[[quoteright:340:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Siskel_and_Ebert_1780.jpg]]

->''"That's next week, and until then, the balcony is closed."''

''Siskel & Ebert and the Movies'' (usually just called ''Siskel & Ebert'') was a syndicated American television series that ran from 1986 to 1999, spun off from a couple of earlier shows on Creator/{{PBS}}: "Sneak Previews" (1975 to 1982) and "At the Movies" (1982 to 1986), both of which utilized a similar format of two critics, Creator/GeneSiskel of the ''UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Tribune'' and Creator/RogerEbert of the ''Chicago Sun-Times'', discussing and debating the week's new films. Roughly four or five films were critiqued per episode. It usually ended with a special segment like "Video/Laserdisc Pick of the Week/Month", an interview with a celebrity or director, or a short-lived segment where viewers wrote in to provide a second opinion or correct S&E about something.

Occasionally, they would devote an entire episode to one issue in film: Their stance against colorization, against fullscreen cropping of widescreen films (and vice versa when it came to older {{Creator/Disney}} animated films), trends they noticed in film (such as directors influenced by Creator/QuentinTarantino) and spotlights on whom they considered rising stars or directors. They even spent an entire episode analyzing who had the better filmography: Creator/WoodyAllen or Creator/MelBrooks? Most notable, however, were the annual "Memo to the Academy" (where Siskel and Ebert recommend what they think should be nominated for Oscars) and the "Best of" and "Worst of" the year lists, the latter of which were quite entertaining as they got to trash the bad films one last time.

Siskel and Ebert's claim to fame was their method of reviewing movies, ultimately boiling down to a simple thumbs up or down. There was no middle ground, so it was interesting seeing them rationalize choosing either one or the other. And of course, when you have two major film critics together, disagreements could occur. And the debates were some of the most fun moments in the show. Heck, sometimes the two would bicker on some small detail even if they both agreed on the film's merit!

Unfortunately, in early 1998, Gene Siskel was absent for a few weeks due to getting surgery for a brain tumor. Despite this, he was still able to phone in his reviews (literally!) and debate with Roger via a split screen and a still image of his face on one side. When Siskel returned, he was noticeably less animated and expressive, talking slower, and seemed to debate with Roger less. Nevertheless, he stuck with the show until early 1999 when he went back into surgery and, sadly, never came out. Gene Siskel died on February 20, 1999, and while the show continued under a few different banners and with different critics ("Roger Ebert and the Movies", "Ebert and Roeper", "At the Movies"), the ''Siskel and Ebert'' show was finished. Roger Ebert devoted an entire episode to Gene Siskel following his death, and it's clear that even though the two frequently disagreed, they didn't hate each other.

Ebert continued the show, first as ''Roger Ebert and the Movies'' with guest cohosts, and then as ''At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper'' with the addition of his ''Sun-Times'' colleague Richard Roeper. Ebert stopped appearing on the show in 2006 because he lost the ability to speak due to his cancer and Roeper continued with guests until the two were removed from the show by their distributor in 2008. They were replaced by Ben Lyons (son of film critic Jeffery Lyons) and film critic and Creator/TurnerClassicMovies presenter Ben Mankiewicz in a move to skew to younger audience. While most of the old fanbase of the show had no problem with Ben Mankiewicz, almost all of them (and Ebert himself) took issue with Ben Lyons' skill, ethics and taste. The two Bens were fired from the show a little over a year later. The critics were replaced one final time with A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips, choices Ebert expressed satisfaction with despite no longer having anything to do with the show. However, these two hosts only lasted from August 2009 to March 2010, when the distributor simply pulled the plug on the show, ending Siskel and Ebert's TV legacy for good.

… Or so we thought. Later in 2010, Ebert announced he had purchased the rights to the show and had taken it back to PBS. His new ''Ebert Presents: At the Movies'' began airing in January 2011, with Ignaty Vishnevetsky of Mubi and Christy Lemire of the Associated Press as the new critics. Ebert himself made appearances on the show, with Bill Curtis narrating special versions of some of his recent written reviews. The show was a ratings success, but due to funding problems it went on hiatus at the end of 2011, and following Ebert's death from cancer on April 4, 2013, it is unlikely to return.

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!This show provides examples of:

* AccentuateTheNegative: Averted. Siskel and Ebert love to give positive reviews, it's just that the films aren't always up to snuff. In fact, there have been a few episodes where they've given two thumbs up to every film.
** To paraphrase Gene on one talk show, "I would rather watch ''HannahAndHerSisters'' every day for the rest of my life than a bad movie ever again", essentially to counter the point that critics love to see movies for an opportunity to nitpick and criticize (as he had adored Allen's film).
** Ebert accused Siskel of giving praise to Creator/JimCarrey grudgingly when they reviewed ''Film/TheMask'':
--->'''Siskel:''' I don't give praise grudgingly. (…) That's a rough characterization, because think about it: That means I don't like to like something. I'm not like that.
--->'''Ebert:''' [[SarcasmMode What a warm, wonderful guy you are.]]
--->'''Siskel:''' ''Thank'' you. Not the guy ''you'' think you're sitting with, apparently.
* AdHominem: Some of their arguments came dangerously close to this.
