October 21st, 2008
12:27 PM ET

Was Roger Ebert wrong?

I’m coming to this a bit late, but a CNN.com user pointed me to a controversy involving Roger Ebert and his review of a film called “Tru Loved.”

It seems that Ebert reviewed the film, ticking off its deficiencies one by one, and then - in a twist - revealed that he’d only seen the first eight minutes. Knowing that such a practice was dicey, he ran it by his editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, who in the end acceded to Ebert’s wishes to run the review as is. Ebert then talked about the whole controversy on his blog, and received hundreds of responses, pro and con, for his position.

(One critique in particular was submitted by the person who sent the story to CNN.com, Margaret Nowak, who wrote an e-mail to Jim Romenesko’s journalism site. Read Ebert’s response here.)

It’s an interesting issue. Book editors frequently winnow their slush piles by reading the first chapter of a submission - or even less. Music reviewers might listen to a few seconds of each cut of a new CD before deciding to discard it. And how many times have you popped a DVD into your player, watched 10 minutes and decided you’d wasted enough time?

But those are ways of sorting. Ebert was supposed to be reviewing the film, right? If he was only going to watch the first few minutes, he should have either not reviewed the film at all or led his review with the caveat that he’d watched the first eight minutes and decided the rest wasn’t worth his time.


Or does Ebert have a point? He was honest, though in a tricky way, that he hadn’t watched the whole thing. And, along the same lines, have you ever been asked your opinion of a film/show/CD/book and said, "I hated it so much I could only get through the first part"? Is that not a review?

What do you think?

- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

Filed under: movies

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Time too rest now Roger

    You have suffered enough...

    April 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mumbo Jumbo123

    RIP Roger

    April 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Is this the original?


    April 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andy

    I can think of three films that I actually paid to go see that I ended up walking out of before they finished–Captain Ron (worst Kurt Russell movie in history), Blair Witch Project (a bad Cops video on crack), and Cloverfield (kind of like Blair Witch with skyscrapers). As it pertains to Roger Ebert, I think if you're going to write an honest review of a movie (good, bad, or ugly), and you're getting PAID to write reviews of said movie, then you should actually watch it, at least enough to get a true sense of how good or bad it really is. I can't think of a single movie I've ever seen where I could decide in the firs 8 minutes about the worth of the entire film. Some movies start slow and get better if you hang with them. Others start fast and heavy, then drop off a cliff towards the end. If someone asks me my opinion of a movie, I have the right to say, "You know what? It's so horrible that I couldn't sit through the movie." However, I'm not getting paid to write reviews that millions of other people are going to read and base opinions on. On a side note, I think Roger Ebert is too much of an icon in his business. Not to say that his opinions don't matter, but rather that his opinions are dated. He seems to judge most movies on a nostalgia scale, comparing them with classics made decades ago, and when the newer movies come up short in his mind, they get a thumbs-down or lackluster review. I guess one way I think I'm different from him is that I can look at any movie independent of all other films, and judge it purely on its own merits. I would like to see a younger generation of reviewers get as much say on movies as Ebert does, because asking for his opinion of the latest sci-fi or summer action movie is like asking your grandparents if they think anything could be better than CItizen Kane, Gone With The Wind, or The Wizard Of Oz. Yes, those movies are always going to be classics, enjoyed by generations of people. However, this is a different world–gone are the days when a studio only put out 2 or 3 films all year long, and therefore had the time, money and ability to make the best film every time out. These days, there are 2-4 new movies nearly every WEEK, and the fact that we still get the occasional great movies like Titanic, Shindler's List, Amistad, Forrest Gump, or Saving Private Ryan should be amazing, and they should be given their due. Also, just because a movie isn't a foreign film with subtitles or the next Oscar winner doesn't mean that it's a bad film. The majority of films these days are put out there to entertain in some form or fashion. You can't look at Hellboy 2 and Shindler's List and judge them by the same ivory-tower criteria.

    November 27, 2008 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Doug

    I may turn off a movie after 10 minutes but I am also not in a position where people read my opinion to help decide what to watch. I guess I'd have more respect if he said in the review 'it was so bad I couldn't make it past the first 8 minutes and here is why...".

    November 10, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark S.

    If you can't take another minute....you can't take another minute.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    I dont understand how a person whose entire career is watching the work of others and reviewing it can not even do the first part of the job and justify it.
    What if other professions did that- Teachers: "You got the first three questions on the test correct, and I didnt feel like checking the rest, so I gave you and A"
    He's getting paid to watch the bad movies, so he needs to watch them.

    October 28, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. D in Fla

    If someone is paid to do a job, particularly one that may affect the decisions of many other people, the job should be done to the best of that person's ability. I have long suspected that critics of movies, music, theater and books do this drive-by sort of reporting and it's a lousy way to do business. Do the job you're paid to do – every time – or let someone who wants the job do it.

    October 27, 2008 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. James Dell

    I read reviews with a grain of salt. There are stories out there where critics will say something nice about a movie so that they will be listed in the marketing for that film. Critics don't need a license and there are no guidelines of integrity. Roger Ebert is old and he's dying. Give him a break. Why would he waste the little time he has watching a movie with a slow or awful beginning? I read his reviews, but take it with a grain of salt as should all of you with all critcs. I always watch what I want to watch anyway. Peace to everyone! Vote NO on CA's propostion 8.

    October 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    If you read Ebert's website, given the discussion on his blog about this subject, he later went back and did watch the whole movie. Based on his review of the entire movie, nothing really changed in his opinion from the review he first gave based on his fully-disclosed 8-1/2 minutes original viewing.

    October 24, 2008 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. suzanne

    they are absolutely correct in saying that music reviewers listen to 10 seconds of the song. I worked at a college radio station back in the day where the heads of the music department would pop in a CD, listen for about 10 seconds and pronounce its quality. I figured this practice was widely performed because, after going to many of the hipster conventions like SXSW, the entire industry attracts people who think they are such hot s**** that they can't be bothered.

    At the same time, I really thought about what they did. Don't most of us give something about 10 seconds? If we see a movie on TV, don't we turn right past it without even seriously looking at it? Can't we tell by the set designs, the hair, and a few sentences of dialogue that this is something we want to watch?

    After all, we regularly give the movie 30 seconds any time an ad is played on TV. They give us a blurb about the plot, show some explosions, and based upon this, we judge if this movie is something we'd pay money for.

    Script reviewers in Hollywood give the script about 10-20 pages to suck them in. They don't have time to wait for something to improve. yes, we all know shows that start out slowly and build, but that's now how the typical Hollywood script is supposed to go. The first few pages are supposed to start out with an exciting rescue or some other event so that we get to know the characters and get excited about the rest of the movie.

    Ebert is paid lots of money to sit around in a theater, eat Junior Mints, and see movies. Maybe his job description alone should compel him to at least watch until the halfway point. I know he's been ill for a long time and maybe has realized that life is too short and that he doesn't want to think, "My God, I've wasted so much time in my life on things that didn't matter" on his deathbed.

