Roger Ebert Quotes

The Academy is paranoid about its image.

I am informed that 5 000 cockroaches were used in the filming of Joe's Apartment. That depresses me but not as much as the news that none of them were harmed during the production.

Reese Witherspoon is as cute as a button on Raggedy Ann's overalls but irresistible raw sex appeal is not one of her qualities.

I know as a critic I'm required to have a well-armored heart. I must be a cynical wise guy to show my great sophistication. No pushover me.

Jacques Tati is the great philosophical tinkerer of comedy taking meticulous care to arrange his films so that they unfold in a series of revelations and effortless delights.

Grave of the Fireflies" is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation... It belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made.

Open-heart surgery is now part of a typical life experience for many people. Folks talk casually about 'having a stent put in ' as if they had their tires rotated.

I'm kind of glad the web is sort of totally anarchic. That's fine with me.

Movies absorb our attention more completely I think.

One of the gifts one movie lover can give another is the title of a wonderful film they have not yet discovered

Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' is a magnificent science-fiction film all the more intriguing because it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn't have the answers.

Film has become a marketed commodity and the opportunities and audiences for art cinema have grown smaller. There is a general downturn in cultural literacy perhaps because of television.

Going to see Godzilla at the Palais of the Cannes Film Festival is like attending a satanic ritual in St. Peter's Basilica.

Since any reasonable person would choose a Mac over a PC Apple's market share provides us with an accurate reading of the percentage of reasonable people in our society.

(Guy) Pearce as the hero makes the mistake of trying to give a good and realistic performance. (Jeremy) Irons at least knows what kind of movie he's in and hams it up accordingly.

Troy is based on the epic poem The Iliad by Homer according to the credits. Homer's estate should sue.

The layout was griping the glide is awesome. Two ten-inch fins up way up.

If you have to ask what it symbolizes it didn't.

Artists are rarely members of the popular crowd.

[Marlon] Brando was the only guy who could step out of that shadow at the end of that movie and be worth the wait.

Life is made up of challenges that cannot be solved but only accepted.

There are no guarantees. But there is also nothing to fear. We come from oblivion when we are born. We return to oblivion when we die. The astonishing thing is this period of in-between.

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.

It has been said that the reason we establish relationships is to assure ourselves of a witness to our lives.

I just assume I'm right. Partially out of conviction and partially as a pose.

I urgently advise hospitals: Do not make the DVD available to your patients; there may be an outbreak of bedpans thrown at TV screens.

Because I don't give the studios advanced quotes or an advanced look at my reviews. I think the readers deserve to read my reviews before the studios do.

What a terrible thing it would be to be the Pope! What unthinkable responsibilities to fall on your shoulders at an advanced age! No privacy. No seclusion. No sin.

Teenagers used to go to the movies to see adults having sex. Today adults go to the movies to see teenagers having sex.

Sometimes it's all about the casting.

The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.

I am not a believer not an atheist not an agnostic. I am still awake at night asking how? I am more content with the question than I would be with an answer.

In the world of acting many are thin but few are talented.

A lot of people just go to movies that feed into their preexisting and not so noble needs and desires: They just go to action pictures and things like that.

In the world of bad movies 'Death to Smoochy' is a towering achievement.

Skateboarding is forever and things like college and girls only ruin an endlessly savored adolescence.

I find that when I am actually writing I enter a zone of concentration too small to admit my troubles.

A few actresses have all but set up shop as women of a certain age who attract younger lovers. I think of Susan Sarandon Cameron Diaz and Isabelle Huppert.

It often strikes me that the actors in high school movies look too old.

I felt it would to add a great deal to my legend for eccentricity.

We must try to contribute joy to the world. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad.

It amazes me that filmmakers will still film and audiences will still watch relationships so bankrupt of human feeling that the characters could be reading dialogue written by a computer.

The very fact of snow is such an amazement.

It's strange: We leave the movie having enjoyed its conclusion so much that we almost forgot our earlier reservations. But they were there and they were real.

Life always has an unhappy ending but you can have a lot of fun along the way and everything doesn't have to be dripping in deep significance.

I begin to feel like I was in the last generation of Americans who took a civics class.