* AmbiguousSyntax: From their ''Telling Lies in America'' review, Siskel gave it a marginal thumbs down. Ebert argued, "Gimme [[Creator/KevinBacon Bacon]]. Come on, gimme Bacon." Siskel chuckled and remarked that he wasn't sure at first what he meant by that. Understandably, it sounded like Ebert was asking for some bacon to eat.
* AnimatedAdaptation: ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'' episode "Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice".
* TheAnnouncer: The series had a ColdOpen announcer for many years, but around 1996, Siskel and Ebert began introducing the shows themselves.
* BadMoodAsAnExcuse: Occasionally, if there's a sharp disagreement on a film, the one who gave thumbs up will accuse the one who gave thumbs down of being in a bad mood the day they saw the movie, and letting that cloud their judgment.
--> '''Siskel''': No, I saw a bad ''movie''.
* BerserkButton:
** In their review of the 1995 French comedy ''French Twist'', Ebert was appalled that the French chose this film as their submission to the Academy Awards, when they could've nominated ''Film/LesMiserables1995'' instead. He wanted to get the voting crew to look him in the eye to say that ''French Twist'' was a better film and was convinced they wouldn't be able to do it, since he thought the voting was fixed and corrupt.
** In his review of ''Film/LeonardPart6'', Ebert went on a rant about ProductPlacement:
--->'''Ebert:''' In one scene, his twenty-year-old daughter brings home a sixty-six-year-old man that she wants to marry. [[Creator/BillCosby Cosby]] is appalled; this guy is robbing the cradle! What does he do? He calls for a sandwich and a Coke. And then he holds the Coke bottle prominently next to his face for the rest of the scene. First it says "Coca-Cola", and then the next shot, it says "Coke", in case you missed the point. Who released this movie? Creator/{{Columbia|Pictures}}. Who owns Columbia? Coca-Cola! What is Coca-Cola doing with this movie? They have a lot of products in this movie, Gene, that you can get a tie-in where you can get the product in connection with buying a ticket for the movie. I think that that is an all-time low: Bill Cosby, the richest man in show business, $67.5 million income last year, ''reduced'' to holding a Coca-Cola bottle next to his face in order to get a picture made at Columbia. He ought to be ashamed of himself.
** You would be well-advised not to insinuate that Siskel was wrong simply because he held a different opinion than the majority, as we saw in their review of ''Film/{{Outbreak}}'' when Ebert said Siskel was probably the only one who thought Creator/DustinHoffman looked ridiculous in the lab coat.
-->'''Siskel:''' Hey, what am I supposed to do? Give a review of what ''you'' think of the movie?! I give a review of what ''I'' think!
-->'''Ebert:''' [[DeadpanSnarker That would be a start …]]
** Siskel and Ebert were against colorization and cropping movies, and rallied against it whenever it was appropriate.
** Ebert ranted hard against ''Film/FridayThe13thTheFinalChapter'':
--->'''Ebert:''' Yeah, real great. Jason, you can't see him, you can't hear him, he hardly even breathes, he's the latest word in leading men from the geniuses at Creator/{{Paramount}} Pictures. You get the idea. ''Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter'' is ninety minutes of teenagers being strangled, stabbed, impaled, chopped up, and mutilated. That's all this movie is, is just mindless bloody violence. And just think of the message this film offers to its teenage audience: The world is a totally evil place, this movie says. It'll kill ya, it doesn't matter what your dreams and hopes and ambitions are, it doesn't matter if you have a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend, or you've got plans for the future. You can forget all those plans, because you're gonna wind up dead. There is literally nothing else in this movie, and the sickest thing is, this isn't the final chapter. That's just an advertising gimmick. The ending clearly sets up a sequel, and what I wanna know is: I wonder if they're gonna be heartless and cynical enough to make a sequel, because why not? They've already taken the bucket to the cesspool four times for this sludge. I think the people that made this movie ought to be ashamed of themselves, and that's what I think, Gene.
** Both Gene and Roger had it in for the {{Academy Award}}s Documentary committee and their opaque at best and corrupt at worst method of selecting the nominees for Best Documentary feature. It seemed just about every year there would be an exclusion that would piss Gene and Roger off, most notably ''Hoop Dreams'' in 1994, but also ''The Thin Blue Line'' in 1988 and ''Roger and Me'' in 1989.
** In a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=982R2eAhL54 year-in-review special]], Ebert reflected that ''Film/{{North}}'' was so astoundingly bad that something just came over him and moved him to (infamously) use the word "hated" no fewer than eight times in his print review.
* BiasSteamroller: Siskel loved Creator/SeanConnery as Franchise/JamesBond and judged all later Bond movies against Connery's portrayal. He even flat out admitted his bias in his ''Film/GoldenEye'' review:
-->'''Siskel:''' I liked Connery, and everyone else has been ''nothing'' compared to him.
* BlindWithoutEm: In their review of the live action ''Film/MrMagoo'', Ebert readily admits that he's as nearsighted as they come, but was never offended by Mr. Magoo, and certainly didn't think the disclaimer at the end of the film (which defended nearsighted and blind people) was necessary.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** In their "Worst of 1995" show, during their mention of ''Film/JudgeDredd'', Siskel talked to the camera as if addressing Creator/SylvesterStallone.
