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.”
"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."
4. Deep Rising (1998)
"The owner of the ship makes several speeches boasting about how stable it is; it can stay level even during a raging tempest. I wonder if those speeches were inserted after the filmmakers realized how phony their special effects look."
5. North (1994)
“I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”
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)
"To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore."
8. Body of Evidence (1993)
"What about the story here? It has to be seen to be believed -- something I do not advise."
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."