[[caption-width-right:180:''[-"[[SturgeonsLaw Ninety percent of academic film theory is bullshit.]] [[LaymansTerms Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel.]]"-]'' ]]

->''"As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."''
-->-- '''Roger Ebert''' on ''Film/DeuceBigalow: European Gigolo''

[[WroteTheBook The First Troper.]]

'''[[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/ Roger Joseph Ebert]]''' (June 18, 1942 April 4, 2013) was the {{film}} reviewer-in-chief at the ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Sun-Times'' from [[TheSixties 1967]] [[LongRunners until his death in 2013]]. In itself, that would make him important as the elder statesman of film criticism.

In 1975, Ebert teamed up with Creator/GeneSiskel, reviewer-in-chief at the ''Chicago Tribune'', to present a film review program called ''Opening Soon at a Theater Near You'', the great-grandfather of the VideoReviewShow, on the local Creator/{{PBS}} station. The program went to national syndication as ''Sneak Previews'' in 1978; in 1982 ''Series/SiskelAndEbert'' moved to {{Syndication}} on commercial stations across America, as a new but very similar program called ''At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert'' (or vice versa). Unexpectedly, this made him one of the two most important movie critics in America. Because the show was televised, [[RuleOfPerception many more Americans saw it]] than read the reviews in the newspapers; because Ebert and Siskel had credentials in real newspapers in a major city first, and didn't review every movie favorably, they could be taken more seriously than most other movie reviewers on television. Siskel and Ebert's [[LikeAnOldMarriedCouple passive-aggressive chemistry]] was the stuff of legend. It was often thought that due to their occasionally hostile on-screen presence when they disagreed, that the two hated each other. However, [[VitriolicBestBuds each considered the other a close friend]], even if their relationship was competitive by nature. In fact, in 2009 on the tenth anniversary of Siskel's death, Ebert posted a [[http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/02/i_remember_gene.html touching remembrance]] of his friend on his blog.

When Siskel [[AuthorExistenceFailure died in 1999]], Ebert kept on the show with guest hosts until it was settled that it would be ''At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper'', with Richard Roeper, another ''Chicago Sun-Times'' critic. This made him the most important living movie critic in America. The show ended in 2008 partially because his throat cancer was preventing him from doing most of the episodes for over a year and a half. (To do film reviews on television, you have to be able to speak.) Sadly, due to a few surgeries that successfully eradicated his cancer, [[TheVoiceless Ebert lost the ability to speak entirely]] and part of his lower jaw was removed. During the last few years of his life, he 'spoke' through handwritten notes and a computer speech program. In 2010, a Scottish company created a voice similar to Ebert's own for him to use as his new 'voice', using his DVD commentaries (and not his TV show, since there was always background movie noise and Gene Siskel/Richard Roeper interrupting him) and other similar recordings. Furthermore, his last 'treatments' were such tough going with so much physical cost, he vowed that if the cancer reemerged, he would let it take its course; [[FaceDeathWithDignity this eventually transpired in 2013]].

In 2011, to replace the new ''At the Movies'' which had been canceled by its distributor, Ebert and his wife Chaz started their own movie review show on Creator/{{PBS}} called ''Ebert Presents At The Movies'' hosted by Christy Lemire of the Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi, which follows largely the same format as Ebert's other shows. Ebert himself appeared in a segment on the show called "Roger's Office" which features voice over narration (either with the help of either his new 'voice', or a famous friend such as Creator/WernerHerzog or Bill Kurtis) of one of his recent reviews or musings.

Until his death, Ebert still wrote weekly review columns as well as a daily blog and maintained a very active Twitter account, and every single one of his reviews are available on the Internet, where he was still an influential force in movie criticism's new dominant medium. He also picked up a reputation for being (depending on whom you ask) [[OlderAndWiser soft on movies]][[note]]One would be certain to think that if one went by [[http://www.metacritic.com/critic/roger-ebert his Metacritic profile]]; his average score for the 4,069 reviews that aggregator cites him as having written is around 71 percent, nearly twelve percentage points higher than the site's average.[[/note]] or [[GrumpyOldMan even more ruthless than before]]. However, his wrath, when deployed, was [[Film/{{North}} legendary]]. He published three compilations of two-star-and-under reviews during his lifetime; ''[[Film/{{North}} I Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie!]]'' (reviews published in 1999 and earlier), ''[[Film/DeuceBigalow Your Movie Sucks]]'' (reviews published from 200006) and ''[[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length]]'' (reviews published from 200611).