    October 24, 2008 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. James

    Its no suprise to see anyone, not just Ebert, not make it through an entire movie. Yes its his job to review movies, but if a Food Critic were to stop eating after a particularly awful first mouthful of food, would we be debating that? I doubt it. Ebert is one of the movie critics that people have listened to for a great many years, and if he cannot make it through the entirety of a movie because its that horrible (to him), why is it such a controversy. Everybody has started a movie that was so horrible that they didnt finish it.

    October 24, 2008 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike M

    I think the review is legitimate. His review centered on the awful acting, the terrible dialog, and the poor cinematography. He did not talk about the plot, as 8 minutes of viewing can't provide a through analysis to this point, but all of the other, properly critiqued items are very obvious to a trained eye within a few minutes. He reviewed what he saw. And when he took another person's position on the matter, he properly cited it and stated his reasoning. There is nothing wrong with this.

    October 23, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Adam

    Reviews are all personal opinions anyway. Ebert watched 8 minutes and decided he didn't want to watch anymore. He may not have exactly done his job, but if you don't like a movie, you don't like it. There is no point in sitting through something you hate. What if he sat through the movie and wrote the review and said "I was really only able to watch the first 8 minutes, the rest was that bad," would that have made his review any different? The message by that scenario and the message from his actual review are the same thing, he didn't like the movie. He's got a job to do, other movies to watch and review.

    October 23, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fugdeltone

    The expectation a reader has of a film critic is that they've seen the film they are reviewing. If the film critic has not, in fact, seen the film they should not review it. Period. An intelligent reader would make the (correct) judgment that such a review says infinitely more about the critic than the film itself. Such a review tells me the movie MAY be bad, but tells me with CERTAINTY that Roger Ebert has a tendency to laziness and touch of the con man in him and I have no interest in hearing what he has to say about film any longer.

    October 22, 2008 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  16. shalomcharlotte

    Why should Ebert get any caveats?
    He probably gets many times my salary over to watch movies, no skill or education required. He should get that paycheck revoked and then have to watch the whole stinker free.

    October 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Donna

    I'm surprised at Ebert. It's a blot on his well-earned reputation. He didn't watch the movie; he shouldn't have reviewed it.

    October 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ashley

    Why is there so much discussion about a movie review? They are just somebody's opinion.

    October 22, 2008 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  19. Benst

    I have walked out on movies after a few minutes because they were horrible and I did not want to waste anymore time watching them, for example: "Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams". I think Roger Ebert had the right to stop watching the film after 8 minutes, but, he should have stated in the article that is what he did instead of giving the impression that he had seen the entire movie when he reviewed it.

    On a related note, last night I watched 2001: A Space Odessey on my Blu-ray player. Like Patton, (which I also watched on my Blu-ray player), it looks Exactly like the image shown in the local movie theater, execpt the local theater has a bigger screen than my 50" television HDTV set.
    In 1999 film editor Dean Goodhill invented Maxivision 48. This is a film projector that shows movies at 48 frames per second, twice as fast as the normal 24 fps. Roger Ebert has stated over and over again that: "A Maxivision 48 film looks 4 times better than the usual image shown at the typical theater". The film industry has ignored Maxivision 48 because it uses film and they want to switch to digital. Digital is more expensive than Maxivision 48 and it Better give a better image than one currently shown in the theater, otherwise more and more people are going to stay home and watch movies on their Blu-ray player. I know I will.

    October 22, 2008 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  20. Rosemary

    He didn't have to see the whole thing, but he should of said so up front. Now, for me, his credibility is suspect.

    October 22, 2008 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  21. Jeff W.

    OK, first things first, Ebert clearly states that he didn't see this movie in the theater so he didn't walk out of anything. He requested a copy of the DVD because he was curious to see the movie. He simply turned the DVD off. For him to base that much criticism off of minutes his a testament to his ability to accurately judge a film. Could you imagine if he saw the entire film...which he has since done. He has done a full review of the film on his website. On a final note, he didn't have to tell anyone that he only watched 8 minutes. Had he not told anyone, everyone would be none the wiser and none of this would be happening so get over it people. I applaud the man for doing what he did. He is, and always will be the best film critic out there.

    October 21, 2008 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Bryan

    This one is easy. If someone asks you for your opinion/review on something, give it but indicate whether you have seen it, heard it, or watched it. If you are GETTING PAID TO REVIEW something, do yourself a favor and sit through it. For a reviewer like Ebert thats like going to work part of the time, and getting paid for a full day. Is that fair? THAT would hurt credibility. Hell, if all i have to do is watch 8 minutes of a movie, write a full length review and get paid for it sign me up. I'll take his job.

    October 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Oh Puhleez

    I guess even Roger thought he did a crappy thing – check out his blog for his apology to the filmmakers – I guess he hated the movie anyway, but at least he watched the whole thing this time...


    October 21, 2008 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Stephe

    I read the review. Roger hated the movie. So much so, he walked out of it after 8 minutes. Ebert's a professional and has been reviewing movies for a very long time. He's seen great films, he's seen dreck. How awful must a film be that the people paid to watch it decide it's not worth the effort.?

    Considering Ebert's body of work, I give him a pass, and a pat on the back. He obviously didn't see the film getting any better, and was big enough to admit he didn't stay to find out if he was wrong.

    Besides...it is just a movie review. Who cares if he stayed.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  25. m

    Had the review started off with the disclosure about how little of the movie he saw I would have less of a problem with it. while I might feel free to walk out of a movie I disliked or take a DVD out of the player, I do not have the same luxury to walk out of a boring meeting with my boss or a presentation from a client I'd rather skip. That's why they call it "work" and not "fun".

    October 21, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  26. christine

    having watched a number of films in which it appears half way through they threw out the script and brought in a new director (usually these films go from good to horrid...but sometimes it's the other way around) i think if mr ebert's review was titled (or subtitled) 'a review of the first eight minutes of ...' then it's fine.

    otherwise, he didn't review the film....just a section of it...which might have been the bad section.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  27. bogard

    Supposing you bought a new car and observed that in the first 8 minutes of driving you notice there is something fundamentally wrong with how it should run. Will you wait till the first 1000 miles before you bring it back to the car dealer to replace? I guess not. Roger did what everyone of us would have done given his situation. If we can't accept a badly built car, how else can a movie critic accept a badly made movie?

    October 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Ryan

    Very unprofessional from an established critic. If the movie was too bad/painful/boring to watch, he could have chosen not to write the review. If he was obligated to write a review, then he should have sucked it up and watched the movie. There are people all over the world working horrible jobs every day, yet they show up and they get it done. Watching a movie (even an awful one) and doing a write-up on it, really isn't that much to ask when you put it into perspective.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  29. steve

    Who really cares what Roger Ebert writes or thinks about any movie? He, like most "movie critics", are pretentous cinema snobs. He, like the others, take themselves and the movies they watch way too seriously. It's a movie for crying out loud – just a movie.