Nothing could be more boring than an absolutely accurate movie about the law.

A corner is important. It provides privacy and an anchor and lets you exist independently of the room.

I am proudly a liberal. I am also patriotic reasonable pro-American and stand for family values.

But considering that I walked in expecting no complexity at all let alone the visual wonderments 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is a considerable experience.

I know aliens from other worlds are required to arrive in New Mexico but why stay there?

It is universally agreed that Jean Renoir was one of the greatest of all directors and he was also one of the warmest and most entertaining.

It's a good question because a movie isn't good or bad based on its politics. It's usually good or bad for other reasons though you might agree or disagree with its politics.

All I require of a religion is that it be tolerant of those who do not agree with it.

Of all the arts movies are the most powerful aid to empathy and good ones make us into better people.

Exhilarating. Radical Grace moved me to tears with its portrayal of good people putting their beliefs into action in ways that transcend all ideological boundaries.

If Hollywood stars speak out so do all sorts of other people. Now Hollywood stars can get a better hearing.

Many really good films allow us to empathize with other lives.

It's like the high school production of something you saw at Steppenwolf with the most gifted students in drama class playing the John Malkovich and Joan Allen roles.

Now I see that all relationships are virtual even those that take place in person. Whether we use our bodies or a keyboard it all comes down to two minds crying out from their solitude.

Well we're all dying in increments. I don't mind people knowing what I look like but I don't want them thinking I'm dying.

Here's a notion: Peace in the Middle East would come about more easily if the region were governed by women.

Oh here comes Mel Blanc the voice of Bugs Bunny and Jimmy Smits!

I remember when a Coke came in a six-ounce bottle and delicious it was. Now it comes in sizes so big that I question how the human bladder can deal with the intake.

If there's one thing I've learned in this life it's that you never say no to an old gypsy woman with a blind eye and leprous fingernails.

A depressing number of people seem to process everything literally. They are to wit as a blind man is to a forest able to find every tree but each one coming as a surprise.

Blockbusters run the mainstream industry. We may never again have a decade like the 1970s when directors were able to find such freedom.

Of all the purposes of education I think the most useful is this: It prepares you to keep yourself entertained. It gives you a better chance of an interesting job.

That's what fantasies are for to help us imagine that things are better than they are.

There must be a better reason to have a baby than to provide a plot point in a rom-com. Don't you think?

Just write get better keep writing keep getting better. It's the only thing you can control.

Marley' does what is probably the best possible job of documenting an important life.

In the best of all possible worlds directors would obsess about the quality of their storytelling and not the details of their technical methods.

Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way.

One difference between film noir and more straightforward crime pictures is that noir is more open to human flaws and likes to embed them in twisty plot lines.

There is a movie called Fargo playing right now. It is a masterpiece. Go see it. If you under any circumstances see Little Indian Big City I will never let you read one of my reviews again.

I've never found kicks to the groin particularly funny although recent work in the genre of the buddy movie suggests audience research must prove me wrong.

Teaching prejudice to a child is itself a form of bullying. You've got to be taught to hate.

Why are some people bullied? Because they are different. How? It doesn't matter.

It's rare to find a film that goes for broke and says 'To hell with the consequences.'

It is reckless to make broad generalizations about any group of people.

I will one day be thin but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny.

I don't think Bush was legitimately elected President.

Never marry anyone you could not sit next to during a three-day bus trip.

We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls.

I'll tell you I think that the Internet has provided an enormous boost to film criticism by giving people an opportunity to self publish or to find sites that are friendly.

I'm told we movie critics praise movies that are long and boring.

There's nothing like impending death to rouse you from existential boredom.

Start. Don't look back. If at the end it doesn't meet your hopes start again. Now you know more about your hopes.

Dogs remember every favor you ever do for them and store those events in a memory bank titled Why My Human Is A God.

I have no fear of death. We all die. I consider my remaining days to be like money in the bank. When it is all gone I will be repossessed.

Marlon Brando is the most influential movie actor of the century.

James Cameron's films have always been distinguished by ground-breaking technical excellence.

When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

Class is often invisible in America in the movies and usually not the subject of the film.

Fight Club is a thrill ride masquerading as philosophy - the kind of ride where some people puke and others can't wait to get on again.