Roger Ebert printed annual compilations of his movie reviews from TheEighties onward. Also Ebert wrote three books of essays about his favorite movies entitled ''The Great Movies'', with these essays also available on his website in a condensed form.

He also wrote ''Ebert's Little Movie Glossary'' and ''Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary'', which are books of FilmTropes in DevilsDictionary form. (An even bigger movie glossary is on his web page.) They could be considered a proto-Wiki/TVTropes in a sense (and the {{Trope Namer|s}} for many).

He also maintained a column called "The Movie Answer-Man", where he addressed various topics given to him by reader comments. Sometimes addressing fandom aspects like...

* One reader comment said that a positive review of a certain film gave him HypeBacklash[[invoked]] while a negative review of another film [[BileFascination made him want to see it]].[[invoked]] Ebert's reply was that a critic's job is not to pass judgment on a particular movie, but to give the reader an impression as to whether or not they would want to see it themselves.
* Another review [[InUniverse addressed the]] UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny where one comment said that [[Franchise/{{X-Men}} Wolverine would beat Storm]] in a fight because he could heal, whereas Storm would die once stabbed by Wolverine. His reply was simply a question of how could someone whose power is [[GoodThingYouCanHeal healing]] be more powerful than someone who can ''[[ElementalPowers control the elements]]''.

He also wrote many books on great films. He was one of the great proponents of film preservation, letterboxing (back when most televisions were square and most movies in theaters weren't), and giving credit to directors and screenwriters; he probably helped make these issues important. Also a proponent of seeing films ''in'' theaters, but he accepted modern viewing habits enough to write {{DVD}} reviews. He did a few [[DVDCommentary audio commentaries]] notably ones for two of his all-time favorite films, ''Film/CitizenKane'' and ''Film/DarkCity'', which have appeared on most releases of those films on DVD.

He was one of the major opponents to Colorization. He often liked DeliberatelyMonochrome films, and ones that were monochrome because of when they were made, because of the light and shadow effects. He also protested censorship in the name of AvoidTheDreadedGRating or avoiding the dreaded X/NC-17 rating. While he advocated for years for a properly trademarked '''A''' rating to replace X since that sound more respectable, he had hoped NC-17 would become a respectable alternative, and was disappointed when it didn't. He was critical of what he saw as an overuse of [=3D=] technology in recent movies.

He was screenwriter for a CultClassic film, ''Film/BeyondTheValleyOfTheDolls''. Since that film was released in 1970, this hasn't affected his stature as a critic much. [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19700101/REVIEWS/708110301/1023 He made fun of it himself, but said he was proud of it regardless.]]

He gained a bit of flak from the gamer community when [[http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/04/video_games_can_never_be_art.html he declared video games not to be an art form]], but [[http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/07/okay_kids_play_on_my_lawn.html he eventually came around]] and at least decided he's not in a position to judge them (although, despite popular opinion to the contrary, he has been known to play them). Despite that episode, he was considered as the most OneOfUs of major critics, as he admired [[{{Anime}} Japanese animated film]] and had an incredible knowledge of science fiction -- however, generally, not superhero movies, which was among his favorite genres. While he claimed ignorance to a lot of TV shows due to his heavy schedule of writing and watching films, he found time to become a fan of the WWE, ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', and ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. (During their 1979 review of ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'', Gene suggested that he might not have cared about the characters since he wasn't a fan of the show. Roger said that he WAS a fan and he didn't care about them as presented in this film). Heck, he even gave WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic his due after seeing his tribute video to Siskel and him via a Twitter message (Nostalgia Critic creator Creator/DougWalker was so thrilled, he printed and framed it). Ebert also had a fondness of other film analysis and criticism, such as Tim Dirk's Filmsite.org (which Ebert frequently quoted) and Creator/RedLetterMedia; of the ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' review, Ebert stated, "I was pretty much sure I didn't have it with me to endure another review of [''Revenge of the Sith'']. Mr. Plinkett demonstrates to me that I was mistaken." This is especially interesting considering that said review criticized critics, specifically naming Ebert, who gave a free pass to Creator/GeorgeLucas based on prior successes and not his recent output of work.

Was also a master at uncovering the FreezeFrameBonus -- for years, he would spend a week at the University of Colorado's World Affairs Conference dissecting a film frame-by-frame with an audience's help to reveal small details.