--->'''Siskel:''' You know, Roger, I have never looked at the camera and talked to an actor; I'm gonna break this tradition right now. I know, Stallone, you probably hate my guts, you think I hate you. I don't hate you; I ''like'' your talent, I want you to use it. This isn't what you were put on Earth for. You can do this in your sleep, and sometimes it looks like exactly what you're doing.
** When reviewing ''French Twist'', Siskel also broke the fourth wall when he addressed the country of France by talking into the camera:
--->'''Siskel:''' You know, the French film industry is saying how "we need protection for our own kind, America is dwarfing us", (looks at camera) so look what you send out to America, here's what you endorse into America. I mean, it's absurd.
** When Ebert and Roeper reviewed ''Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties'', Ebert directly addressed any kids who might be watching the show, ignoring Roeper (who was laughing incredulously that he was giving it thumbs up).
* CallBack:
** In their review of ''Film/BrokenArrow1996'', the movie where Siskel initially voted thumbs up but changed his vote after hearing Ebert's criticism, Siskel tried to get Ebert to vote thumbs down to ''Film/CopAndAHalf'', which they had reviewed three years prior and which Ebert liked. Ebert refused to change his vote.
** There was a double callback in the ''Larger Than Life'' review: Siskel gave it a marginal thumbs up and Ebert accused him of being too soft, recalling a prior episode when Siskel argued that Ebert should've been tougher in their review of ''Sleepers'' (1996) (Ebert gave it a marginal thumbs up). Ebert then went on to say that he felt ''Larger Than Life'' would've been stronger if they had stuck with the motivational speaker satire and the elephant wasn't part of the story at all. Siskel sarcastically retorted that Ebert should review the movie that was made, not his rewrite. Ebert had accused Siskel of doing the same thing when they reviewed ''Bogus'' a few episodes prior. Siskel argued that they're obviously reviewing the movie that was made if they're coming up with alternatives of how the movie could've been better.
* CatchPhrase: Aside from the quote at the top, there's "Two thumbs up, way up" or "Two thumbs down, way down", in both extreme cases. Each episode also opened with either Siskel or Ebert saying some variant of, "(movie title) is one of (four/five) new movies we'll be reviewing this week on ''Siskel and Ebert''. I'm (Gene Siskel/Roger Ebert) of the (''Chicago Tribune''/''Chicago Sun-Times'')…", followed by the other saying their name and paper. The latter would then introduce the first film.
* CausticCritic: Usually their reviews are fairly levelheaded, but occasionally a ''really'' bad film comes along that will cause one or both to rip it to shreds, such as ''Film/{{North}}''.
* ChristmasEpisode: For a while, Siskel and Ebert did an annual "Holiday Gift Guide" episode.
* CircularReasoning: Demonstrated in their review of ''Film/BackToTheFuture Part III''. Siskel liked the film, while Ebert gave it a marginal thumbs down, since he felt the western tropes were old hat. Ebert argued that Siskel would feel differently if the film was ''only'' a western and not a ''Back to the Future'' movie, while Siskel argued that it ''wasn't'' just a western (which is true, as the film played with a lot of those tropes). Repeat this back-and-forth a couple times.
* ColdOpen: Every episode began with an announcer telling a few of the movies Siskel and Ebert would be reviewing.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong:
** In the special episode "The Movie That Made Us Critics", Siskel told a story about how one of his first professional reviews was for ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid''. He thought there were some cute moments but overall found it underwhelming and gave it a negative review. A fellow employee came across his review before it was published and was shocked that he'd give a bad review to a Paul Newman movie. Conflicted, Siskel went back to see the movie a second time and didn't like it any more than he did the first time (and actually, liked it less because he saw everything coming). That was an early lesson he learned as a critic: Hold your own opinions, no matter what the general consensus is.
** Alluded to in their review of ''Film/{{Outbreak}}'' when Ebert said that Siskel was probably the only one who thought Dustin Hoffman looked ridiculous in his lab coat (Siskel thought he looked like [[Film/TheGraduate Benjamin Braddock]] in it).
* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: Invoked whenever they report on groups protesting a controversial movie, such as ''Film/TheLastTemptationOfChrist'' or ''Film/GetOnTheBus'': They say the groups' criticisms are invalid if they haven't actually seen the movie in question (and in nearly all cases, they hadn't).
* CriticalDissonance: Invoked. Some examples of films which grossed high numbers despite the duo's score of "two thumbs down": ''Film/TheFlintstones'' (1994), the first two ''Film/HomeAlone'' movies, ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'', ''Film/IndependenceDay'', ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'', ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'', and ''Film/GhostbustersII''.
** On the complete OPPOSITE end of the spectrum, Gene and Roger were the ''only'' major critics in America to enjoy ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'', which was otherwise regarded then (and still is now) as one of the worst films of all time by both critics and audiences, to the point that Sandra Bullock considers it an OldShame. Roger would go on to write that it "inspired more disbelief" than any positive review he'd ever written.
* DamnedByFaintPraise: Occasionally occurs if a movie is really awful. In their brief review of ''Film/TheHotChick'', Roeper listed the positives of the movie: It was in color, and was mostly in focus.
