The passing of film critic Roger Ebert Thursday was truly a loss to the world of journalism. Today, Ebert is well-known as part of the movie critic duo Roeper & Ebert, but his long and illustrious career started when he began writing for the local newspaper at the age of 15. From there, Ebert sculpted a career that saw him publish syndicated movie reviews for decades, star in his own TV show, write more than 20 books, and eventually become the first film critic to win a Pulitzer. He was “without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic.”
Most importantly, Ebert was not afraid to call it like he saw it. He praised masterpieces of cinema, but if a movie was garbage, he wasted no time in telling audiences.
“No good film is too long,” he engraved on a pen. “No bad film is short enough.”
In honor of Roger Ebert’s dry wit and sharp tongue, here is a list of Ebert’s harshest reviews:
1. Mad Dog Time (1996)
"Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time."
2. Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”
3. One Women or Two (1985)
4. Deep Rising (1998)
5. North (1994)
6. The Last Airbender (2010)
"The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here."
7. The Village (2004)
8. Body of Evidence (1993)
9. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
"If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
10. The Brown Bunny (2003)
"I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny."
Find a full list of Ebert's reviews from the past fifty years here.