Not only was Roger Ebert a marvelous film critic, he was an astute observer of history current events. He laced his reviews with technical nous and an understanding of political and cultural context, engaging his readers intellect as well as their senses.
Here are a selection of Ebert’s best quotes over the years that show why he is considered the greatest movie reviewer of all time:
1. “Every great film should seem new every time you see it.”
2. “If a movie isn’t a hit right out of the gate, they drop it. Which means that the whole mainstream Hollywood product has been skewed toward violence and vulgar teen comedy.”
3. “Class is often invisible in America in the movies, and usually not the subject of the film.”
4. “If a movie is really working, you forget for two hours your Social Security number and where your car is parked. You are having a vicarious experience. You are identifying, in one way or another, with the people on the screen.”
5. “It’s funny that there was so much disturbance about having a Catholic in the White House with Kennedy, and when we finally get a religion in the White House that’s causing a lot of conflicts, and concerns, and disturbances for a lot of people, it’s in the Bush Administration.”
6. “I don’t think Bush was legitimately elected President.”
7. “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”
8. “I am utterly bored by celebrity interviews. Most celebrities are devoid of interest.”
9. “The fact is, most people are not going to be rich someday.”
10. “I don’t give the studios advanced quotes or an advanced look at my reviews. I think the readers deserve to read my reviews before the studios do.”
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.