    I read reviews only to find out what it is about. Sometimes I agree with their reviews, sometimes I do not. Sometimes my wife likes movies that I do not and vice-versa. I guess that means we are all "movie critics" (I just wish I could get paid for it). I do wish Roger and others in his profession could loosen up a bit and realize that most of us go to the movies to be entertained, not have our lives changed.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lisa

    You guys really need to read the review and the blog. He only watched 8 minutes of the film because he felt it was so technically inept that it was unwatchable. Some films are so amateur in their making that whatever redeeming value the story line has is totally lost. That was Mr. Ebert's opinion, which is his job to write. Others disagreed, and found that the message in the movie was not obscured by its technical shortcomings.

    The review was short enough that it didn't take long to get to the end and find he stopped watching after 8 minutes. All in all, the review was a delightful piece of writing, and after reading it I understand exactly what he thought of the film and why.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Sebastian

    I have a lot of respect for Ebert and I love his books, but it is his job as a professional critic is to review the film in its entirety, not the first few minutes. I've seen many films that have terrible openings and get progressively better. What if you only saw the first eight minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and thought it was about a bunch of apes smashing bones? Or assumed that 1960's Psycho was about a bank employee turned embezzler? Granted there are many 'cookie-cutter' films these days that are so routine in their execution that they feel like the director put the production on autopilot and took a vacation. But if I were being paid to critique a film, the least I could do is watch all of it. C'mon Ebert; you've sat through some horrible flicks in the line of duty; how bad could this one be?

    October 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Mike

    To the comments about Roger being lazy: Roger Ebert's "job "is not watching movies. If watching movies were actually a job, everyone would do it. Roger Ebert's "job" is writing movie reviews that people want to read – writing things people want to read is pretty hard.

    Personally, I think he should have mentioned at the start of the review that he only watched a few minutes of the movie. That said, I thought he was honest about it, and I found review entertaining and informative.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jim

    As a professional screenwriter, I know in the first 5-10 minutes of a movie if a filmmaker knows what he or she was doing or not - or if the subject matter of a film is likely (or unlikely) to hold my interest for the entire running time. If a movie doesn't grab me in some way in the first 5-10 minutes, experience tells me that watching any further will usually only be a waste of my time. That said, Roger Ebert gets paid to watch movies. I don't. If he really can't stand to sit through a film, I can understand that. Yet then I think he should simply not submit a review. Let others trash the movie if the movie deserves trashing (and if they have the intestinal fortitude to sit through the whole thing.)

    October 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  34. GB

    He did not review the film, and he was perfectly up front about it. He reviewed the first 8 minutes of the film, and stated plainly that his star rating was just for the first 8 minutes. People need to read the review before they start mouthing off.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Alby

    As Ebert himself says, No good movie is too long, no bad movie is too short. Length is entirely relative. On the basis of how long he's cultivated his taste in movies, I trust him to know when to say when.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |

    This explains it. I read Ebert's reviews of movies after I have seen the films and I would notice that he would describe a scene in the movie but have some major aspect totally wrong. Case in point, the movie Wanted. He said James McAvoy meets Angelina Jolie in a bar. They met in a drugstore. Big difference. But, in his defense, he went to his boss, his BOSS, who ok'd it. He eventalked about it on his own blog so it isn't like he got "busted" on it.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Hey Ralph

    It's Ebert. He can do what he wants.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  38. elder darius

    Forgive me for stating this, but it's my honest opinion.
    Roger Ebert should retire. He has been dealing with a lot of illnesses.
    Truly, he is a respected critique of films, but also human.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jan

    I think Ebert did a good and honest job ~ and frankly, after reading his review, I almost wonder whether those who are being most critical actually took the time to read it. He telegraphs right from the beginning that he thought the film sucked the big one and the eight minute factor plays well as the climax of the review. Having not seen the film myself, I can't comment on his opinions of the film. I found myself wondering whether his criticisms were warranted or whether we're dealing with a nontraditional film approach that is simply more nontraditional than Ebert could accept. Although ~ at nearly 60 ~ I am clearly outside the film's target audience, these questions make me want to see the film when it comes around.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Geepy

    As far as controversies go, this is a non-starter. He clearly revealed exactly how much of the movie he saw, what he saw, and why he stopped watching.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jeff

    Roger Ebert's the man!

    October 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  42. scott hammond

    ebert mentioned that he had only watch the first right minutes of the film at the end of the review; of which i skimmed most of.

    i think most people assume that a review is of an entire item, not just a snippet, so i think, although ebert was 100% truthful in the review; i wish this admission was more prominent.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jonathan

    I've always admired Roger's technical skills as a writer even when I may have disagreed from time to time with his reviews. This action, while a lterary dare to perhaps shake up the role of the modern film critic, does come across as Roger being jaded: a definite no-no and in direct contravention of the definition of the function.

    Applying this practice further, what would be the review for the first eight minutes of '2001: A Space Odyssey' (easily one of the best movies of all time – when seen to completion)?

    C'mon Rog, if you can sit through 'Nights at Rodenthe', you can sit through anything.

    October 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Danny


    You have decidedly bad taste.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  45. DC Marchisotto

    This is a complete no-brainer. It's very simple...

    If you are a film critic, you watch the WHOLE film, maybe more than once. If you are a literary critic, you read the WHOLE book. If you are a music critic, you listen to the WHOLE album, multiple times.

    Anyone who doesn't follow these very simple rules, should quit and take a job doing something else. What Ebert did was unprofessional.

    End of story.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Charla Haley

    Just a friendly reminder here. His job is movie reviewer. He's paid to watch the movies. Plain and simple.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Ian

    Long ago I noticed Ebert give a review that clearly showed that he had not watched the whole movie. I can't remember which movie it was, but that was the instant I stopped paying any attention to his reviews. I think it was an Eddie Murphy movie, and he got facts wrong about the plot. He absolutely panned the movie. Anyhow, this wasn't the first time he's done it.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Steve Nass

    If Roger had seen ALL BUT the LAST eight minutes of the film, and loved it, surely he'd admit that any review of it would be unprofessional. All the worse to only have seen the FIRST eight. Roger, this is hypocrisy. The review is just as substandard as you think the movie is! You've reduced yourself to it's level.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Byron

    Need a new code or symbol for did not watch , like

    0 stars , or DNF

    October 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Helen

    I recruit and interview people for a living. That is my job. How about this – I stop the interview 8 minutes in and make an assessment and a hiring decision based on that brief 8 minutes. Then I share that tid-bit with a hiring manager and expect them to make a decision – based on what I have said. That is basically what Ebert did. Doesn't he GET PAID (and I'm sure very well), to actually watch the movies and then report his opinions??? Not that I make my final decision as to whether or not to see a movie based on these reviews – but – I will never again trust anything he says about movies he claims to have seen.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Ken S

    If I don't like your casserole, I don't need to eat all of it in order to give you a bad review.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  52. mlf

    Life is too short to watch, listen or read bad anything.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Ken K

    If anybody erred, it was the editor in permitting to let the review run as is.

    At least Mr. Ebert was honest in his review stating his criticism applied to only the first eight minutes, so there was no attempt to deceive the reader.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Robert

    Its just as bad as the movie makers who tack on fake reviews to their movies because movie reviewers give it bad reviews for making a bad movie.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Justin

    Ebert has been reviewing films for years... I think he has enough of an objective basis on what makes films worthy of watching or not to discard it early in the viewing. I have no doubt that "Tru Loved" is probably one of the worst films of the year...

