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The Movies Roger Ebert Really Hated

Roger Ebert is one of the most well respected, liked and famous movie critics who has ever lived, and he spent four decades helping us refine our cinematic palates by telling us why movies deserve a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Mr. Ebert did not mince words, and sometimes his reviews were so perfectly scathing they gave the film a bad rep before most people had even seen it.

He wasn’t afraid to go against the opinion of the masses, like when he called Michael Bay’s Armageddon “an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained”, or his review of beloved cult classic Hocus Pocus “The witches in this one inspired my silent cry, ‘Get me out of here!”

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However, peruse this list of 22 Movies Roger Ebert Really Hated and you’ll see that his hate list is overwhelmingly right on the money!

Behold his review of M. Night Shmalayan's The Village:

“Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. It’s a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It’s so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don’t know the secret anymore. And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we’re back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets.”

See 22 Movies Roger Ebert Really Hated at mental_floss


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I generally agree with his reviews but I must disagree with The Usual Suspects. He may not like the plot twist and big reveal, but I think it's great. It started a trend in the 90s for plot twisty movies, like Memento, Se7en, and Fight Club.

Also, I would rate Summer School as a 2 star. It's definitely no Martin Scorsese, but it has its 80s teen charm. (Was it 80s though? I watched it in the early 90s in laser disc.)
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I got to know his reviews well enough where I could judge if I would probably like it or not, or if the politics was askew of mine (as were his).

The list doesn't seem to encompass older movies than the '90s (as far as I can tell). I hereby banish the writer to searching Chicago Sun-Times microfiche for old reviews before writing another article!
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Ebert was an amazingly-talented writer and his negative reviews were a lot of fun. He didn't dole out that kind of vitriol very often, but when he did, look out. On the other end of the spectrum, he was fine with just saying that movies made him happy. I will never forget him starting his review of "Almost Famous" by saying, "Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it." I miss his work very much.
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