I'd rather be called a N*gger than a Slave.

What every human being should do is eat a vegetarian diet based on whole foods. Period.

Time is what the depressed and panicked lack.

Your intellect may be confused but your emotions will never lie to you.

I am utterly bored by celebrity interviews. Most celebrities are devoid of interest.

We think of first love as sweet and valuable a blessed if hazardous condition.

An actress should never ever be asked to run beside a van in red disco boots for more than about half a block and then only if her child is being kidnapped.

Sometimes miraculous films come into being made by people you've never heard of starring unknown faces blindsiding you with creative genius.

It's the worst kind of bad film: the kind that gets you all worked up and then lets you down instead of just being lousy from the first shot.

There are few lonelier sights than a good comedian being funny in a movie that doesn't know what funny is.

It's not often a thriller keeps me wound up as well as 'Headhunters' did. I knew I was being manipulated and didn't care. It was a pleasure to see how well it was being done.

I am beneath everything else a fan. I was fixed in this mode as a young boy and am awed by people who take the risks of performance.

My motto: 'No good movie is depressing. All bad movies are depressing.'

In thinking about 'depressing movies ' many people don't realize that all bad movies are depressing and no good movies are.

Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs.

Anyone who reads advice books about romance has one problem to begin with: bad taste in literature.

A remarkable documentary that's also one of the most beautiful nature films I've seen.

No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.

On this ancient and miraculous world where such beautiful natural and living things have evolved something has gone wrong when life itself is used as a manufacturing process.

Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland.

The problem with being sure that God is on your side is that you can't change your mind because God sure isn't going to change His.

What every human being should do is eat a vegetarian diet based on whole foods. Period. That's it. Animal protein is bad for you. Dairy is bad for you. Forget the ads: Milk and eggs are bad for you.

I was perfectly content before I was born and I think of death as the same state.

I think we have to get beyond the idea that we have to categorize people.

Not everyone needs to be slammed into a category and locked there.

No movie has ever been able to provide a catharsis for the Holocaust and I suspect none will ever be able to provide one for 9/11. Such subjects overwhelm art.

Catholic theology believes that God gave man free will and you can't give somebody free will and then send in a play from the sidelines.

Why has Scandinavia been producing such good thrillers? Maybe because their filmmakers can't afford millions for CGI and must rely on cheaper elements like you know stories and characters.

We exist to have our wealth moved up the economic chain out of our reach.

No matter what they're charging to get in it's worth more to get out.

When I had been a film critic for ten minutes I treated Doris Day as a target for cheap shots. I have learned enough to say today that the woman was remarkably gifted.

The movie cheerfully offends all civilized notions of taste decorum manners and hygiene... is the movie vulgar? Vulgarity is when we don't laugh. When we laugh it's merely human nature.

Clouds do not really look like camels or sailing ships or castles in the sky. They are simply a natural process at work. So too perhaps are our lives.

I stopped taking notes on my Palm Pilot and started playing the little chess game.

Going to a movie so you won't be offended is like eating potato chips made with Olestra; you avoid the dangers of the real thing but your insides fill up with synthetic runny stuff.

People never think of themselves as choosing to be politically correct. They simply think in the way that they do.

Cinema for me has always been something like music composed with photographic images.

You can have a movie with hardly any cuts or very few cuts that is fascinating you can't take your eyes away from it... Look at some of the long takes in Citizen Kane.

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.

We don't have a lot of class-conscious filmmaking.

Clint my hero is coming across as sad and pathetic. He didn't need to do this to himself. It's unworthy of him.

Art is the closest we can come to understanding how a stranger really feels.

Who was the real Hitchcock? I interviewed him once and haven't a clue.

We can't help identifying with the protagonist. It's coded in our movie-going DNA.

It is comforting to think that we can love so powerfully that fate itself wheels and turns at the command of our souls.

We are born into a box of time and space. We use words and communication to break out of it and to reach out to others.

Who wants to live in the present? It's such a limiting period compared to the past.

Dogs notice they share they draw conclusions they like it when they're able to be of service and are touchingly grateful when they're praised.

Most of us do not consciously look at movies.