Now we have his [[RogerEbertGreatMoviesList great movies list]] and his list of [[RogerEbertMostHatedFilmList his least favorite movies]].

Incidentally, Literature/EbertsGlossaryOfMovieTerms described several tropes decades before TV Tropes even came into existence.

The website of his 2011 show can be found [[http://www.ebertpresents.com/ here]] and there's an archive of the old ''Siskel & Ebert'' episodes [[http://siskelandebert.org/ here]]. His own life was brought to the screen in the 2014 documentary ''Film/LifeItself''.

Ebert's final public statement, in a blog post titled [[http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2013/04/a_leave_of_presense.html "A leave of presence"]], was: "I'll see you at the movies." One artist's [[https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=639154192780704&set=a.223098324386295.105971.205344452828349&type=1&theater post-mortem interpretation of Ebert's last missive sums it up]]. Thumbs up.

!TropeNamer for:

* FruitCart
* HyperlinkStory
* IdiotPlot[[invoked]]

!!Tropes used by the man:
* ThreeDMovie: Ebert was [[http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/d-minus-for-3-d a vocal detractor]], complaining often that filmmakers used them simply as a gimmick to [[PaddleballShot throw things at the audience]], and especially complaining when the technology led to a darker and dirtier picture. He advocated for 60fps, which he saw as a clearer and more vivid medium, and was disappointed that it never caught on. He gave fair shakes to ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', however.
* [[invoked]]EightPointEight: One of only two critics to like ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'' (the other being Gene Siskel) on Website/RottenTomatoes and the only one not to like ''Film/{{Brazil}}''. Additionally, he gave ''Film/TheGodfather, Part II'' three stars, his lowest "good movie" rating, but later included it on his list of Great Movies, though while still standing by his original rating.
* AnimationAgeGhetto:[[invoked]] Provides the page quotation, and highly disliked it.
* AuthorAppeal: Asked in an interview why a respected, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic would choose to be a scriptwriter for a sexplotation director like Russ Meyer, one of Ebert's friends considered for a moment and replied, "[[MaleGaze Boobs]]."
* BerserkButton: Filmmakers actually invoking NotScreenedForCritics as a defense of their work was a sore point for Ebert. Ebert's responses to Creator/KevinSmith and Rob Schneider are two classic examples of this.
* BrokeTheRatingScale:
** Ebert occasionally gave out zero-star ratings. These differed from his occasional "no-star rating" ratings in that to earn zero stars, a movie had to offend his moral sensibilities in some way. This is why ''Film/TheHumanCentipede II'' got zero stars (as opposed to the first movie, which got no rating) and why [[Film/DeathRace2000 the original version]] of ''Death Race'' got zero stars vs. [[Film/DeathRace the remake]]'s half-star even though Ebert admitted that he felt the former was more competently made.
** He sometimes didn't give a rating at all.
*** From [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19970411/REVIEWS/704110304/1023 his review]] of ''Film/PinkFlamingos'':
-->'''Ebert:''' Note: I am not giving a star rating to ''Pink Flamingos'', because stars simply seem not to apply. It should be considered not as a film but as a fact, or perhaps as an object.
*** In [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100505/REVIEWS/100509982 his review]] of ''Film/TheHumanCentipede'', he was more explicit in his refusal:
-->'''Ebert:''' I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world [[StealthPun where the stars don't shine]].
* CatchPhrase[=/=]FamousLastWords: "See you at the movies." Also his sign-off words for his last essay.
* DeadpanSnarker: His sarcasm could be particularly sharp.
* DeafComposer: After thyroid cancer deprived him of the ability to eat solid foods, he took up cooking as a hobby.
-->"To be sure, health problems have prevented me from eating. That did not discourage my cooking. It became an exercise more pure, freed of biological compulsion."
* FaceDeathWithDignity: He wrote several blogs about how he didn't fear letting his cancer take its course if it reappeared, because "what was there to fear?"
* GoOutWithASmile: His wife Chaz described his passing as very quiet and simple, with him just looking at her and the kids and smiling.
* InsultToRocks:
** Ebert's review for Tom Green's ''Film/FreddyGotFingered'' is as follows:
-->"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."
