Roger Ebert has just been pronounced dead by family friends. Part of the infamous Siskel and Ebert at the Movies duo, Ebert was a life-long journalist and movie lover. Known for his sharp wit, eloquent writing and charming personality, Roger's smile and thumb will be deeply missed from the cinematic landscape.
An author, a journalist, and a teacher, Ebert was an enthusiastic film fan who passionately shared his curiosity and insight with audiences all over the world. Arguably the most prolific of critic's, Ebert had lived through Hollywood's most transformative years, and oversaw some of its most creative evolutions.
Ebert was famous for understanding each film's perspective audience, displaying an uncanny empathy in his review for their point of view, and still adding his own unique insight and interpretive weight. After suffering post surgical complications related to thyroid cancer, Ebert lost his ability to speak and left his show in 2006. But he re-appeared again to share his love of cinema with his final show in 2009 — Ebert Presents: At the Movies.
With the death of a great, comes a reflection on the industry he transformed. The post-Ebert world is one where critic's reviews are aggregated into communal marketing sites. A world where social networks make sharing your taste with friends instant and comprehensive. Before we all became self proclaimed movie lovers and fans, Roger was among the first to devote his whole life to the magic of cinema, and celebrate the joys and tragedies they inspired us to feel.
Over the decades, Ebert has compiled a list of what he believes to be each year's best film. To celebrate the man's good taste, here are his top choices: