Entertainment

OUCH: Roger Ebert pulled no punches

Updated 6:49 PM ET, Fri January 23, 2015
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The late "thumbs up" film critic Roger Ebert's career is featured in the CNN Film "Life Itself". In his reviews, Ebert pulled no punches. Click through the photos to see his high praise ... along with some of Ebert's most devastating lines. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
For "North," Ebert wrote perhaps his most negative movie review quote ever: "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." New Line Cinema
"The craft in this film is rare," Ebert wrote of "Argo," a movie about the Iranian hostage crisis. "It is so easy to manufacture a thriller from chases and gunfire, and so very hard to fine-tune it out of exquisite timing and a plot that's so clear to us we wonder why it isn't obvious to the Iranians." It starred Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck, who also directed it. Warner Bros.
"Years from now it is quite possible that 'Bonnie and Clyde' will be seen as the definitive film of the 1960s, showing with sadness, humor and unforgiving detail what one society had come to," wrote Ebert. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty starred in the title roles. Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Tom Hanks starred as Valleysman Zachry and Halle Berry starred as Meronym in "Cloud Atlas." Many viewers, including Ebert, found this film to be confusing. But that didn't prevent Ebert from praising it. " ... oh, what a film this is! And what a demonstration of the magical, dreamlike qualities of the cinema. And what an opportunity for the actors. And what a leap by the directors, who free themselves from the chains of narrative continuity." Warner Bros. Pictures
"The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained," Ebert wrote about the 1998 action/adventure film, "Armageddon." "No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out." Buena Vista Pictures
"And so begins one of the truest, most luminous love stories ever made, Ingmar Bergman's 'Scenes From a Marriage.' The marriage of Johan and Marianne will disintegrate soon after the film begins, but their love will not," wrote Ebert. Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann played the couple. Cinematograph AB
Writing about "Goodfellas," Ebert said, "No finer film has ever been made about organized crime -- not even 'The Godfather,' although the two works are not really comparable." Ray Liotta, here with Gina Mastrogiacomo, starred. Warner Bros. Pictures
For "Being John Malkovitch," Ebert suggested that the "movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films, but (Director Spike) Jonze and his cast handle them so surely that we never feel hard-pressed; we're enchanted by one development after the next." Catherine Keener and John Cusack starred. USA Films
"'Mad Dog Time' is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time," Ebert wrote. "Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were." United Artists
"Minority Report" Director Steven Spielberg is "a master filmmaker at the top of his form, working with a star, Tom Cruise, who generates complex human feelings even while playing an action hero," Ebert wrote. "... This film is such a virtuoso high-wire act, daring so much, achieving it with such grace and skill. 'Minority Report' reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place." Twentieth Century Fox
"'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." Rob Schneider played the title role. Columbia Pictures
After seeing "A Lot Like Love," Ebert wrote: "Judging by their dialogue, Oliver and Emily have never read a book or a newspaper, seen a movie, watched TV, had an idea, carried on an interesting conversation or ever thought much about anything. The movie thinks they are cute and funny, which is embarrassing, like your uncle who won't stop with the golf jokes." Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet were Oliver and Emily. Buena Vista Pictures
"The Usual Suspects" -- with Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne and Kevin Spacey -- won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, by Christopher McQuarrie. Nonetheless, Ebert didn't like it. "I prefer to be amazed by motivation, not manipulation." Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc
How could Hollywood go wrong with a movie starring comedy kingpins Martin Short, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase? Ebert's answer: "Three Amigos." "This movie is too confident, too relaxed, too clever to be really funny." MGM
The pairing of Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock in "Forces of Nature" failed to impress Ebert. "The movie is a dead zone of boring conversations, contrived emergencies, unbelievable characters and lame storytelling." Dreamworks
The Academy Award-nominated "Agnes of God," starring Jane Fonda and Meg Tilly received a one-star review from Ebert: "It considers, or pretends to consider, some of the most basic questions of human morality and treats them on the level of 'Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Convent.'" Columbia Pictures
Ebert called the popular teen sex comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" a "scuz-pit of a movie." "... the makers of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' have an absolute gift for taking potentially funny situations and turning them into general embarrassment." From Universal Pictures
The romantic comedy "Splash" co-starred Daryl Hannah as a mermaid. "It's too bad the relentlessly conventional minds that made this movie couldn't have made the leap from sitcom to comedy." Touchstone Pictures
Before his death in 2013, Ebert wore a prosthesis after losing much of his jaw to thyroid cancer. During his career Ebert wrote thousands of movie reviews and, with Gene Siskel, co-hosted the iconic TV show "Siskel and Ebert At The Movies." Siskel died in 1999 after battling a brain tumor. Explore the fascinating world of Roger Ebert in the CNN Film "Life Itself" -- debuting Sunday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. ET. Randall Michelson/wireimage via getty images