Every Movie Roger Ebert Came On (And Why)

Critic Roger Ebert of left a handful of movies despite his beliefs to finish them – here’s what they are and why he left.

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert became famous for his in-depth reviews of all types of film, having reviewed films for 46 years, but there were only a handful of times that Ebert left a screening before it turned up. ended. There came a point in his career when he decided never to see a movie again without seeing the entirety of it. However, the famous critic remained extremely vocal about the unfortunate few he decided to leave.

Roger Ebert wrote reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, but only reviewed them on television for 31 years. Along with his equally infamous colleague Gene Siskel, he co-hosted the 1986 talk show. At the movie theater and rose to fame through the dramatic arguments he and Siskel had after a screening. Roger Ebert is rumored to have left several films that are not listed here, such as I spit on your grave, while he simply considered them despicable. Apart Caligula, it usually took no more than an hour for Ebert to decide he was going out of a movie.


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The reason there are so few movies that Roger Ebert has come out on is that he felt it was unfair to rewatch a movie he hadn’t watched until the end. Shortly after posting a scathing review of the 2008 independent film Truly loved, he apologized to director Stewart Wade and the film’s crew on his Sun-Times blog. Ebert had only stayed at the screening for about eight minutes before leaving to type a review. In his apologies, he swore, “I will never again review a film that I have not seen in full” (Going through Los Angeles Times). Either way, film critic Roger Ebert usually had a valid reason for quitting movies he didn’t like. As a movie connoisseur, he had a reliable gauge of whether or not he would find an acceptable movie, so every walkout had a justifiable purpose. Here are all the movies Ebert has been on and why.

Caligula (1979)

Caligula 1979

caligula remains an exception for Roger Ebert in that he exited after experiencing two hours of the film, rather than deciding to leave right away. His spurned review called the film “disgusting” and “shameful trash”. Ebert gave the film zero stars and encouraged public response demanding a total ban due to its exploitative sex scenes. The film centers on the power-hungry Roman Emperor Caligula and his rise to power leading to his ultimate murder. caligula was controversial enough that it faced legal issues from being seized by customs and federal officials. Ebert’s main problem with the film was its lack of joy. There was “no scenes of joy” Where “natural pleasure” and desperation made him too nauseous to finish.

The Statue (1971)

The statue is a comedy directed by Rod Amateau and written by Dennis Norden and Alec Coppel. A sculptor artist uses her husband as a nude model to create an eighteen-foot Greco-Roman statue, but models the genitals after someone else’s, causing drama in their high-profile social circle. class. Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman make their first appearances. In his review, Roger Ebert talked about how he could imagine this comedy working if executed differently, but he considered the feature too gritty in its comedy to end. He came out when the story began to delve into themes of revenge. Ebert specifically cited David Niven’s atrocious performance as the reason he left the screening, and how Niven would be better off unemployed than acting in The statue.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The 1973 drama Jonathan Livingston Seagull was written and directed by Hall Bartlett. The film adaptation of Richard Bach’s novel follows a rebellious seagull who begins to learn new flight techniques that get him banished from his flock. Its narrative is notably similar to the hit comedy happy feet. Siskel and Ebert weren’t the only critics to write scathing reviews of the film, as it was widely received as an outlandish failure. Ebert gave Jonathan Alive Seagull one star and left the screening after forty-five minutes. He criticized the film’s abuse of the real birds used as well as its failure to elevate the bland source material. He claimed it might have been the “the biggest pseudo-cultural and metaphysical scam of the year.”

Related: The Origins of Siskel & Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up” Grading System

The Brown Rabbit (2003)

The brown rabbit

Experimental drama film by acclaimed director Vincent Gallo The brown rabbit follows a non-linear story of motorcycle racer Bud Clay who can’t help but rehash his former lover, played by american horror story Chloe Sevigny. The film received mixed reviews, with praise for the cinematography but outrage for Gallo who shares unsimulated oral sex with Sevigny for the ending. Roger Ebert left the press session to The brown rabbit and sparked a feud with Gallo then claiming it was the “The worst film in the history of Cannes.” It wasn’t the controversial blowjob that deterred him, but the way the movie was “unbearably boring.” However, Ebert looked at the recut version and gave it an iconic Siskel and Ebert “thumbs up.”

Truly Loved (2008)

Really liked

Really liked is the movie that made Roger Ebert question his habit of reviewing movies without watching them until the end credits. He faced backlash for revealing he had only watched eight minutes of the film, so he rewatched it at a later date to rewatch it properly. The independent film is a slice of life that aims to normalize LGBTQ+ representation in cinema. Ebert’s opinion of the film did not change, as he viewed Stewart Wade’s comedy as shallow and underdeveloped. Specifically, he had a problem with how the film dealt with the intersectionality of the gay and straight communities. He gave Really liked one star after completing it and said the characters remained one-dimensional stereotypes.

Mediterranean (1991)


Mediterranean revolves around a group of Italian soldiers who find themselves stranded on an island in the Aegean Sea during World War II. While most of the films Roger Ebert left screenings for were poorly received by critics, Mediterranean received an incredible welcome. Gabriele Salvatores’ war drama won best international feature film at the 1992 Oscars. Roger Ebert’s shocking reason for quitting Mediterranean it is because he found that it was “quite without redeeming the merit.” Both he and Siskel have sworn never to watch it again, regardless of its awards and accolades.

Roger Ebert did not hesitate to condemn the quality of a film if he deemed it objectionable to the art of cinema, and he never reserved himself when explaining why he had left various film screenings. His objective return to The brown rabbit and Really liked after his infamous walkouts show that he was nonetheless open to having his views reassessed. However, given the number of film critics Roger Ebert would have left, it is clear that he was a force to be feared for the filmmakers.

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