CNN Films, Film Rites, Kartemquin Films,

Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Marlene Siskel

This documentary was requested by Robert Ebert himself prior to his death in 2013. This film chronicles his life from a young man and early work for a Chicago paper as a sportswriter, and then as one of the early movie critics. He came into his own with Gene Siskel and became on of the most well known movie critics of all times. Then Cancer came calling and we have seen the shell of the man with a quick mind and all of his wit and wisdom who worked till the last. We learn a lot about Mr Ebert, his attitude, self confidence, and self esteem. Yet he was loved and feared at the same time. With a quick slash of his pen he could devastate a directory or an actor, and wipe out a movie, yet he viewed movie criticism as conversation, where it’s is fun to disagree and yet you can never be persuaded or change your mind once you’ve chosen a side. His battles with Gene Siskel, a personal competitor since he became the critic for a competing newspaper, and what came from pure hatred turned into mutual respect, yet they still took pot shots at each other throughout.

This is a very well done movie documentary, and I learned a great deal about both Siskel and Ebert, and how their careers and legacies were created, but also a lot of personal stuff about the life of this man I thought I knew that was intensely satisfying considering I knew none of that. Roger wanted his story told, and when his wife Chaz objected, he would wait until a day when she was not around and go ahead and do it his way without her having to see it. Right until the end, which is very vividly portrayed, they followed Roger’s demand that if you’re going to tell the story, you tell ALL of it and hide nothing. Based on his memoir, this film is right to the point and quick to the punch, and after it’s over, you’ll feel like you’ve been punched in the gut, but with a greater respect and admiration for one of America’s greatest writers. If you enjoy biographies and documentaries, then this is an excellent one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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