Samurai films like westerns need not be familiar genre stories. They can expand to contain stories of ethical challenges and human tragedy.

The film argues to the young that the old were young once too and contain within them all that the young know and more.

One hopeful sign that the filmmakers can learn and grow is that the sequel does not contain a single pie if you know what I mean.

I like smart movies about smart people and enjoy it when most of the facts are on the table and we can contemplate them together.

We must try to contribute joy to the world.

We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems our health our circumstances. We must try.

Some of these people make my skin crawl.

It's the same the world over. A Hollywood production comes to town and the locals all turn movie crazy.

The Muse visits during the process of creation not before.

To say that George Lucas cannot write a love scene is an understatement; greeting cards have expressed more passion.

I lost faith in the Oscars the first year I was a movie critic - the year that Bonnie and Clyde didn't win.

Praise without merit is more harmful than unearned criticism.

We laugh that we may not cry

Show me a sexual practice that involves ice cubes and hot sauce and I will show you a sexual practice that would be improved without them.

What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.

Film theory has nothing to do with film.

I do not fear death. I know it is coming and I do not fear it because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.

Last year I reviewed a nine-hour documentary about the lives of Mongolian yak herdsmen and I would rather see it again than sit through The Frighteners.

All over the web there are some very good critics and it's become for people who are interested. It's become a very good way to get to reviews and involve yourself in discussions.

A truly strong woman will choose a stong man who disagrees with her over a weak one who goes along.

Valentines Day is being marketed as a Date Movie. I think its more of a First-Date Movie. If your date likes it do not date that person again. And if you like it there may not be a second date.

Well you know what I'm 60 years old and I've been interested in politics since I was on my daddy's knee. During the 1948 election we were praying for Truman. I know a lot about politics.

The movies that are made more thoughtfully or made or with more ambition often get just get drowned out by the noise.

Families and their problems go on and on and they aren't solved they're dealt with.

Yes I was fat but I dealt with it by simply never thinking about it. It is useful when you are fat to have a lot of other things to think about.

Friends don't let Jackasses drink and drive.

The moment a man stops dreaming is the moment he petrifies inside.

Why is it that English drama and music teachers are most often recalled as our mentors and inspirations? Maybe because artists are rarely members of the popular crowd.

There's something depressing about a young couple helplessly in love. Their state is so perfect it must be doomed. They project such qualities on their lover that only disappointment can follow.

One sign of a great actor is when he can be alone by himself on the screen doing almost nothing and producing one of a film's defining moments.

All good art is about something deeper than it admits.

And I think both the left and the right should celebrate people who have different opinions and disagree with them and argue with them and differ with them but don't just try to shut them up.

When we're discussing who to invite to a dinner party my wife Chaz and I sometimes use the shorthand 'good value for money ' which indicates guests expected to be entertaining.

The movie Ed Wood about the worst director of all time was made to prepare us for Stargate.

What's sad about not eating is the experience whether at a family reunion or at midnight by yourself in a greasy spoon under the L tracks. The loss of dining not the loss of food.

Steven Spielberg makes Minority Report with the newest digital technology; other directors seem to be trying to make their movies from it.

Because of the rush of human knowledge because of the digital revolution I have a voice and I do not need to scream.

In Hollywood 'under development' means 'all I have is the title.'

Low self esteem involves imagining the worst that other people can think about you.

Every great film should seem new every time you see it.

Every great film should seem new every time you see it."Roger Ebert

To die is one thing. How much worse to know that all the life that ever existed on this planet and all it ever achieved was to be obliterated?

It's easier to identify with loss than love because we have had so much more experience of it.

It's hard to explain the fun to be found in seeing the right kind of bad movie.

The purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize with other people... For me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.

Movies are like a machine that generates empathy

Life's missed opportunities at the end may seem more poignant to us than those we embraced "? because in our imagination they have a perfection that reality can never rival.

My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

Movies that encourage empathy are more effective than those that objectify problems.

The Lucky One' is at its heart a romance novel elevated however by Nicholas Sparks' persuasive storytelling. Readers don't read his books because they're true but because they ought to be true.

If you find an occupation you love and spend your entire life working at it is that enough?

It is human nature to look away from illness. We don't enjoy a reminder of our own fragile mortality.