** He could say only ''one'' positive thing on the show's review of ''Film/BallisticEcksVsSever'' three months earlier: "No [[UsefulNotes/{{Canada}} Mounties]] were harmed in the making of this movie."
* DeadpanSnarker: Both Siskel and Ebert could fall into this at times. An example:
-->'''Siskel:''' And I think you're off on ''Film/{{Batman}}''; I think you had a better time, you know it's a smarter movie. You felt like you were being directed, didn't you?
-->'''Ebert:''' You know, Gene, if you're so good at telling me I had a better time, and what I felt, and how I thought, I don't know why it's necessary for me to be here on this show--
-->'''Siskel:''' I've thought about that, too.
** Another example, from their review of ''Film/TeenWolf'' Too, when Ebert said it was a worse film than ''Date With an Angel'' because it didn't have someone like Emmanuelle Béart in it:
--->'''Siskel:''' As I once said to you on another film, many years ago: "Date her, don't give the film a positive review."
--->'''Ebert:''' Y'know, if criticism ever gets tiring to you, Gene, you could always open a Lonely Hearts Agency.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
** Frequently, after finishing a review and moving onto the next one, Siskel or Ebert would say: "Next movie, and our next movie is ______."
** In Ebert and Roeper's review of ''Film/SheHateMe'', Ebert describes the film as tackling "office politics, sexual politics, and ''politics'' politics."
* DisappointedInYou: Siskel gave a positive review to ''Film/BabysDayOut'', and Ebert replied by saying he hated the movie more than anything they'd ever reviewed on the show and said he was disappointed in Siskel and should be ashamed of himself.
-->'''Siskel:''' Of what? Not agreeing with you? I've ''always'' been proud of that.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Ebert seemed more vulnerable to this, sometimes giving mediocre movies a pass if they had a particularly attractive woman in it, but Siskel wasn't above it, either … one of his major criticisms of ''Film/{{Showgirls}}'' was that Elizabeth Berkley didn't look sexy ''enough''.
* DoubleStandard: In their debate about ''Film/DontBeAMenaceToSouthCentralWhileDrinkingYourJuiceInTheHood'', Ebert asked Siskel (who was Jewish) if he'd feel the same way about this film if it starred Jewish people and had Jewish stereotypes. Siskel said that if it were funny, he'd like it just as much. Ebert then expressed doubt that anyone would make such a film.
* DownerEnding: Gene Siskel's death, obviously.
** Less so with Roger's death. Despite finally losing to his battle with cancer at the (in modern times) relatively early age of 70, it was established that he'd long made peace with death, and even [[http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/a-leave-of-presence wrote a piece]] just before his passing that essentially serves as a heartwarming goodbye to the world. He died with his family in close proximity, with his wife Chaz even commenting that he'd [[GoOutWithASmile seemed happy, too]].
* DudeNotFunny: Invoked. Ebert accused ''Film/DontBeAMenaceToSouthCentralWhileDrinkingYourJuiceInTheHood'' of making fun of serious subjects which he felt shouldn't be mocked. Siskel tried to call him out on it, suggesting that any topic can be parodied if done right.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Nothing major, as the show stayed roughly the same since it began in 1986, but in 1992, the show's backdrop switched from a yellow-ish hue to a blue one. Also, in the early shows, Ebert had thicker glasses and bushier hair.
* EightPointEight: Invoked. Certain films received thumbs down from one or both, despite getting rave reviews from many others. Examples:
** Ebert gave ''Film/DieHard'' a thumbs down. It holds a 94% on Website/RottenTomatoes. He thought there were too many plot holes and hated the belligerent authority figures. (However, it should be noted that at some point, he seemed to come around on the film, as he liked ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'' and claimed he liked the third movie about as much as the first one.)
** Siskel gave ''Film/GoldenEye'' a thumbs down. It holds an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and is regarded by some to be the best of the Creator/PierceBrosnan Bond films and a return to form for the series. Siskel thought it was a routine story, thought the only good action scene was in the first five minutes, and thought Brosnan was a mediocre Bond ("Frankly, RogerMoore has a more commanding screen presence than this guy.")
** While he didn't exactly hate it, Ebert gave a marginal thumbs down to ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', claiming it wasn't on par with Creator/StanleyKubrick's earlier work and finding the second half of the film a letdown. The film has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
** Ebert also didn't care for ''Film/BlueVelvet'', which holds a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. He admired the filmmaking, but hated being jerked around by [[MoodWhiplash having deadly serious scenes immediately cut to something cheerfully ironic]]. He particularly objected to a scene where Creator/IsabellaRossellini's character was naked on a character's lawn, feeling bad for the actress.
** While it doesn't have a high Rotten Tomatoes score, they gave the original ''Film/HomeAlone'', which was a box office smash, two thumbs down. They didn't care for the comic violence and didn't think it was an accurate portrayal of a kid being left alone. Interestingly, while the two never changed their vote on the show, months later they took a second look at the film to examine why they thought audiences loved it. And in their review of ''Home Alone 3'', Siskel was stunned that Ebert liked it more than the original film, and readily admitted that Macaulay Culkin was a better actor than Alex D. Linz.
** Siskel didn't care for ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'', which has a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and which Ebert put on his [[RogerEbertGreatMoviesList list of "Great Movies"]]. He thought the film's execution was trashy, felt Creator/AnthonyHopkins overacted, and didn't feel the movie was an accurate portrayal of serial killers.
