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Category Archives: Ebert’s worst

47. Straw Dogs (1971)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this great suspense thriller 2 stars in his review. Roger says that he understood the violence in Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch because Sam was just making a point about violence in the traditional Western.
On the other hand he abhors the violence in Straw Dogs. He ends his review by saying “The most offensive thing about the movie is its hypocrisy; it is totally committed to the pornography of violence, but lays on the moral outrage with a shovel. The perfect criticism of Straw Dogs already has been made. It is The Wild Bunch.”
I’m not that sure if I get Roger’s point. He thinks the violence in the Wild Bunch is OK because it is commenting on the hypocrisy of using violence in the traditional Western but it isn’t OK in Straw Dogs because, it may be pretending to be a comment on violence, but it is really using the violence to attract an audience? I’m not so sure that the general audience  watching these movies are thinking about what the director is commenting on. All I know is that I really, really like Straw Dogs. It is exciting, thrilling and well acted. There is a lot of violence but one of the points of the story was how violence begets violence.
This excellent movie has a 7.6 rating on IMDB and a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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44. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this great movie 3 stars in his review, but I don’t think that was good enough. In his At The Movies review Roger said that “I’m recommending it but not necessarily at the high levels of praise that you’re (Gene) giving it”. In his written review Roger says “The Last of the Mohicans is not as authentic and uncompromised as it claims to be — more of a matinee fantasy than it wants to admit — but it is probably more entertaining as a result.” He compares it unfavorably with the “visual picture” presented by Black Robe, which he had given a thumbs down to the year before.
Roger, you can’t have it both ways. Black Robe is too realistic and this movie is not real enough. They were actually, both in their own way, great movies. They both accomplished what they set out to do and they both did it very well.
The Last of the Mohicans is one of my favorite movies of all time and I think it is a great, not just a good, movie. This version of the movie is made all the more interesting by Wes Studi’s great role as Magua, where he can viewed as a tragic heroic figure.
It has a 7.8 rating on IMDB and a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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37. Knowing (2009)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

I kind of liked this movie, a little bit, but Roger really loved it. He said in his review “Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I’ve seen — frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome.”
I wasn’t alone in being stunned by that review. As a matter of fact when I read it I went back and watched the movie again, figuring I must have missed something. But unfortunately I hadn’t.
The movie started out pretty good. Nicholas Cage’s character tries to solve a mystery and he can’t believe it as it unfolds before his eyes. The first half of the movie was very well done.
The movie started to lose me when the whispering aliens appeared. What was done so well in Dark City, fails abysmally here.
I also kind of liked the fairy tale style ending, although most people will probably hate it. Overall, a very mediocre, forgettable movie.
On IMDB it has a 6.5 rating and on Rotten Tomatoes it comes in at 33%.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

34. Black Robe (1991)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this great Canadian movie a thumbs down in his review. He says in his review “Black Robe is a film of enormous interest for those who care about the early history of Europeans in North America, but for ordinary moviegoers it will be very tough going.”
I think Roger liked the movie but felt the general film going public was too dumb to appreciate it. His job is to tell you whether he thinks you will like it and he doesn’t think most people will, because he thinks it is too dark and depressing.
I understand that but I can’t see how such a great movie, perhaps the most realistic view of native American life presented on the screen, can be given a thumbs down. I didn’t find the movie depressing. I thought it was really interesting to see what life was like in the early days of North American settlement. I think if more kids saw movies like this, instead of movies like Transformers, they would know much more about their history.
I think Roger should have said: “You may not like this movie, but you should, because there is a lot that you can learn from it, even though it is realistic and depressing” (Roger would have said it better).
It has a 7.2 on IMDB and a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

33. Blue Velvet (1986)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

I can understand someone not liking this movie. It is crazy and bizarre but it is still a movie that demands to be seen. Roger, in his 1 star review, said “And yet those very scenes of stark sexual despair are the tipoff to what’s wrong with the movie. They’re so strong that they deserve to be in a movie that is sincere, honest and true. But Blue Velvet surrounds them with a story that’s marred by sophomoric satire and cheap shots. The director is either denying the strength of his material or trying to defuse it by pretending it’s all part of a campy in-joke.”
I think he is saying that some of the scenes are so powerful that they deserve to be surrounded by a more serious overall plot, instead of what he feels is camp.
I understand where he is coming from but this is a movie that should be seen. It is not for all tastes but is a fascinating movie nonetheless.
On IMDB it has a 7.9 rating and on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% rating.

At The Movies Review

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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32. Die Hard (1988)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Die Hard is an iconic movie and John McLane is a classic character. The movie is also really, really popular.
Roger said in his 2 star review “Without the deputy chief and all that he represents, Die Hard would have been a more than passable thriller. With him, it’s a mess, and that’s a shame, because the film does contain superior special effects, impressive stunt work and good performances, especially by Rickman as the terrorist. Here’s a suggestion for thrillermakers: You can’t go wrong if all of the characters in your movie are at least as intelligent as most of the characters in your audience.”
I think it was a shame Roger let what he thought about one character ruin this great action flic for him.
On IMDB this is rated 8.3 (#113 overall) and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Everyone can’t all be wrong on this one Roger.

At The Movies Review

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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31. The Professional (1994)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this great movie a Thumbs Down but I am having a little trouble figuring out why. He says in his review “.. and if The Professional doesn’t work with anything like the power of La Femme Nikita, it is because his heroine is 12 years old, and we cannot persuade ourselves to ignore that fact. It colors every scene, making some unlikely and others troubling.”
If you read Roger’s review you can see that he has some problems deciding if this movie worked or not. He was troubled by the age of Natalie Portman’s character and the position she found herself in.
But like it or not, young children do find themselves in precarious situations. I thought the movie was really good.
Other people seem to like it even better than I do. It has a 8.6 rating on IMDB (#34 overall) and a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

At The Movies Review

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2010 in Ebert's worst