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Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967-2007 Paperback – February 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times. His reviews are syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and Canada. The American Film Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have awarded him honorary degrees, and the Online Film Critics Society named his Web site, rogerebert.com, the best online movie-review site.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740771795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740771798
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times. His reviews are syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and Canada. The American Film Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have awarded him honorary degrees and the Online Film Critics Society named his Web site (rogerebert.com) the best online movie review site

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Look at any number of journalistic movie reviews, and more often than not the reviewer's discussion concerns the script, or "story," rather than the movie experience, or "discourse." If you as the reader have the feeling that the reviewer could just as well be describing a novel or play, more than likely he's not equipped to do the admittedly challenging job of evaluating cinema, perhaps the most complex, most realistic, and potentially the most powerful medium for "representing" reality, or a complex "living" world.

The majority of movies are "dumbed down" to reach the widest possible audience, thus guaranteeing its sponsors a profitable return on what is usually an investment running into many millions of dollars (even as far back as 1960, a film like "Cleopatra" cost its makers over 40 million). Each picture is a "formulaic" commodity produced by a mini-corporation (as we've become acutely conscious ever since the interminable lists of credits following movies lke "Star Wars")--an expensive operation, or company, that is compelled to follow predictable, codified patterns if only to satisfy shareholders' expectations (and insistence on a profit). First, there was Syd Field's ubiquitous manual with its gospel-like litany of rules governing any screen-play, from the number of climaxes to their precise positioning; next came the computer programs for writing screenplays, most using a "fill-in-the-blank approach following the same reductive pattern of the "hero's journey," as extrapolated from Joseph Campbell's "Man of a Thousand Faces.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Sprich on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roger Ebert is clearly the dean of U.S. film critics (Pulitzer Prize, Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.) He brings an amazing base of knowledge to his reviews as well as a child-like sense of wonder when he experiences cinematic innovations. The book of his Four Star Reviews brings together his discerning comments on the best-of-the-best movies over a 40-year period. This is a must-read for any serious student of film.
It was my good fortune to study with Roger Ebert at the U. Va. Film Festival.
He's a passionate film lover and a great teacher. (Check out his full-length commentary on "Casablanca.")
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My one complaint about this meaty collection of four-star reviews is a greedy one. I wish there were more. I wish he had started publishing reviews earlier so that some of the great movies I remember from my young adulthood (which, by age, starts six years before his). He frequently cites these movies in this volume but oh, what I would give to read written reviews by him of slightly earlier movies like Seven Samurai, Dr. Strangelove, Smiles of a Summer Night, A Hard Day's Night, or uneven-but-not-stinker films of that period like Mondo Cane or The Tenth Victim.

But forty years of reviews? Hey! That's not bad!

Obviously, what I'm trying to say is that I enjoyed this collection immensely. I find nothing really wrong with it at all. I don't always agree with Ebert's take on a film but over all, I find him a reliable guide. More important, he is intelligent and passionate and always has something interesting to say.

Some people will use this book as a reference book. I probably will at times. (Just like I do with the various editions of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, which I find invariably fascinating.)

Others, including me, will read these reviews primarily for interest and pleasure. They'll find a lot of both in it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlo J. Wiley on November 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Roger Ebert was...well, what was he? What can one say that adequately describes the place Roger Ebert held in the hearts and minds of film lovers and writers around the world? He was a titan, a legend, the grandfather of modern American film criticism.

Most importantly, he was a man who loved the movies. He was always curious, always open to new experiences. He sometimes gave extremely positive reviews to movies I rolled my eyes at, but reading his review, it always made sense. It was about experiencing something new, seeing something on the screen he hadn't seen before, or which made him feel something he hadn't felt before. That's what movies are supposed to do, and this volume, collecting all of Ebert's four-star reviews from his first 40 years of professional criticism, celebrates the films which did so.

Ebert was open to changing his mind. His two-and-a-half star review of Sergio Leone's masterful Once Upon a Time is baffling, which he later admitted; you'll find a four-star review of The Graduate here (which I happen to agree with), though Ebert wrote years later that he had become less enamored of the film. But if you're looking for his initial thoughts, the feelings which bubbled up to the surface as soon as he had seen a movie he fell in love with, you can't go wrong with this book. Sure, all these reviews are on the website--which has become something of a shrine to Ebert, and a hub for new and exciting film writers from all over the globe--but there's nothing like sitting down with this massive tome, flipping from page to page, seeing all of the movies Ebert loved.

I hope there's an updated edition with the four-star reviews from the final six years of his life.
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Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967-2007
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