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87

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: In 2013, we lost Roger Ebert—arguably the nation’s best-known and most influential movie critic. Based on his memoir of the same name, Life Itself recounts Ebert’s fascinating and flawed journey—from politicized school newspaperman, to Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, to Pulitzer PrizeIn 2013, we lost Roger Ebert—arguably the nation’s best-known and most influential movie critic. Based on his memoir of the same name, Life Itself recounts Ebert’s fascinating and flawed journey—from politicized school newspaperman, to Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, to Pulitzer Prize winner, to television household name, to the miracle of finding love at 50, and finally his “third act” as a major voice on the Internet when he could no longer physically speak. [Magnolia Pictures] Collapse
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 35
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 35
  3. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Chase Whale
    Jan 27, 2014
    100
    James tells this unapologetic story with little sympathy, as per Ebert’s wishes, and a lot of passion—he wants the audience to really know who Roger Ebert was, and understand the importance of his work.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 3, 2014
    100
    This is a uniquely powerful motion picture, the kind of open and honest portrayal I can't ever recall having seen about a celebrity. Life Itself stands not only as a moving piece of documentary cinema but an epitaph.
  3. Reviewed by: Simon Kinnear
    Dec 10, 2014
    100
    The film’s power lies in its use of archive footage, voiceover and even Ebert’s computerised speech translator to keep the writer’s voice alive.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jul 5, 2014
    88
    Life itself, that loaded two-word phrase, is what Roger really wrote about when he wrote about movies.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 15, 2014
    80
    The heart of Life Itself, and the part of the film that’s most instructive even for those familiar with Ebert’s story, is the long middle section dealing with his stormy, never-resolved relationship with Gene Siskel.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 3, 2014
    80
    Life Itself may sound like it's a film that would only be of interest to those who knew Ebert personally or to fellow film critics, but the opposite is true.
  7. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jun 29, 2014
    63
    There's a sense throughout of Steve James rushing and dutifully covering all his bases to evade accusations of creating a puff piece.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Jul 5, 2014
    10
    An uplifting and mesmerizing experience that should change your view of life. You can take Roger Ebert's life for an example, he lived hisAn uplifting and mesmerizing experience that should change your view of life. You can take Roger Ebert's life for an example, he lived his life enjoying every second of it and fought up to his last day where he had to let go and not because sickness took over him, but because he felt it is the right time. Two thumbs up, and may God bless your soul. Expand
  2. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    An uplifting and inspirational movie about Ebert's colorful life up to his last day, where sickness did not take over him instead, he thoughtAn uplifting and inspirational movie about Ebert's colorful life up to his last day, where sickness did not take over him instead, he thought it was the right moment to let go. Expand
  3. May 27, 2015
    10
    Documentary film maker Steve James' story of Roger Ebert's life in a documentary form is the best cinematic experience for fans and criticsDocumentary film maker Steve James' story of Roger Ebert's life in a documentary form is the best cinematic experience for fans and critics to enjoy. Reading his reviews inspired me to explain my feelings and elegant details toward a film in writing; his life is interesting and so Siskels. Grade A Expand
  4. Oct 24, 2014
    9
    My stomach sinks a little when I don't see Ebert's film reviews in newspapers and magazines anymore. As I watched the film, I couldn't helpMy stomach sinks a little when I don't see Ebert's film reviews in newspapers and magazines anymore. As I watched the film, I couldn't help but wonder how he would critique this immaculate eulogy. Pretentious and bloated? Down-to-earth and ravishing? Or stylish and rich in character? The film did not shy away from exposing the big picture. His faults. His mistakes. His strengths. His victories. All are shown and illustrated tastefully, on a fresh canvas dotted with over-arching messages about, appropriately titled, life itself, and many other over-arching themes that transcend the impermanence of human consciousness. Expand
  5. Lyn
    Jan 26, 2015
    9
    I loved Roger Ebert's writing ... sometimes I still find myself seeing a movie and wishing I could know what he thought of it. The filmI loved Roger Ebert's writing ... sometimes I still find myself seeing a movie and wishing I could know what he thought of it. The film version of "Life Itself" might be even better than the memoir, which often got bogged down in details like what brand of cigarettes were smoked by everyone he knew back in the day. His spirit comes across in the film -- some of his less positive characteristics as well as the ones for which people loved & admired him. The film is almost as much about his wife as about him ... but it's hard to begrudge that since Chaz is a heroic person in her own right. Expand
  6. Apr 17, 2015
    8
    A touching tribute to probably the most famous film critic in the world, Life Itself takes us through the life of Roger Ebert withA touching tribute to probably the most famous film critic in the world, Life Itself takes us through the life of Roger Ebert with contributions from the people important in his life. It's a moving film, especially as it was being filmed during the last months of his life, and covers the ground you'd expect, where it suffers in comparison to a lot of biopics is the lack of much drama in the story. All in all you feel Ebert had an amazing life. Expand
  7. Jul 19, 2014
    5
    Life Itself is a documentary about the life the legendary film critic, Roger Ebert. The movie is based on his autobiography, which is alsoLife Itself is a documentary about the life the legendary film critic, Roger Ebert. The movie is based on his autobiography, which is also titled "Life itself". The movie is full of intriguing and personal moments in the life of Ebert and events that led to his death.

    Growing up outside USA, I never watched Ebert's TV shows ("Sneak Previews" and "At the Movies") and I never read his critics (on Chicago Sun-Times). This movie shed some light on Ebert's life and showed me why he was such an influential figure. But at the same time, I could not care about Ebert more than any other successful professional person I know. The movie shows what an exceptional critic Ebert was, and at the same time, shows he was not very different from any other ordinary man.

    If you like cinema and history of it or if you like movies about movies, Life Itself is the right movie for you. Otherwise, Life Itself can be boring and you will leave the theater asking your self "Why should I care about Ebert?"
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See all 12 User Reviews

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