Roger Ebert’s Most Hysterical, Epic Movie Pans


Happy birthday to the late film critic Roger Ebert. The former At the Movies host and Chicago Sun-Times critic was famous for his incisive reviews, to which he gave a hearty thumbs up or thumbs down.

“One thing I try to do is provide an accurate account of what you will see, and how I feel about it,” Ebert wrote of his own rating system in 2008. “I cannot speak for you. Any worthwhile review is subjective. If we completely disagree, my words might nevertheless be useful or provocative. If you disagree with what I write, be my guest. If you disagree with how many stars I gave it, you can mail your opinion to where the sun don’t shine.”

Always one to tell it like it is, Ebert’s razor-sharp sarcasm, biting observations, and no-nonsense style left us with many hysterical single star (or less!) movie reviews. We’ve gathered 20 of the funniest for your reading pleasure.

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo makes a living prostituting himself. How much he charges I’m not sure, but the price is worth it if it keeps him off the streets and out of another movie.”

“The Spice Girls are easier to tell apart than the Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that is small consolation: What can you say about five women whose principal distinguishing characteristic is that they have different names? They occupy Spice World as if they were watching it: They’re so detached they can’t even successfully lip-synch their own songs.”

“To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. 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.” —The Village

Caligula is sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash.”

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.”

“Then Adam Sandler spoke, and all was lost.” —The Waterboy

“Through superhuman effort of the will, I did not walk out of The Hot Chick, but reader, I confess I could not sit through the credits.”

“This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.” —Freddy Got Fingered

“Oh, and the film has a Digital Readout. The Hive is set to lock itself forever after 60 minutes have passed, so the characters are racing against time. In other words, after it shuts all of its doors, and gasses and drowns everybody, it waits 60 minutes and really shuts its doors—big time. No wonder the steel doors make those slamming noises. In their imagination, they’re practicing. Creative visualization, it’s called. I became inspired, and visualized the theater doors slamming behind me.” —Resident Evil

“It’s a mess. Travolta’s big dance number looks like a high-tech TV auto commercial that, got sick to its stomach.” —Staying Alive

Charlie’s Angels is eye candy for the blind.”

“Of the film’s many problems, the greatest may be that all three witches are thoroughly unpleasant. They don’t have personalities; they have behavior patterns and decibel levels. A good movie inspires the audience to subconsciously ask, ‘Give me more!’ The witches in this one inspired my silent cry, ‘Get me out of here!'” —Hocus Pocus

“The plot involves … excuse me for a moment, while I laugh uncontrollably at having written the words ‘the plot involves.’ I’m back.” —The Beyond

“This movie could have been made as a soft-core sex film, but it’s too restrained: There are so many palms carefully arranged in front of genital areas, and Brooke Shields’ long hair is so carefully draped to conceal her breasts, that there must have been a whole squad of costumers and set decorators on permanent Erogenous Zone Alert.” —The Blue Lagoon

“The basic miscalculation in Adam Sandler’s career plan is to ever play the lead. He is not a lead. He is the best friend, or the creep, or the loser boyfriend.” —The Wedding Singer

“I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.”

“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.” —Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

“Staggering into the silence of the theater lobby after the ordeal was over, I found a big poster that was fresh off the presses with the quotes of junket blurbsters. ‘It will obliterate your senses!’ reports David Gillin, who obviously writes autobiographically. ‘It will suck the air right out of your lungs!’ vows Diane Kaminsky. If it does, consider it a mercy killing.” —Armageddon

“I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.” —North

“What I am sure of is that Even Cowgirls Get the Blues is one of the more empty, pointless, baffling films I can remember, and the experience of viewing it is an exercise in nothingness.”