice World is obviously intended as a ripoff of A Hard Day’s Night which gave The Beatles to the movies…the huge difference, of course, is that the Beatles were talented — while, let’s face it, the Spice Girls could be duplicated by any five women under the age of 30 standing in line at Dunkin’ Donuts.”

8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003):

“I like good horror movies. They can exorcise our demons. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn’t want to exorcise anything. It wants to tramp crap through our imaginations and wipe its feet on our dreams....There are a lot of good movies playing right now that can make you feel a little happier, smarter, sexier, funnier, more excited — or more scared, if that’s what you want. This is not one of them. Don’t let it kill 98 minutes of your life.”

9. The Skulls (2000):

The Skulls is one of the great howlers, a film that bears comparison, yes, with The Greek Tycoon or even The Scarlet Letter. It’s so ludicrous in so many different ways it achieves a kind of forlorn grandeur. It’s in a category by itself.”

10. One Woman or Two (1985):

“Add it all up, and what you’ve got here is a waste of good electricity. I’m not talking about the electricity between the actors. I’m talking about the current to the projector.”