** Ebert gave ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' thumbs down, claiming it had no surprises and had a sloppy ending. It has an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
** ''Film/IndependenceDay'' was given two thumbs down; while it wasn't a resounding critical success, it was a big hit at the box office. They even re-reviewed the film after it became a success, and still disliked it, citing unmemorable characters, clichéd dialogue, and generic-looking aliens.
** Siskel disliked ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', which has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. He thought the artwork was dull, there didn't seem to be a sense of jeopardy regarding the main character, and couldn't remember any of the songs.
** Ebert disliked the 1989 ''Film/{{Batman}}'', which was and is held in high regard (though it registers only 70% on the Tomatometer). He liked the set design but didn't care about any of the characters and thought the film had a meanness to it, although he has mentioned multiple times since that Creator/JackNicholson's Joker is among the best comic-book film villains ever.
** Siskel didn't like ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', which has an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. He thought all the scenes were done better in other movies.
** Siskel gave a marginal thumbs down to ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', which has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and is generally regarded as an improvement over ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. Siskel didn't feel Creator/HarrisonFord and Creator/SeanConnery had any chemistry, and had a sense of déjà vu from the action sequences.
** Both Siskel and Ebert revealed on a special episode ("The Movie That Made Us Critics") that they felt ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'' was overrated. Ebert went so far as to claim that the film was a turkey.
** While he gave it a marginal thumbs up, Siskel wasn't all that impressed by ''Film/BoogieNights'', which has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. He felt that the film didn't give much new insight about the porn industry and felt the film had no point.
** Roeper gave a marginal thumbs down to ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', which has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes; he felt it had too many characters to care about, thought the film was too long and repetitive, and was turned off by the non-ending. It should be noted, however, that he gave the other two movies thumbs up and seemed to come around on the first film when viewed in the context of a full journey, not a standalone movie.
** The reverse of this trope occurs at times as well; Siskel enjoyed ''Film/{{Carnosaur}}'' for its villain and goofy plot. It holds an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. ''Film/HomeAlone 3'' was also the only one of the ''Home Alone'' films that Ebert enjoyed; it has a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
** Probably the most standout reverse example would be their '''two thumbs up''' to ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'', a movie considered by virtually everyone else to be one of the worst sequels of all time.[[note]]Specifically, Siskel and Ebert are the two critics responsible for giving it its 3% RT score.[[/note]]
** ''Film/MortalKombat'', which was almost universally panned critically, came oh-so-close to getting a "two thumbs up": Siskel gave it a "thumbs up" while Ebert went a "thumbs in the middle" thumbs-down, although he cited that his major issue (the film's lighting was too dark) may had been the theater's fault.
** Perhaps the most legendary of them all, both Siskel and Ebert gave ''Film/BladeRunner'' two thumbs down when it was first released[[note]]Unfortunately for Ebert, he never saw the theatrical version - he watched a ''pan-and-scan'' tape sent to him from the studio[[/note]], a movie widely regarded as a ScienceFiction classic today and one of the most important films in the genre.[[note]]As a side note, Ebert eventually gave the 1992 Director's Cut a thumbs-up and an entry into his Great Movies collection, specially noting that seeing the film in letterbox made almost all the difference. The opening shot of LA, for example, was no longer a "postcard" but more breathtaking.[[/note]]
* EnforcedPlug: When the Internet began to take off, Siskel and Ebert naturally got their own website, which led to one of the two plugging it at the end of every episode. Unfortunately, this meant they had no time to get a little more debating in, which was the highlight of the 1986-1995 shows.
* FalseDichotomy: Ebert made one when he reviewed ''French Twist'' and was upset that France selected the film for the Academy Awards instead of ''Film/LesMiserables1995'':
-->'''Ebert:''' The problem is, that film portrays some French people as [[LesCollaborateurs Nazi sympathizers]], while this film merely portrays them as idiots. I guess it's clear what choice they prefer.
* FingerWag: Films that were NotScreenedForCritics got the Wagging Finger of Shame. This rating was short-lived, however; it only lasted a year before Ebert abandoned it, claiming that it wasn't really stopping studios from withholding their movies from critics.
* FinishDialogueInUnison: In their review of ''Film/OverTheTop'' (1987), Siskel and Ebert both said "the strap" at the same time. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Twice]].
* FlashbackEffects: In Ebert and Roeper's review of ''Film/ScoobyDoo 2'', Ebert recalled his review of the first film, and the picture dissolves to his and Roeper's earlier review. The same occurred when they reviewed ''Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties''.
* GuestHost: Tom Shales filled in for Gene Siskel when he went in for brain surgery in 1999. After Siskel died, Ebert tried numerous other guest hosts in 1999 until finally deciding on Richard Roeper in 2000 as permanent replacement co-host.
* GoodNewsBadNews: When reviewing ''Film/TheHotChick'':
--> '''Ebert''': About half an hour into the screening, the film got trapped in the projector and it caught fire! That was the good news! The bad news was, the screening continued, and hardly any of the film was destroyed.