    October 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  56. ralph tyler

    In the past I have found Ebert's reviews pretty solid and objective. Every once in a while, though, he just goes off on a movie that I thought wasn't bad. The last such movie was the Deniro film about the OSS and the early days of the CIA with Matt Damon.

    I wonder about this. Maybe it's just his opinion, or perhaps it is something else ( a snub, e.g.). I'm not sure but he seems to get his shorts in a wad at times.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  57. chris L

    How many times have you watched a movie that didn't start off so good and then ended up being a pretty good movie. I have many times! What he wrote wasn't a review of a film it wasn't even a review of the complete first act. That's pretty pathetic in my view. His career is very distinguished though, and I would think he would learn his lesson and not do such a thing again.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Ignus

    Sorry – if he's getting paid to do a job, then he needs to do it right. Not many bus drivers can just hop out mid-route and tell the passengers, "Sorry, you're too loud. I give you one star." and walk back to the depot.

    I wonder if my boss would buy that one? Let's call him Dave.

    "Dave, this program is too one-dimentional. It looks like something that was written in high-school. And the client doesn't come across as believable. So I'm going to just stop and call it good."

    "Ignus, you need to get it completed properly, whether you approve or not, because it's your job."

    "Dave, I'm sorry, but you're just going to have to pay me anyway, even though my long training and technical expertise tell me that I'm wasting my valuable time."

    "You're fired. And I don't need a Trump reference to do it."


    October 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Tami

    Eight minutes does not a film make. Nor would eight pages make a book, etc. I respect Mr. Ebert, but disagree with him here. The eight minutes watched did not qualify him to submit a review. While there are some movies that have been made that could make it quite the challenge to stomach and survive the first eight minutes, it still wouldn't qualify any of us to review those films. Plot changes, character substantiation, etc. as a film proceeds could change the entire flavor of a movie from bad to good, but not always. I have for a long time not relied on reviews to influence my decision on whether or not to see a movie. This article perhaps now explains a bit more to me as to why I haven't trusted reviewers to impact my movie viewing.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  60. David Cady

    There are so many things wrong with what Ebert did, I don't know where to start. "I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes" isn't a review, it's a statement of fact. You can't review a film you haven't. That said, what on Earth possessed Ebert and his editors from RUNNING the piece? I would think there are enough films out there that Ebert COULD sit through that he could write about. Or he could write a commentary or editorial. What Ebert did was a SERIOUS disservice to, not only his readers, but the filmmakers, as well. How would you like to pour time and money, not to mention your heart, into a project, only to have it summarily dismissed by the most powerful voice in the business; one who hasn't even given you the courtesy of his full attention for an hour-and-a-half? Who knows what Ebert's hubris cost this film in terms of revenue? Who knows what it cost the artists in terms of reputation? Ebert is a movie critic, not God. He should simply do the job he's being paid for and stop screwing with people's minds and livelihoods.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Eric

    The people that think Ebert didn't do his job are out of their minds. Of course he did his job, and there was nothing unprofessional about it. If you were a food critic, and took a bite of something you found absolutely unpalatable, would you call yourself unprofessional if you didn't finish the whole dish?

    Ebert found enough in the first 8 minutes to know it was not a movie he would recommend to anyone. That's his opinion, and he stands by it. That makes sense to me. After all, his job is to offer his opinion, and that's it. His point seemed pretty clear to me.

    Why would you need someone to tell you what to think, anyway? Watch the film, then think for yourself and form your own opinion.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  62. shdrew

    And PS, I agree with Jennie on Lost in Translation. I watched the whole thing and thought it was extremely boring.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  63. TC

    If a reviewer doesn't review the entire work, then I don't think it's technically a review. In such situations, I think full disclosure is preferred, and giving their opinion on what they stated they read or heard or saw is acceptable.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Fred

    Mr. Ebert is regarded (up until now?) as a professional and as such his opinion is regarded by potential customers of a movie. Whether or not he believes so, what he says does have a measureable effect on the decision to spend the time and money to attend the movie.

    Some people might argue that everyone should be able to make their own decisions and as such should not be affected by an outside influence such as a review of a movie by a critic.

    Theories and principles are lovely to state and use in the case of arguments such as this but when it comes down to it, we are always influence in small and large ways by the opinions of others. As a result, Mr. Ebert should have sat through the whole movie regardless of his initial impression.

    If you make a decision and decide to espouse your (regarded as) professional opinion for the purpose of assessment, then your intent is to assist others in determining where to spend there time and money.

    Mr. Ebert is not paid just to be a mouthpiece; He is paid to provide a courtesy service – helping others make a decision how to spend time and money. Therefore, Mr. Ebert should be held accountable for his lapse in judgment. If he can't sit through a movie due to health reasons or merely because he doesn't have the patience to provide the same level of service that he is expected to and paid to provide, then he should retire.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Mack

    His job is to watch a movie and then write a review. That is his job. There are times when I have to do things in my job that feel like they should be illegal due to being cruel and unusual punishment, but I can't tell my boss that I stopped doing it after 8 minutes because I didn't like doing it.

    He is doing a disservice to the people who made the film. While the film may be one that will be nominated for a Razzie, who is to say the first 8 minutes were rough, but the rest of the movie was great. I have seen plenty where I was wondering if my date would notice if I snuck out of the theatre when the movie first started, but found myself wondering where the time went by the end of the movie because it go so much better.

    While I don't really go by what critics say about a movie, Ebert is a respected reviewer and many people do go by his reviews. If I were the film maker I would be upset with the review.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  66. BobbyC

    First – he was deficient in his role as a movie reviewer. Whether or not you (the consumer) choose to view a movie can be influenced by what the reviewer (especially one who is respected like Roger Ebert) has to say. With dozens (for smaller films) to hundreds (for larger films) depending on the success of a particular film at the box office – reviewers are obligated to make honest and complete reviews of each film.

    Second – you cannot compare movie and book reviews simply because of the time requirements to completely take in each media. You can view a movie in two hours – but most books will take multiples of that time commitment.

    Third – the editor who chose to run with this gimmick was not doing his or her job as editor. They were doing the job of a publicist in that the only reason this review was done in such a manner was to generate publicity for the newspaper.

    There are all types of analogies that you could use – but I think that this was simply a STUNT to generate publicity for the dying newspaper industry. Although lowering your credibility and integrity for publicity may not have been the best choice.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  67. shdrew

    Roger Ebert is absolutely in the wrong. His job is to review a film, not X minutes of a film. Joel Siegel pulled this same cr*p when he very loudly and publicly walked out a critics screening of "Clerks II" (an hysterical film, IMO) about 12 minutes in. Writer/director Kevin Smith called him out on it, both on his blog and on "The Opie and Anthony Show" where Siegel had the audacity to call in and defend what he'd done. The job of a film critic isn't to only sit through the films they like – it's to sit through ALL films and then render an opinion. This is what they get paid to do, and it speaks very badly of both Ebert AND the Chicago Sun-Times editor who allowed his review to be printed. To judge a film based on its first 8 minutes is lazy and ludicrous.

    A few years ago, I watched a movie and after about 45 minutes thought "Man, I don't know why this got so many accolades because it sure is boring. I'm giving this 15 minutes and then I'm changing the channel." Well, that 15 minutes made all the difference in the world. The film took a dramatic turn and became extremely engaging. The film: "A Beautiful Mind".

    October 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Erica

    I read the review – since he openly states he didn't watch the entire movie I have no problem with it. I thought the review was funny, which I think was his intention.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Bob Borgstede

    My wife worked at a cinema when we were dating. They would sometimes let me watch the movie while waiting for her to get off work. One time I watched the first 10 minutes of a new movie called "The Sting". When asked what I thought, I told her that it didn't seem like much of a movie and we didn't need to see the whole thing. Boy was I wrong. We still laugh about it after being married for 32 years.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Kenneth

    Why would you need the disclaimer as the first sentence? That assumes that the only people who read reviews are those that, maybe, only read the first paragraph of said review? Hmm!

    It was fine. He saw eight minutes, saw so many flaws that are fundamental to making a good movie, and walked out - revealing it is the capstone to the review. If a classical concert started with the instruments completely untuned, it doesn't take a musical genius to figure out that the rest of the performance is likely going to be a disaster.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Trey

    Hey, I only read the first sentence of this article about Roger Ebert and stopped reading. Is it wrong for me to comment?

    October 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  72. June

    I have often started watching a movie and given up on it after 5 minutes much less 8 minutes. If the movie was so bad, in the beginning, why should he have wasted his time watching the entire thing. Life is too short for nonsense and there are way too many movies out there that are pure nonsense.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Alex

    Ebert showed good journalistic ethics by coming clean that he only saw part of the film. This places him above other reviewers (not just film, but music, TV, and book reviewers) who have been known to write reviews based upon the barest exposure to the material without admitting this. Was he right? No, I don't think he was. In my opinion if he, for whatever reason, was unable to view the complete product, or at least a substantial portion of the product, then he should have excused himself from reviewing the movie. That was his error. Unless (and in an appropirate twist I'm writing this without having read the actual review, so maybe he does say this) he actually walked out after 8 minutes, in which case it becomes a viable point of discussion if a film is so bad a veteran reviewer can't sit through it.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Frank

    Sorry, I think this is just wrong– and I think the fact that he felt a need to check with his editor should go a long way toward explaining why. Reading about this also helped me understand why Ebert's reviews tend toward simplistic and boil down to thumbs up and down. I agree with the sorting versus reviewing aspect; that is, if he decides which movies he'll review via an 8-minute screening, sure! But if he's writing an entire review on just the first eight minutes of a movie? That's a TOTAL cop-out. Is it *really* that hard to just sit there and watch a movie? It's not like one even has to turn pages!

    October 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Denizen Kate

    Are you kidding me? I wish my job consisted of watching movies, then writing my opinions of them. Nice work if you can get it!

    The bottom line here is that Mr. Ebert's opinions have influence on whether or not people will pay to see a film, and he should not cut corners in this manner. He led readers to believe he had seen the film, and that is simply dishonest.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  76. GD

    Should we really be disillusioned to find out that something we thought was the genuine article, is not? It's the world we live in. You think you're getting the real McCoy and you're getting some knockoff. Makes you wonder how much good music, good book, or possible great movie was discarded before it got a real chance?

    October 21, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  77. MVB

    Todd – as Marzuka pointed out, you failed to mention that Roger Ebert's review focused on the quality of the filmmaking, not the story itself. It's an important qualification because Ebert justifies his review on the assumption that the quality of the filmaking will not improve with more screen time.

    Because Ebert clearly stated his key assumption and limited the scope of his review to that one aspect, I think his review perfectly valid and no more subject to criticism than any other review.

    I've noticed that the vast majority of the commentors, however, argue that Ebert had some obligation to review the movie in its entirety and cite other awful movies as evidence that he's consistently done just that in the past. Neither point is is relevant to this review, and I think these people miss the point of Ebert's review entirely.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  78. jules

    By the way, yes, I DID read his review in full. Again, he needs to retire. His venomous semi-review smacked of self-indulgence.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Jimmy

    The question isn't whether he was right or wrong, it is more whether he should have led with the disclosure.

    That would have set up the rest of the review and probably have said more about the film than anything else he pointed out.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Dana P

    I agree with Milissa K. This is his JOB, not his hobby, and he certainly doesn't watch these movies for entertainment after a hard day at work only to find out that he stand to finish one. He gets paid good money to tell US about the movie. How more unprofessional can you get?

    October 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Chris

    Eh, the review was fine.

    He has rescinded reviews in the past, like "Brown Bunny" he thought was horrible until the intro was changed.

    I disagree with him on some things, but if something sucks this bad it deserves none of his time, or at least just enough to warrant a bad review.

    If he DIDN'T disclose that he only watched 8 minutes then I'd be pretty miffed, but he did, so its alright in my book.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  82. jules

    He gave the "thumbs up" to "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull." He must have only watched the first 8 minutes of that too, because PHEW, what a stinker that turned out to be!
    But seriously... this is a sign that Roger needs his much-earned retirement.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Bubba

    Umm, he's also in pain and has a facial deformity that keeps him indoors. He should probably think about letting someone who enjoys life and actually goes to movies do the reviews, and retire. Are they putting a gun to his head and making him work?

    October 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Mike

    I think he was right on the money. If you ever started watching The Three Amigos, you'd understand why within the first two minutes that you saw it was a comlete waste of your ticket money. Same thing goes here.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  85. John E, Lexington, KY

    The great critic Max Beerbohm handled the situation this way – if he saw a play he didn't like, he opened, "Saw --- at --- last Saturday evening. I didn't care for it." Then he filled the column with an essay on something entirely different. He didn't use the space to show how cleverly he could savage someone else's work or worse what Ebert did and create the rest of the film in his head and write an imaginary review. When someone does such a thing, it is time to retire. Beerbohm's predecessor, Bernard Shaw, was a critic as a day job until he moved on to the real work of writing plays. Beerbohm was a novelist and caracaturist who did not regard his criticism as serious writing. Ebert is an example of what happens to career critics. Time to create your own films, if you're capable Roger. Actually, reviewing "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", perhaps not. I have to admit I only got through eight minutes of it.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Jeff S

    If you're worried that people won't see the film based on his review of its first 8 minutes... please, this is creating more publicity for the film that it would have had.

    I have no problem with what he did. He disclosed it (it was like the Usual Suspects of reviews!) and he's quite likely correct in his assessment. We're not talking 2001: A Space Odyssey here...

    October 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  87. A. Colin Flood

    As a contributing Editor for EnjoyTheMusic.com, I write music CD reviews. Guess what? I listen to the CD!

