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Roger Ebert's Quotes

Roger Ebert profile photo

Born: 1942-06-18
Profession: Critic
Nation: American
Biography of Roger Ebert

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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.

Tags: Great, Heart, Wise

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.

Tags: Movies, Smart, Together

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

Tags: Prejudice, Reason

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

Tags: Boring, Movie, Movies

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

Tags: Hollywood, Speak, Stars

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

Tags: Makes, Sense, True

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

Tags: Enough, Life, Love

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

Tags: Religion, Respect, Rights

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

Tags: Hollywood, Means, Title

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

Tags: Acting, Few, Thin

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

Tags: Fame, Seem, True

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

Tags: Character, Good, Hard

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

Tags: Enough, Movie, Righteous

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

Tags: Funny, Genius, Succeed

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

Tags: Broad, Group, Reckless

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.

Tags: Agreed, Directors, Greatest

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

Tags: Movies, Old, School

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

Tags: Experience, Loss, Love

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

Tags: Film, Goes, Hell

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

Tags: Crazy, Movie, Turn

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

Tags: Excellence, Films, Technical

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

Tags: Cannot, Challenges, Life

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

Tags: Films, Good, Lives

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

Tags: Film, Follow, Run

Most of us do not consciously look at movies.

Tags: Movies

Movies absorb our attention more completely, I think.

Tags: Absorb, Attention, Movies
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Movies that encourage empathy are more effective than those that objectify problems.

Tags: Empathy, Movies, Problems

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

Tags: Bad, Good, Movies

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

Tags: Life, Peace, Perfect

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

Tags: Everyone, Locked, Needs

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

Tags: Romances, Seems, Venice

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.

Tags: Alone, Film, Great

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

Tags: Correct, Simply, Themselves

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

Tags: Cute, Her, Sex

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

Tags: Films, Human, Tragedy

Sometimes it's all about the casting.

Tags: Casting, Sometimes

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

Tags: Creative, Genius, Sometimes

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

Tags: Bullying, Child, Hate

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

Tags: Fantasies, Help, Imagine

The Academy is paranoid about its image.

Tags: Academy, Image, Paranoid

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

Tags: Baby, Point, Reason

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

Tags: Boredom, Death, Rouse

Time is what the depressed and panicked lack.

Tags: Depressed, Lack, Time

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?

Tags: Die, Life, Worse

We are the playthings of the gods.

Tags: Gods

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

Tags: Help

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

Tags: Filmmaking

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

Tags: Economic, Exist, Wealth

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

Tags: Blessed, Love, Sweet

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

Tags: Goodness, Happens, Life

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.

Tags: Become, Problems, Writing

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

Tags: Him, Once, Real

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

Tags: Bullied, Matter, Why

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.

Tags: Happy, Tell, Young

If a movie is really working, you forget for two hours your Social Security number and where your car is parked. You are having a vicarious experience. You are identifying, in one way or another, with the people on the screen.

Tags: Car, Experience, Forget

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.

Tags: Give, Paper, Television

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.

Tags: Friendly, Giving, Self

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.

Tags: Teen, Violence, Whole

We can now have action movies with two stars where one might be African American and one might be Asian American. One of them doesn't have to be white, and the other one doesn't have to be the ethnic sidekick. We're way over that. And I think it's happening in society, too.

Tags: American, Movies, Society

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.

Tags: Away, Eyes, Few

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.

Tags: Age, Few, Women

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.

Tags: Action, Movies, Needs

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' is without a doubt the best film we are ever likely to see on the subject - unless there is a sequel, which is unlikely, because at the end, the Lincolns are on their way to the theater.

Tags: Best, Doubt, End

All but a very few of us are in debt. We exist as entities who borrow money and spend the rest of our lives making interest payments on a debt tally that never seems to budge. Whatever wealth we have, in labor, property or cash, is suctioned to the top.

Tags: Making, Money, Whatever

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.

Tags: Become, Good, Yourself

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.

Tags: Deserve, Give, Read

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.

Tags: Alone, Experience, Snow

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.