* GuiltyPleasures: Ebert has been known to give certain movies thumbs up, even if he admits they're ridiculous and/or not as good of quality as other films. Examples: ''Film/{{Congo}}'', ''Film/GameraGuardianOfTheUniverse''.
* GushingAboutShowsYouLike: The purpose of their annual "Best of" episodes. Also arguably the point of their "Memo to the Academy" episodes.
** "On the Sunny Side of the Screen", a special all about the duo recommending great summer movies.
* HeadsOrTails: Why is it "Siskel and Ebert" and not "Ebert and Siskel"? Ebert lost a coin flip.
* HilariousOuttakes: The famous outtakes of Siskel and Ebert on Website/YouTube have garnered millions of hits.
* HoYay: Invoked. And played with. During their review of "Female Perversions":
-->'''Siskel:''' …And as men, we know it goes on; you know the old line, "Men think about sex every, y'know, thirty seconds" or something like that; this is not an exaggeration.
-->'''Ebert:''' (smiling) I'm thinking about it right now.
-->'''Siskel:''' Thank--aw, that's sweet. That's very sweet.
-->'''Ebert:''' I was picturing Paulina Porizkova, I wasn't thinking of you.
* InMemoriam: Ebert's tribute to Gene Siskel after his death.
** They've also made tributes to deceased film stars and directors, usually at the end of the show. One deceased director, however, was given a full episode tribute (Creator/StanleyKubrick).
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY:
** Siskel incorrectly pronounced ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' as Super "Meh-ree-yoh" Brothers in their review of the 1993 film.
** In their review of ''Film/{{Sidekicks}}'', Ebert pronounced [[Film/TheKarateKid Mr. Miyagi]] as "Mr. Miyajee".
** Played for laughs: Roeper pronounced [[Film/MeetTheFockers Fockers]] as "Fauquers".
* LeFilmArtistique: One completely incorrect statement about the duo is that they supposedly give thumbs up only to pretentious artsy foreign films and give thumbs down to all mainstream action films. [[SarcasmMode Yeah, they really hated]] ''Film/DieHard2'', ''Film/ExecutiveDecision'', ''Film/TheFugitive'', ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', ''Film/{{Speed}}'', ''Film/MissionImpossible'', ''Film/UnderSiege 2'', and ''Film/MenInBlack'', among many others.
** Not only this, but they frequently called out the Oscars at times where they felt HarrisonFord was ignored for Academy attention for his action roles, which they mentioned more than once that he could do better than anyone else (aside from maybe Steve McQueen in decades past). ''The Fugitive'' was probably one of the more notable examples of them feeling he was snubbed.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Their arguments could fall into this quite often; the two had been paired together so long that they knew what made the other tick and jumped on that. And while they did argue, they also kidded each other just as much.
* LimitedWardrobe: Throughout the entire run, the typical outfit for both Siskel and Ebert was a blazer with a turtleneck underneath. However, there have been exceptions: Both wore tuxedos for some of their "Best of" shows, and Ebert wore a suit and tie for his Gene Siskel tribute episode. Perhaps the biggest aversion occurred in a special 1994 episode "Sunny Side of the Screen", where they both wore blazers with Hawaiian shirts underneath.
* LogicalFallacies:
** Ebert made one during their review of ''Film/GameraGuardianOfTheUniverse''. He gave the film thumbs up despite listing some flaws. Siskel said that all of Ebert's flaws were accurate and suggested renting one of the early giant monster movies instead (which he felt were superior). At this point, Ebert took Siskel's point too far by sarcastically suggesting that the audience shouldn't bother with any of the films on the program and to just rent ''Film/CitizenKane''. Ebert's fallacy backfired when Siskel said: "Well, you could do that, and I think you and I both look at ''Citizen Kane'' regularly. But I'm just saying is, that I think you want to like this picture more than you know in your heart of hearts that it really contains entertainment value."
** Siskel made one in the episode where Ebert gave ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' a marginal thumbs down. Siskel said it was absurd that Ebert was giving a Kubrick film that rating, while in the same show he gave a recommendation to ''Benji the Hunted'' (which he disliked). As Ebert rightfully pointed out, ''Jacket'' and ''Benji'' are two totally different genres and as such, deserve to have different criteria for judging them.
* LongList: In their review of ''TheKidsInTheHall: Brain Candy'', Ebert rattled off a list of adjectives as to why he hates the film:
-->'''Ebert:''' Boy, are we apart on this one. I found this movie to be ''awful'', terrible, dreadful, stupid, idiotic, unfunny, labored, forced, painful, bad!
* LongRunner: The show in its various incarnations ran for decades from 1974 to 2010.
* LoveItOrHateIt: Invoked nearly every time Siskel and Ebert disagreed on a film, giving it a split "Thumbs up / Thumbs down" rating, and inevitably leading to a heated argument.
* MilestoneCelebration: In 1989, the duo hosted a one-hour "500th Anniversary Special".
* MoneyDearBoy:[[invoked]] A common complaint from the two when discussing why certain actors took roles. Ebert stated that Connery's huge smile in ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'' was perhaps because of the massive paycheck he received, especially since the film had a huge budget and looked like it had NoBudget.
* MoodWhiplash: Due to the wide variety of films that debuted each week, they could review a [[SlasherMovie slasher flick]] … followed immediately by a lighthearted family film.