    I also read what other reviewers and bloggers are write about the CD. I can tell you that many published music reviews by professionals – of a CD, not the music group – are rarely more than a hackneyed mishmash of the publisher’s press release.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Ben

    For those of us not paid to watch movies (presumably every movie), some of us rely on reviewers we trust or share tastes with to decide if it is worth it to pay the monetary and time cost of going to see a movie. If Ebert is the reviewer you trust, and you decide after reading this review that this movie isn't worth your time and money, then he has done his job. If a reviewer wrote that the title, tag line, and poster alone were enough to convince him or her that a movie wasn't even worth watching, I'd find that an effective enough review.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Dave Barak

    There wasn't any good reason for him to not mention his laziness or weak stomach for bad films at the beginning of the review. He could have written it in such a way that would have preserved his "flow" while still letting us know he had more important things to do besides his job.

    That's what a skilled writer would have done.

    October 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Damon

    This is common practice among supposed professional critics. For several years I worked in a Boston movie theater that was host to critic screenings and witnessed it firsthand. I was appalled at the way the critics from all the major papers barely seemed to pay attention to some films. It was social hour for them, talking and gossiping during the film, since they'd all read the "coverage", or discussing other films or other topics altogether, and often leave just 20 minutes into it. It seemed like a contest of who was most above it all. Then I'd see their review the next day as if they'd seen the film instead of just reading the coverage.

    At least Mr. Ebert admitted it... this time. But how many films has he reviewed and not seen?

    October 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  91. kisma heine

    Look, Roger Ebert has seen enough movies in his lifetime to know krap the minute he sees it. If this movie was SO bad he could only stomach eight minutes of it, you can bet it was horrible. What is the other option...to trash ninety minutes of production values, editting, foley work, etc.? Do you honestly believe these things would suddenly improve after eight minutes?

    October 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Toon

    The San Francisco Chronicle used to (still does?) have a picture of a little man with every movie review. In some cases his little chair is empty because the movie was so awful that he walked out.

    Not being able to sit through a movie is a pretty strong statement about its quality. I'm glad the review was printed the way it was.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Stutz

    Come on, all you "unprofessional!"-crying sourpusses. RELAX. Roger Ebert is our greatest movie critic and I think he's certainly earned the right to make a very valid point about the state of Hollywood by bending the critic's rules ONE TIME. Most of us movie-lovers know when a movie is going to be formulaic and bad after the first few scenes, and we can probably predict the "plot" before it plays out. Ebert was making this point by reviewing a movie after seeing only the first part. And, oh yeah, he DID admit it, did he not? Are you really that bent out-of-shape because he didn't tell you until the end of the review?

    October 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Film Professor

    His disclaimer notwithstanding, this is not justifiable as the work of a reputable film critic.

    Roger Ebert has always been a film critic of marked mediocrity, in my opinion. In fact, the title 'critic' itself is a misnomer. He is just another popular press 'reviewer'

    As a student, teacher and writer about film, I can attest that sitting through dreck is somtimes the unenviable, unrewarding part of the job. It's not all glitz and glamour.

    One can only wonder how many other films Ebert has written of–either postitively or negatively–with equally truncated viewing.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  95. ruby

    Being an amateur filmmaker myself, immediate gut instinct made me feel annoyed that a film critic didn't sit through an entire film and then wrote a review. HOWEVER, not only did he disclose that he had only watched 8 minutes of the film AND state that this should be taken into consideration, this is Roger Ebert. I'm in my 30's and I freaking grew up watching Siskel & Ebert. He's been reviewing films for, like, FOREVER. If he can get that much from 8 minutes of a film, I'm gonna say he, of all critics, has the right, the ability and the experience behind him to do it. I for one will be taking his critique of this film into consideration.

    Hey, if nothing else, think of it on the positive side: this film is getting even more attention now because of this argument, so everybody wins! Ebert for his honesty and the filmmakers for the buzz..

    October 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  96. rose

    I think Roger Ebert is a national treasure. He did win a Pulitzer for his movie reviews and deservedly so. As far as I am concerned, he has waved me off of so many clunker movies that I'm glad he finally saved himself.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Michael Damen

    Thanks for calling attention to an absolutely fascinating story that can best be appreciated by taking the extra effort of reading the review, Mr. Ebert's blog explanation of it and his readers' thought provoking responses through the links that you provided. I strongly suggest restraint to anyone who feels the urge to share their knee jerk feelings of disapproval of Mr. Ebert without first reading the blog (how ironic!). I cannot recall seeing such a remarkable and consistent level of discourse and intellectual introspection on the art of reviewing movies. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND READ THE BLOG!!

    October 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  98. John Swenson Harvey

    I think it does not matter even one little bit. There is a real world out there. Big issues and problems exist that need attention. While films, music, etc are a nice distraction on occasion, the real world is what matters, not some (silly) film review.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Mickey

    I respect Roger Ebert very much. When you suffer from cancer and experience your own mortality as Mr. Ebert has, I can understand why he does not want to waste their time on a movie he believes to be dreadful. The review was pointed and explained at the end that it was based on eight minutes. He warned his readers.

    You do not have to agree or disagree with Mr. Ebert or any critic. Their responsibility to their readers is to inform. I felt I was informed from his review about the movie and that if I still desire to see it, it is my choice.

    Finally, seeing a movie nowadays is an investment in terms of dollars and time. I trust Mr. Ebert to give me what information I need to make such a choice.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  100. RS

    Technically right, morally wrong. Right, wrong or indifferent, there are some who make their movie watching decisions by reading such reviews.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  101. moviegoer

    That Ebert, one of the most honest, even-keeled, and popularist of movie reviewers couldn't sit through even 10 minutes of the movie tells me the reader more about the film than 500 words ever would.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Andy

    WWSS – What Would Siskel Say

    I may have read part of a book and decided not to finish it.
    I may have listened to part of a song and decided to skip to the next track.
    I may have watched part of a movie and decided to turn it off and do something else.

    These are decisions on how I want to spend my time. They are not my job. I'm not paid to write a review and have my opinions read by others and sway their decisions.

    If a job is not being done well or not at all, I'm sure there are many others that would love the job of going to the movies, write a review, and collect a check.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Chris

    It is not fair to the people who worked on the film. The first 8 minutes may have been bad and could have gotten better. He did not really give it a fair chance, did he? If we are only going to be judged on the first 8 minutes of each workday or the first 8 minutes of writing a school paper then I think most of us would agree that it was not a fair assessment of our work. How would Roger Ebert feel if someone read the first 8 minutes of his review and then proceeded to critique it as if they read it in its entirety?

    October 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  104. dhster

    He's a professional, who has been in the business of critiquing movies forever. I'm sure he can tell whether a movie is any good within 8 minutes. Give the guy a little credit. He's seen it all.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  105. RS

    If it's to be a film review, the film should be watched. How many movies overcome slow or confusing beginnings to evolve into good or even great movie entertainment? Conversely, many movies start out wonderfully and then fall apart shortly thereafter.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Kent

    He should have his Pulitzer rescinded. It is thoroughly unprofessional and misleading to purport that he is reviewing a piece of art without even having seen it.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  107. John

    I'd be lying if I said that I have never stopped a movie 10 minutes in and decided it was a waste of my time.