Many thrillers follow such reliable formulas that you can look at what's happening and guess how much longer a film has to run.

We are poor mortals but it dreams to us that we can fly.

Someone once said the fundamental reason we get married is because have a universal human need for a witness.

We are put on this planet only once and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.

We feel the same emotions for our ideas as we do for the real world which is why we can cry while reading a book or fall in love with movie stars.

Of what use is freedom of speech to those who fear to offend?

Resentment is just a way of letting someone else use your mind rent-free.

Sometimes you only need to have a few words with a person to know you would like to have many more.

Films like Fargo are why I love the movies.

But the fact is most people are not going to be rich someday.

My favorite love scenes in movies don't involve passion they involve nobility or sacrifice.

A lot of first novels are written long before they're actually put down on paper.

A film is a terrible thing to waste.

'Grand Illusion' and 'Rules of the Game' are routinely included on lists of the greatest films and deserve to be.

I don't require movies to be about good people and I don't reject screen violence.

What happens in a fantasy can be more involving than what happens in life and thank goodness for that.

Sometimes two people will regard each other over a gulf too wide to ever be bridged and know immediately what could have happened and that it never will.

Nobody looks perfect. We have to find peace with the way we look and get on with life.

When a girl says she likes you as a friend what she means is: "Rather than have sex with you I would prefer to lose you as a friend.

I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence love wonder and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting.

Aren't you getting tired of people hating one another? What do they think they get out of it?

If a movie isn't a hit right out of the gate they drop it. Which means that the whole mainstream Hollywood product has been skewed toward violence and vulgar teen comedy.

The Golden Thumb is not as good as the Oscar but it is a lot of fun.

It is hard enough to be good at all but to be good in comedy speaks for your character.

In my reviews I feel it's good to make it clear that I'm not proposing objective truth but subjective reactions; a review should reflect the immediate experience.

We are the playthings of the gods.

What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away

A film like Hoop Dreams is what the movies are for. It takes us shakes us and makes us think in new ways about the world around us. It gives us the impression of having touched life itself.

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts.

It does seem true that a lot of people will do anything however humiliating for fame.

We spend too much time hiding illness.

[D]oes the real world have any more substance than visions and hallucinations when we're having them? At any given moment what's happening in our minds is all and everything that happens.

To call A Lot like Love dead in the water is an insult to water.

If you plan to miss this movie better miss it quickly; I doubt if it'll be around to miss for long.

What makes people interesting is the spirit that shines through.

If there's anything I hate more than a stupid action comedy it's an incompetent stupid action comedy. It's not so bad it's good. It's so bad it's nothing else but bad.

My newspaper job "¦ is my identity.

You can't just tell actors especially young ones to 'act happy' and expect them to do it. They must in some essential way be happy.

Are vampires kinky? I didn't know.

It is more erotic to wonder if you're about to be kissed than it is to be kissed.

All I know is it is better to be the whale than the squid.

If there is such a thing as a lock on an Oscar nomination ... Hoffman has one.

What you see is so much less than what you get.

If your religion doesn't respect the rights of other religions it is lacking something.

I think most people are more susceptible to prejudice than to reason.

Movies are not about moving but about whether to move.

Pixar is the first studio that is a movie star.

It's not what a movie is about it's how it is about it.

Nicholas Sparks recently went on record as saying he is a greater novelist than Cormac McCarthy. This is true in the same sense that I am a better novelist than William Shakespeare.

It is not enough for a movie to be righteous. It must also be watchable.

I think that probably the - I don't give quotes to studios. They have to get those out of the paper or from television. So they wouldn't have had my quote opening day.

Nothing ever seems straightforward in Venice least of all its romances.

I do suspect my star ratings average too high. But of course star ratings are ridiculous. I'm stuck with them.

And the sexes eyeing each other uneasily for nothing is easier for a teenager to imagine than rejection.

As I swim through the summer tide of vulgarity I find that's what I'm looking for: Movies that at least feel affection for their characters. Raunchy is OK. Cruel is not.

If you can act as if something is true in a sense that makes it true.

It is quite possible for the vulgar to be funny but to succeed it must rise to a certain genius.