* MoralGuardians: Their review of ''Film/SilentNightDeadlyNight'' consisted mostly of them wagging their fingers and clucking "Shame, shame" at all the names listed in the credits. There's also Siskel's infamous review of the original ''Film/FridayThe13th1980'', in which he referred to the director as "one of the most despicable creatures to ever infest the movie business" and gave out the personal addresses of some of the people involved in the film's creation so equally infuriated viewers could send their hate mail directly to them.
* MostAnnoyingSound: Invoked. A few actors have been described by Siskel and/or Ebert as "fingernails on the blackboard", such as Pauly Shore.
* MundaneWish: In their review of ''Frozen Assets'' (which both would name the worst film of 1992), Ebert said that as a reward for having to view this film, he deserved months "in a beautiful valley with honey and nectar and zephyr-like breezes". Siskel joked that he had simple tastes, to which Ebert added: "…And a big car!"
* NoSenseOfHumor:
** Siskel accused Ebert of this when Ebert gave a scathing review to ''TheKidsInTheHall: Brain Candy''.
--->'''Ebert:''' I ''got'' my sense of humor. My sense of humor was ''starving'' for a laugh!
** Siskel also asked Ebert where his sense of humor was when Ebert gave a thumbs down to ''Creator/EddieMurphy: Raw''.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: One of their stranger arguments was debating whether Ed was truly stupid (what Siskel believed) or faking it to be ironic (what Ebert believed) in ''Film/GoodBurger''.
* OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo: Twice in their review of ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'', Ebert remarked, "...What a title."
* OnceASeason: "Memo to the Academy", "Oscar Surprises", "Best of", "Worst of", "If We Picked the Winners".
* OneOfTheKids: Ebert called himself "eternally young" when he gave a positive review to ''Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties''.
** In Siskel and Ebert's review of ''Film/StarKid'', Ebert liked the film because he was in touch with the child inside himself.
* OnTheNext: Before the closing catchphrase, each episode featured Siskel or Ebert saying what they'd review on the next show.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: A few of Ebert's guest hosts could be seen as this.
* PromotionalConsideration: The sponsors varied, but two companies that often appeared in the "Promotional Consideration" slide were Nestle's Raisinets and Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.
* {{Pun}}: While the duo resisted using bad puns in their reviews, they occasionally let one slide.
** From the ''Film/MrMagoo'' review:
--->'''Siskel:''' Mmm-hmm. Have you seen enough? Well, multiply the experience of seeing those two scenes by about twenty, and you ''see'' you get your ''eyeful'' rather quickly.
** In their review of ''Film/HomeAlone 3'', Siskel said the theme song for the movie should be "Dumbbells Keep Falling On My Head".
** In their review of ''Film/ScoobyDoo 2'', Ebert said: "Or, as it will certainly be known in France, "Scooby Doo Doo (Deux)".
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: In their "Worst of 1994" show, Ebert recalled what he wrote in his ''Chicago Sun-Times'' review of ''Film/{{North}}'' (which they both considered '''the''' worst movie of that year):
-->'''Ebert:''' I ''hated'' this movie! Hated, hated, hated, hated, ''hated'' this movie! ''Hated'' it! Hated every stupid, simpering, vacant, audience-insulting moment of it!
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: In their "Worst of 1995" show, Siskel and Ebert criticized the parents who took their kids to see ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', when they could've taken them to better family movies instead.
* ReplacedTheThemeTune: Each new version of the show has had a different instrumental theme song.
* ReTool: Infamously done during the Lyons/Mankiewicz era.
* SeriousBusiness: While the duo sometimes exchanged funny banter, for the most part the duo took film criticism very seriously, even occasionally accusing each other of lowering their standards (see the ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' review). This is perhaps why they gained such a reputation as an authority on what are the best films to see (to the point where "Two thumbs up!" was practically a given to mention in ads or on video covers).
* {{Sequelitis}}: A major sticking point for them... their "Worst of 1983" show was devoted entirely to sequels, and most of their Worst Of specials to follow would have a special segment devoted to mediocre sequels.
* ShoutOut: In their review of ''Black Sheep'', Siskel gave a nod to the famous "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" quote:
--> '''Siskel''': This, stunk. Chris Farley is not funny. I knew John Belushi, I knew John Candy, he's [Chris Farley's] no John Belushi or John Candy.
* ShownTheirWork: Siskel and Ebert rarely made mistakes during their reviews, and often mentioned screenwriters, cinematographers, and directors by name.
* SickEpisode:
** For a few weeks in early 1998, Siskel was in the hospital recovering from surgery; instead of sitting out entirely, [[WorkingThroughTheCold he still reviewed the films from his hospital bed, using a split-screen format with a still shot of Siskel on the left.]]
** In early 1999, Siskel was absent entirely during one episode, due to returning to the hospital. Ebert did the episode by himself.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** As stated in the intro paragraphs, some episodes take a break from reviewing new movies and focus on a specific issue (colorization, "What's Wrong With Home Video", favorite villains, guilty pleasures, etc.).
** Sometimes a standard-format episode would have a segment briefly discussing a hot film-related topic along with the usual reviews; in late 1991 they discussed the controversy over Music/MichaelJackson's "Black or White" video -- specifically its violent, crotch-grabbing finale. They weren't so much bothered by that as the fact that they had no idea what was going on in the video.