    But I don't get paid to watch movies. He should have watched the whole thing no matter how bad it was.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  108. RLG

    This from the discriminating hand that penned "Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens?" You're kiddin' me right, Rog?
    The trouble with critics- of any art, genre, activity, etc.- is that they're paid to criticize. I guess it would be boring if all they said was "swell- 4 stars' but maybe this is why people shouldn't rely on the Roger Eberts and Leonard Maltins of the world so much, and make up their own minds! many of my favorite movies were panned, usually by some tool with an agenda that didn't get it.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  109. J.

    I agree with several of the above that he should have stated that he only say the first 8 minutes. I for one have been known to make a judgment on a book after only the first few chapters or tv shows after the first few episodes before giving up on it. The difference is that he is a pro, I am not. More importantly I often find reviewers completely off base and don't relate to me. I usually ignore them, however when a group of average people tell me that the movie sucks, then I will avoid it. Reviewers are usually very out of touch with the average person who does to movies for either action or a good story. Not to be moved by great acting, art direction, or its literary comentary on society as a whole. People go to movies to be entertained. If the movie was not entertaining then it was a bad movie. Everthiing else is just gravy.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  110. M

    I think it's a little premature to register a review of a movie after the first 8 minutes. While he may have been right, it's his job to watch the movie and critique it. If i read the first chapter of a book and put it down because I hated it and then I told someone about it, it's a review but I'm not a paid professional with a respected opinion. When your opinion of a movie can influence whether or not people will go to see it, you owe it to the people who made the movie as well as the base of people who put trust in your opinion to give an accurate review based on the entire movie or at a very minimum to inform people that you only watched the first 8 minutes of it, thereby allowing them to use their own discretion as to whether or not they want to watch the rest of it.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  111. meccano

    If one is interested in a review then one should be interested in the reviewer to understand its full context. I have never heard of Roger Ebert walking out of a movie. Only now have I come to learn that he only made it through the first two of the three hours of Caligula (1979). The fact that Ebert walking out of a film is an extreme rarity, to say the least, the fact that he did this in the case of Tru Loved becomes enlightening in itself. It doesn't really offend me that he waited until the end of the review to reveal this, but rather I thought it ironic that he did so. The twist at the end of his review punctuates how much he disliked the film and makes for a well written pieces. Perhaps at the same time poking fun of himself that you, dear reading, had to make it all the way through his review to find this out. Inappropriate? Perhaps a little. Clever? Absolutely!

    October 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Jeff

    It makes you wonder how many other Ebert reviews were only based on a few minutes of viewing. Despite his disclosure, I am very disappointed. This really hurts his credability as a reviewer.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  113. marissa deangelis

    I think Ebert has been going through a lot of illnesses and must think life is too short to sit through really bad movies. Still, it's his job to do so.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Chris

    How else is there to review something? If you can't make it through the first few minutes without ripping hair out, why endure the rest of it? Makes perfect sense, maybe Robert should have disclosed this from the outset, but the review should stay the way it is... which is a review.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  115. buzzard

    I think it was a neat little trick. To review a movie in eight minutes. Lets face facts unless this was the sixth sense Eberts seen enough movies to know how it will end. So good for him!

    October 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Steven

    This is about what Mr Ebert believes his responsibility to the public has come to. I had heard or read years ago that he refuses to review a movie that he is not given the opportunity to see in a public excluded preview. In the 70's and 80's I watched Siskel & Ebert religiously but have found in the past 8 to 10 years that he has developed something of a populist or pro-studio angle that has caused me to see his reviews as more entertainment than informational. He may have a pulitzer and an oscar but he now appears to be over the hill. "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr DeMille."

    October 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Jim

    Ebert's review of "Tru Loved" may be a nearly perfect review. Contrary to the various posters who seem to believe there is a moral imperative for reviewers to see the entirety of movie, there is no such obligation. If the first few minutes of a movie are abhorrent or pointless, the reviewer can leave or stay. We get to find out why and make our own decision about whether we would find the movie worthwhile. It would be less ethical for Ebert to endure a movie from which he would ordinarily flee merely to be able to write that he saw the whole thing. Ebert wrote about what he saw and didn't keep any secrets about when he left. For his courage–he knew many people would react badly–and for his honesty, he has risen in my estimation.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  118. JeremyI

    I just did some math and I only look at 5 – 15% of a woman before determining if she's worth looking at further. And I feel fine telling my friends whether she's attractive or not.

    Like I always say to my boyz, let Ebert be Ebert.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Sean

    If there's enough problems in a movie in the first 8 minutes to wholly ruin someone's viewing experience then so be it. Ebert was right in what he did. It also took guts to admit to only watching the first 8 minutes.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Ian

    Personally, I don't have a problem with Ebert (or any reviewer) not watching the whole movie. That is, as long as he/she makes mention of it in their review. For instance. if the reviewer made it through 15 minutes and decided that it was so bad that he couldn't make it throught the movie. I mean, it has to say something about the flick that a professional reviewer couldn't make it through the whole movie. Now, if he has written his review as if he had seen the whole thing, then IMO that is not doing his readership justice.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  121. David

    I disagree with what he did, since I believe that if you're going to say a movie's good or bad, you should watch the whole thing - for integrity's sake. However, he did reveal what he'd done, and his reasons for it, which - again, I disagree with what he did (hey, it might have gotten better eventually) - are perfectly fine with me. What people are really complaining about is the way the review's written. However, he never hides what he did, he just wrote the review in a more interesting style than simply saying, "This movie sucked. I walked out after 8 minutes." Here, he provides examples of why the movie lost his attention and why he felt it wasn't worth seeing, setting up the end and providing (oh, my gosh, someone actually does this in the media nowadays?) context. Anyone complaining about "contractual laziness" or him not doing his job should note the statistic he provides: he's sat through more than 99.999 percent of the movies he's seen. How many people who've complained about this review can say that they have the same sort of job performance record? The filmmakers should be blasted glad that they're getting all this free publicity.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  122. VinceCapece

    As a music review myself, I cannot, in good conscience, review an album without listening to the entire piece....multiple times. I can't imagine being able to review any long-form piece of art without seeing it through to the creator's full picture. I once read a concert review where I was sure the review only saw the opening act but never sat through much or any of the featured act...and reviewed them poorly.

    I've reviewed bad albums...and it takes a full listen to see where the artists were going. If I only heard the first song and judged the whole based on that, my readers would lose faith in me.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Anthony

    It is fair to critique the first eight minutes, and I think he should have spoken only to the portion he watched, and stated that he couldn't watch the rest. To attribute to the entire movie what he saw in that eight minutes would be irresponsible and unfair.
    I remember watching the first half of the movie "Dancer in the Dark," thinking that it was going to be the second longest and most boring movie I had ever sat through (first being Gosford Park). I sat through half of it because I found myself caring about what would happen with Selma (Bjork's character). I was about to give up on it when mid-way through the movie, the plot shifted 180 degrees and became a lot darker. The movie came into full bloom in the blink of an eye, and the end completely justified the means. It remains one of my favorite movies to this day.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  124. Jameos

    Ebert has more than enough credibility to do something like this. His point is that the movie is so awful, you can get the gist of it in the first 8 minutes.

