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Star Trek Beyond

The Star Wars-ification of Star Trek continues; better than the others, but still not good enough.

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Ice Age: Collision Course

It’s almost as if the writers were simply using ideas left over from other Ice Age scripts that are about as fresh as the wind…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Can you Outguess Ebert for $100,000?

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Like all film critics, I wait until the last possible moment to make my annual Academy Awards predictions. I ask around, I read, I ponder. I'll do that again this year. But today I'm making my Early Guesses, so you can get a head start at outguessing me in our $100,000 Outguess Ebert Contest.

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Who'll be nominated?

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Although the 2011 Oscar nominations are announced at the crack of dawn Tuesday, many of the names on the list have been foreordained for weeks. Ever since its opening in September, “The Social Network” has been the front-runner for Best Picture — although when the Producers' Guild gave its prize to “The King's Speech” on Saturday night, all the predictions were somewhat shaken.

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Outguess Ebert times $100,000

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Every year at Oscar time, there's an Outguess Ebert contest. This year's edition will offer the biggest prize in history. You could win all or part of a $100,000 prize. The nominations in 24 categories were announced Tuesday, January 25. I'll make my best guesses in all 24 categories. Outguess me before the contest deadline on Oscar Day, February 27, and win.

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"King's" takes the crown in Toronto

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"The King's Speech," a story of Britain's King George VI, won the coveted Cadillac People's Choice Audience Award Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival -- and an audience member won a new Cadillac. The film -- which stars Colin Firth as the King and Helena Bonham-Carter as Elizabeth, his wife and mother of Elizabeth II -- is considered a sure thing for Academy nominations.

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"Uncle Boonmee" wins Cannes Palme d'Or

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CANNES, France (AP) – The hypnotic Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" has won the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival. The film directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul traces the dreamlike final days of a man dying of kidney failure as the ghost of his dead wife returns to tend him, and his long-lost son comes home in the form of a jungle spirit.

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And the Palme d'Whiskers goes to...

Entry to the Grande Theatre Lumiere for the press premiere of Rachid Bouchareb's "Outside of the Law" was considerably delayed on Friday morning by heightened security. Heavily-armed members of the French National Guard were stationed in the street and on the red carpet. Water bottles were confiscated by guards; men got full-body pat-downs from head to toe; and women had bags exhaustively inspected at two different points. This was in addition to the usual electronic wanding that we are all subject to upon entering any part of the Palais.

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Shadows on the screen: The angel and the devil

There's a slide that appears on the big screen in the Debussy Theatre while audiences file in for screenings for the A Certain Regard section of the festival. Two figures in profile, one of them with horns on his head, are shown in silhouette against a light background. It's actually a photo of this year's Cannes jury president Tim Burton with Batman, but I continue to see it as an angel and a devil.

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Iranian filmmakers take center stage

May 18 -- Some Cannes traditions never die. In the years I've been coming to the festival, the same music has been playing in the Grand Theatre Lumiere before the early morning press screening. It's always jazz, and it always seems to be the same selection every morning, every year. I've started to imagine that there's some ancient reel-to-reel tape recorder in a distant control booth, and that a guard is assigned to rewind and start the old tape at 8:00 am each day.

Sound or more specifically, language is central to Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialism." Roger has commented so thoroughly on that film that I'm not going to add much, except to say that Godard remains one of the grand tricksters of world cinema. With his French dialogue, minimal and cryptic subtitles in so-called "Navajo English" (this in itself seems a tongue-in-cheek fiction on his part), and bits of a few other languages thrown in, he creates a Babel that I believe was made to baffle and intrigue one and all, no matter what your native tongue. It's a kind of rarefied fun to try to decipher, and maddening at the same time. Meanwhile, Godard the magician, like the wizard in "The Wizard of Oz," gets to hide behind his screen, sending out big ideas and big images.

Above: Abbas Kiarostami (AP photo)

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