Tags: Lives, Process, Work

From a dramatic viewpoint, there are few professions that grant their members entry into other lives, high among them cops, doctors, clergymen, journalists and prostitutes. Perhaps that explains why they figure in so much television and cinema. Their lives are lived in the midst of human drama.

Tags: Few, Human, Why

Growing up, I missed the whole 'Three Stooges' thing. Either they weren't on the station in my hometown, or we hadn't bought a TV set yet, or they came to town too late for me. I'm pretty sure that at the right age, I would have loved them.

Tags: Age, Pretty, Whole

Here's how much I know about hockey. Mike Royko and I were in a tiny bar one winter night, and the radio kept reporting goals by the Blackhawks. I mentioned how frequently the team was scoring. 'You're listening to the highlights,' Royko observed.

Tags: Here, Night, Team

Horror fans are a particular breed. They analyze films with such detail and expertise that I am reminded of the Canadian literary critic Northrup Frye, who approached literature with similar archetypal analysis.

Tags: Fans, Films, Literature

I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.

Tags: Best, Done, End

I believe that young people wearing hoods, unless they are very young, can be frightening. What are they hiding? Why don't they want to come out into the light with the rest of us? They may be perfectly nice, but the hoods send an uncertain statement.

Tags: May, Nice, Why

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.

Tags: Big, Human, Remember

I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip.

Tags: Home, Life, Love

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.

Tags: Funny, Work, Wrong

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.

Tags: Good, Hate, Stupid

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.

Tags: Experience, Good, Truth

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.

Tags: Bad, Good, Politics

It's funny that there was so much disturbance about having a Catholic in the White House with Kennedy, and when we finally get a religion in the White House that's causing a lot of conflicts, and concerns, and disturbances for a lot of people, it's in the Bush Administration.

Tags: Funny, House, Religion

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.

Tags: Care, Done, Often

Lebanon was at one time known as a nation that rose above sectarian hatred; Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. All of that was blown apart by senseless religious wars, financed and exploited in part by those who sought power and wealth. If women had been in charge, would they have been more sensible? It's a theory.

Tags: Power, Time, Women

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.

Tags: Able, Art, Movie

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.

Tags: Beautiful, Life, Living

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.

Tags: Between, Film, Human

One of the weapons Marvel used in its climb to comic-book dominance was a willingness to invent new characters at a dizzying speed. There are so many Marvel universes, indeed, that some superheroes do not even exist in one another's worlds, preventing gridlock.

Tags: Another, Exist, Used

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.

Tags: Experience, Life, Put

Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other 'isms' grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.

Tags: Great, Parents, Religion

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.

Tags: Film, Human, Life

Sarah Palin lacked the preparation or temperament to be one heartbeat away from the presidency, but what she possessed in abundance was the ability to inflame political passions and energize the John McCain campaign with star quality.

Tags: Away, Political, She

The buried code of many American films has become: If I kill you, I have won and you have lost. The instinctive ethical code of traditional Hollywood, the code by which characters like James Stewart, John Wayne and Henry Fonda lived, has been lost.

Tags: American, Become, Lost

The idea that a book can advise a woman how to capture a man is touchingly naive. Books advising men how to capture a woman are far less common, perhaps because few men are willing to admit to such a difficulty. For both sexes, I recommend a good novel, offering scenarios you might learn from, if only because they reflect a lot of doubt.

Tags: Good, Men, Woman

' 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.

Tags: Heart, Read, True

The right really dominates radio, and it's amazing how much energy the right spends telling us that the press is slanted to the left when it really isn't. They want to shut other people up. They really don't understand the First Amendment.

Tags: Amazing, Energy, Understand

There is a part of me that will forever want to be walking under autumn leaves, carrying a briefcase containing the works of Shakespeare and Yeats and a portable chess set. I will pass an old tree under which once on a summer night I lay on the grass with a fragrant young woman and we quoted e.e. cummings back and forth.

Tags: Night, Woman, Young

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.

Tags: Love, Perfect, Young

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

Tags: Happy, Health, True

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.

Tags: Old, Politics, Since

Wes Anderson's mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born. It immediately becomes more than a series of events and is transformed into a world with its own rules, in which everything is driven by emotions and desires as convincing as they are magical.

Tags: Idea, Mind, Place
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