** The tribute to Gene Siskel episode didn't feature any movie reviews at all, a rarity for the show.
** The duo never reviewed TV shows, but they made an exception with ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'', due to its subject matter. They reviewed the first three episodes and gave it a marginal thumbs down. However, they sensed promise in the premise and felt the show should stay focused on satirizing movies. Eventually they guest-voiced a second-season episode ("Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice") which parodied many film tropes to break the two apart and bring them together again.
* SpecialGuest: Some of the guest critics may count (such as [[Series/TheTonightShow Jay Leno]] and Creator/KevinSmith during the Roeper era). Also, BillClinton (a famous movie buff) appeared in one episode where he was interviewed by Roger. The transcript for that interview can be read [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080910/PEOPLE/809109989 here]].
* SpinningPaper: Seen in the beginning of the intro.
* {{Spoiler}}: Unfortunately, some of Siskel and Ebert's reviews contained spoilers.
* TheStoner: Roeper accused adult ''[=SpongeBob=]'' fans of being on drugs in their review of ''The [=SpongeBob=] [=SquarePants=] Movie''.
* StuffBlowingUp: Frequently cited as a negative in the films they review, as it often emphasizes meaningless special effects over story. For example, in their review of ''Film/OnDeadlyGround'':
-->'''Ebert:''' Now, if you like to see lots of stuff blowed up real good, this'd be a movie for you, but it doesn't pay to devote close attention to the plot of ''On Deadly Ground''.
** ''Film/BallisticEcksVsSever'' was similarly bashed as a "cynical exercise that … couldn't care less about any of its characters".
--->'''Roeper:''' It's all about stunts and chase sequences and blowing things up and setting things on fire. Who. Cares?
* TakeAThirdOption: In a show with a split decision and two thumbs down, it was hard to recommend any of the films on the show, so Ebert said, "My recommendation? Go see ''Film/TheCryingGame''."
* TitlePlease: No episode titles are present on the screen. Episodes are unofficially referred to as "Week of ____" and/or the movies they reviewed on that episode.
* TongueTied: Siskel got this way in his intro to 1987's ''Film/PrinceOfDarkness'', and called himself out on it:
-->'''Siskel:''' Our next film is called ''Prince of Darkness'', and yes, it's about the devil, about the opening of an age-old canister, and who escapes? Evil personisfied … personified. You know what I mean. It's evil, it's bad, it's naughty. (…) I would say, roughly, it's the devil. And this guy plays by a whole different set of rules, where up is down, in is out, I can't talk right, and all kinds of different rules. And if you're not careful, you're gonna be destroyed. ({{Beat}}) In this movie.
* ToughRoom: In one review, Ebert made a joke and Siskel didn't laugh. Ebert [[SarcasmMode thanked]] Siskel for his overwhelming support, and Siskel replied, "It wasn't that funny."
* TwistingTheWords: Sometimes occurs, especially when they review movies about controversial subject matter.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Unavoidable, due to the movies reviewed, not to mention the advances in home video technology. Yes, laserdisc was touted as the best way to watch movies at home.
** Also the clothing and facial hair the critics wore in the earliest PBS episodes of "Sneak Previews" and "Coming to a Theatre Near You."
* VisualPun: Their "At the Movies" days featured two animals, Aroma the Educated Skunk and Spot the Wonder Dog, which represented the stinkers and dogs of the week, respectively. These were excised when they moved to the Buena Vista series. During a 1992 interview on [[DavidLetterman Late Night with David Letterman]], Gene recalled working with the skunk.
-->'''Siskel:''' The skunk was a very bashful creature and would always bury its head in the movie seat cushion as the camera and lights were put in position for taping the upcoming segment. Just before the cameras would start would come the order from the director "Spin the skunk!"
* VitriolicBestBuds: Just watch [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkwVz_jK3gA this clip]]
** Also to be expected when one watches any of their guest appearances on talk shows, ESPECIALLY with DavidLetterman.
* VolleyingInsults: Would occur at times on the Ebert & Roeper version. Ebert gave thumbs up to ''Film/APrairieHomeCompanion'', saying you just want to cuddle the movie, and when Roeper gave it a thumbs down:
--> '''Ebert''': You're giving this movie thumbs down? You have the appearance of a human being, but you are, in fact, an android.\\
'''Roeper''': Hey, you're the one who wants to cuddle with a ''movie''.
** And of course this one from their review of ''Film/{{Sahara}}'' (Ebert liked it, Roeper didn't):
--> '''Roeper''': Well you are the king of kindness on this one.\\
'''Ebert''': Thank you very much.\\
'''Roeper''': I'm glad you enjoyed it.\\
'''Ebert''': I'm happy that the- may the balm of human generosity spread, perhaps, from my side of the aisle to yours one of these years.\\
'''Roeper''': May you spend an afternoon seeing ''Sahara 2'' someday as your punishment for recommending this movie.\\
'''Ebert''': May a diseased yak make love to your sister's kneecap.\\
'''Roeper''': That's funnier than anything I saw in ''Sahara''.
* WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief: Ebert accuses Roeper of not utilizing this enough when watching ''Film/LaraCroftTombRaider''.
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