** And ''A Lot Like Love'': "To call ''A Lot Like Love'' dead in the water is an insult to water."
** And ''Film/TheSpirit'': "To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material."
** And, of course, ''Film/TheVillage'': "Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes."
** Of ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'', he said: "Here's a science-fiction film that's an insult to the words 'science' and 'fiction,' [[ExaggeratedTrope and the hyphen in between them]]."
** His ''GIJoeRetaliation'' review reads: "To say ''G.I. Joe: Retaliation'' is a video game for the big screen is to insult a number of video games that are far more creative, challenging and better-looking." Mr. Ebert never was a fan of video games, either.
* JustHereForGodzilla: [[invoked]] Ebert once confessed that when he was a boy in TheFifties, he and his friends would go to see women's wrestling matches at carnivals in the hope that there would be a WardrobeMalfunction.
* LetsSeeYOUDoBetter:
** The best known example of Ebert's law that actually involves Ebert himself comes from a [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/REVIEWS/50725001/1023 review]] of ''Film/DeuceBigalow: European Gigolo''. Star Rob Schneider took offense to an article by Patrick Goldstein of the ''UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Times'', pointing out that several major studios turned down the chance to finance the year's Best Picture nominees while financing a sequel to a crude sex comedy. After reading it, he took out a full-page ad in the ''Hollywood Reporter'' and called Goldstein a "hack" because he had never won a Pulitzer Prize. In Ebert's review of the film, he taunted Schneider and said that he himself actually ''did'' win the Pulitzer, and thus by Schnider's criteria he was fully qualified to tell Schneider that "your movie sucks". The story took an [[HeartwarmingMoments unexpected]] turn after several back-and-forth barbs in the press. After one of Ebert's cancer surgeries, Schneider sent Ebert flowers. Ebert conceded that while Schneider may make bad movies, he's a good man. Aww.
** Roger Ebert himself is an InvertedTrope of this; he's a revered, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, [[BeyondTheValleyOfTheDolls but his actual filmography]] [[SoBadItsGood is something else]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The 1998 American version of ''Film/{{Godzilla|1998}}'' had the mayor of New York City as an Ebert lookalike. Used as a TakeThatCritics by the end of the film when his aide (an {{Expy}} of Creator/GeneSiskel) gives his job performance a thumbs down. This was because Siskel and Ebert had criticized Emerich's earlier productions. Ebert was offended not by the portrayal, but thought that if Emerich hated them so much he should have had the balls to have Godzilla eat them.
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: In his review of the movie ''Leaves of Grass'', he calls it "the most intelligent, philosophical and poetic film I can imagine that involves five murders in the marijuana-dealing community of Oklahoma and includes John Prine singing 'Illegal Smile.'"
* PaddleballShot: He cited this gimmick as one reason he disliked [[ThreeDMovie 3-D Movies]].
* PoesLaw:
** Ebert admitted that the paradox is true of ''all'' satire, to some extent. In order to poke fun at something, you first have to play it straight, and unless you [[{{Anvilicious}} beat your audience over the head with the point]] that you really don't agree with what you're depicting, there's always going to be someone who takes you seriously.
** Ebert went political and wrote a [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080921/COMMENTARY/809219997/-1/RSS blog post]] giving a statement of creationist beliefs, with the intention of making a point about people's inability to recognize irony. While many people did see the satire, a significant number of readers either thought he was being serious or assumed the site had been hacked. PZ Myers [[http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/09/there_is_such_a_thing_as_bad_s.php criticized]] the article, pointing out that when there are so many people making the same claims without irony, the joke becomes undetectable to anyone who doesn't already know Ebert's stance on the issue.
** Ebert records in his biography that after producing ''Film/BeyondTheValleyOfTheDolls'', an infamously over-the-top parody of sexploitation films, he and Russ Meyer met the Music/SexPistols, and were nonplussed when Johnny Rotten said he admired the film because it was ''so true to life''.
* QuotesFitForATrailer: Ebert observed in ''Literature/EbertsGlossaryOfMovieTerms'' that this is apparently the only reason a character ever exclaims "This just keeps getting better and better!"
* RealityIsUnrealistic:
** When reviewing the 1998 remake of ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' he complained of the evident electronically tweaked voice of the cop to make it sound unusually deep for effect. After someone wrote to him in the "Questions for the Movie Answer Man" column correcting him, he had to add a footnote to later versions of the review saying "I was wrong: that's James Remar's real voice."
** His original review of ''Film/WalkTheLine'' was under the impression that a) Joaquin Phoenix was lip-synching to Johnny Cash's music, as he felt it was too uncanny to be Phoenix and b) Johnny Cash proposing to June Carter mid-song was a Hollywood fabrication, although one that Ebert liked anyway. To his astonishment, he learned through the credits that Phoenix did indeed do his own singing, and through responses to the Movie Answer Man, that Cash proposed to Carter as depicted in the film, which was then amended in the review.
* {{Retirony}}: Was a victim of it. In his final blog post "A Leave of Presence", he announced his retirement from the ''Chicago Sun-Times'' for health reasons and planned to pick a set of writers to take his place on his website. However, he planned to still review the films he wanted to review. Two days later, he died.
* ReviewIronicEcho: He sometimes used the dialogue or title from a movie against them when he '''really''' disliked it.
** "'This sucks on so many levels.' -- Dialogue from ''Film/JasonX''. Rare for a movie to so frankly describe itself."
** From his review of ''Film/TheLastAirbender'': [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100630/REVIEWS/100639999 review]]: "I close with the hope that the title proves prophetic."
** "''Dear God'' is the kind of movie where you walk out repeating the title."
** "All I want for Christmas is to never see ''All I Want for Christmas'' again."
** "Oh no, not ''Film/YouAgain''."
* SciFiGhetto:[[invoked]] Disliked this view; he noted that he reviewed movies based on both their artistic worth and how much he thought their intended audience would enjoy them.
* SceneryPorn: Ebert was willing to give high scores to movies solely for being visually impressive and creative, even if their stories may be lacking. Examples include ''Film/{{TRON}}'' and ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin''.
** He also mentioned that he enjoyed ''Film/TheMatrix'' "just to look at it".
* SelfDeprecation: At a tribute to the late Chicago columnist Mike Royko, Ebert gamely read [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5vGBnrcjdQ Royko's snarky review]] of Ebert's screenplay for ''Film/BeyondTheValleyOfTheDolls''.
* SoBadItsGood: He gave movies like this 1-star, as opposed to zero-star ratings, which he reserved for films either [[DarthWiki/SoBadItsHorrible so bad they were terrible]] or which morally offended him with racism or voyeuristic violence. This means [[http://www.listal.com/list/roger-eberts-zero-stars-ratings his shit-list of films]] given ''zero''-stars is not as fun to watch as you might think, since it is composed almost entirely of truly awful films mixed with soul-destroying {{Gorn}}.[[invoked]]
* SophisticatedAsHell: Despite his somewhat highbrow image. See the page quotation, for instance.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: [[invoked]] Ebert's [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030221/REVIEWS/302210304/1023 review]] of ''Film/TheLifeOfDavidGale'', which is a different type of this trope wherein the movie's central characters go ''so ridiculously far'' to show that their position is right, you cannot help but be disgusted with them. He also provides the page quotation for this trope, referring to ''Film/IAmSam''.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Creator/GeneSiskel, which was a big part of what made [[Series/SiskelAndEbert their eponymous show]] so enjoyable to watch. See [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUMZjy8rXE4 these outtakes]] for instance. After a while they practically became LikeAnOldMarriedCouple.
-->'''Siskel:''' [Ebert] may be an asshole, but he's ''my'' asshole.
* VolleyingInsults: A war of words erupted between ''Film/TheBrownBunny'' director Creator/VincentGallo and Ebert, with Ebert writing that ''The Brown Bunny'' was the worst film in the history of Cannes, and Gallo retorting by calling Ebert a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader." Ebert then responded, paraphrasing a statement attributed to UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill: "One day I will be thin, but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of ''The Brown Bunny''." Gallo then claimed to have put a hex on Ebert's colon, cursing the critic with cancer. Ebert then replied that [[InsultToRocks watching a video of his colonoscopy]] had been more entertaining than watching ''The Brown Bunny''.
** It should be noted here that Gallo went and re-edited ''The Brown Bunny''; Ebert's review of the revision is a complete 180-degree switch in tone, proclaiming that Gallo's editing made ''The Brown Bunny'' a totally different, and better film. Ebert even went so far as to say he was glad he saw the original cut, as flawed as he thought it was, so he was able to better appreciate the revised edition.
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: "I know full well I'm expected to Suspend My Disbelief. Unfortunately, my disbelief is very heavy, and during ''Film/OceansThirteen,'' the suspension cable snapped."

-->''...and until next time, the balcony is closed.''