    The funny part is, people will probably be more likely to see it, just to see how bad it really is.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  125. mike

    thats why I don't pay attention to movie reviews.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  126. elder darius

    It's typical of us human beings to judge a book by its cover.
    i consider the first 8 minutes of a film to be its cover. A book, film, or album should be read, watched, and listened to entirely before placing one's judgement upon it.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Joel

    To review means to take the good with the bad. If it was all good then we would not need anything to be reviewed. Roger Ebert would not like me to judge him completely if I meet him for only 8 minutes. I know that he has been around for a long time and has probably sat though many very bad movies so he knows them when he see them, but if he feels that he has had enough of that then he should just retire from sitting in the dark and let someone else who is willing to suffer through the 2 hours or less take over in his place to help the rest of us be better informed.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Zippy deBrain

    It is a review to state that you couldn't get through more than 8 minutes, and a particularly scathing one at that, however, that should be pointed out at the start so that people understand that most of the comments you are making about the film are uninformed and based on incomplete information.

    Talking like you know what you are talking about, which you cannot if you have only seen 8 minutes, and THEN telling people that you only saw 8 minutes, when many peolpe would have stopped reading once they got the idea that it was a bad movie, is dishonest and a tad mean.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Todlerone

    This is the result when you buy into a system that must rate art. The Oscars, Grammys, etc...WHY MUST WE RATE ART....Oh yes...so that the winners (and all their posse) can get richer. The big problem with this is that Ebert is not me and I have to beleive that there will be aspects of the movie I enjoy where he didn't. So how could anyone tell you that you will love and/or hate it. So if you must always read the review first before you decide to (or not) see a movie, you have missed alot of potentially good movies and have watched alot of them that Ebert liked. SAD

    October 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Karen

    You're right, Tricia, his reviews are often full of factual errors. Is he not paying much attention to the movie or is someone else writing them??

    October 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  131. johnniebgoode

    i thought ebert was dead....hmph........

    October 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

    @ Mazurka -

    You make an excellent point, and I wonder how many people are clicking on the links and reading Ebert's review, his commentary, and some of the responses.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Ben

    Let me ask you this. If his review was so scathing based upon the eight minutes he saw, can you really blame him for not wanting to sit through the entire thing?

    And HE DID disclose having only watched the first eight minutes. And guess what? They completely sucked.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Werd

    I think if he gets paid to sit and watch movies and then review..he needs to watch the entire thing and then review the entire thing..

    if the movie is that bad that you cant do your job..then well..
    dont review it..dont watch it..and well..hopefully there is another movie to fill his time and paycheck for.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  135. DeeBee

    I know a critic (whom I will not mention but is very well known) who reviewed movies he "never" even watched, eight minutes or not.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  136. Kevin

    I had to stop reading the comments at #3 – Jennie, Lost In Translation is an excellent movie

    October 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Jaime

    I respect Mr. Ebert very much, but I think this is some contractual laziness. If he is paid a salary to watch movies and write reviews, then he should sit there for the 2 hours, give or take a few minutes, and write his review. At my teaching job, I couldn't get away with working only a part of the day and then chucking the rest and still expect to receive my full salary. As I don't believe this is the norm for Mr. Ebert, I will say that I look forward to his future reviews and hope that he took the full length of the movie to formulate them.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  138. Glen

    I have no problem with reviewing the middle thirty seconds of the opening credits, if you're up front about it.
    My only problem with Ebert's review is that while he half-heartedly almost concedes at the end, by implication, that the rest of the movie might not be exactly what he expects, the bulk of the review implies the opposite. He presents his review as a review of the film.
    Had he seen enough of the filmmakers' and actors' skills, or lack thereof, to conclude, with confidence, that the rest couldn't be worth seeing? If so, fair enough. In that case I'd prefer that he articulated this conclusion explicitly rather than half-ingnoring the question, at least in the body of his review.
    Another valid stand would be that if a film fails in its first eight minutes, it has failed overall; the viewer has done his or her part, life being as short, and the competition for our attention being as crowded, as it is. Again, I'd like Mr. Ebert to say so, in the review itself.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Daryl

    For those of you saying Mr. Ebert's actions were unprofessional...I suggest you read the entire review he submitted for the film. In it, Ebert talks about the unprofessional and amateurish filmaking, acting, dialogue and even blocking of scenes. I applaud Ebert in being honest with his readers. The nice thing about reading an Ebert review is that he does not ask you to agree with him, or try to say things that would sound witty for a bad review or quote worthy for a good one. He lets you know what was going through HIS mind, and how the film affected him.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Bob

    You know, I used to have respect for the reviews of Roger Ebert.
    But over the last several years I would estimate he gives favorable reviews to at least ninety percent of the movies he reviews. I have gone to see a few of those movies and wondered how he could have been so impressed.

    I now pay little attention to his reviews. When I want to know what real critics say I go to the Rotten Tomatoes web site.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Ryan

    I wish someone reviewed the last 8 minutes of M.Night Shamalyan's "The Happening" and gave it a review. The last eight minutes ruined that movie. If Ebert just watched the first eight minutes of "The Happening", he probably would of liked it and gave it a good review.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  142. Maez

    I trust his judgment, Roger Ebert is rarely wrong on a review!

    October 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Jon

    Honestly, I think a review needs to be based on the full product and not just a portion–movies, books and CDs don't always start off with the most interesting parts. Some of the most rewarding works save their strongest emotional content for later (not necessarily the end). Just to name a few: "The Sixth Sense," "Life is Beautiful," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Failsafe," "The Truman Show," "8 1/2," "It's a Wonderful Life," and the list could go on. Some of these films have an ending that is quite different than the beginning, whether it is in tone, style, or audience interaction. Writing a review without having seen/read/listened to the entire product is like trying to pass a sentence after only hearing a portion of the witnesses' testimony.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  144. JJ JOnes

    I only made it through the first half hour of Freedomland. I am quite certain the remainder of the movie was just as terrible as the portion I saw.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Joe

    It would have been one thing if Ebert never revealed he only watched the first eight minutes. . .but he does. It seems to me a decision he made as a writer to gain a certain effect: a crowning blow in his argument: Here are reasons this film is bad and then, the final indictment: this film was so terrible that I stopped watching after eight minutes. Ebert's obligation is to his readers not to the filmmakers and it seems that his review is honest and that's all we should expect from a reviewer.

    October 21, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  146. JJ

    It sounds like you guys are not reading his review and just basing your comments on the fact he walked out after eight minutes. The flaws that he pointed out are clearly film/acting school mistakes that shouldn't be in a movie. That stuff isn't going to get better by watching more of the movie.

    It would be a different story if he had said that the movie was just boring, so he left, because he wouldn't know where the movie was going.

    On his blog, he even mentions in response to a comment if he were to watch a movie like "Duece Bigalow: European Gigalo" would he have walked out and he clearly stated no, because it was bad in a competently filmed way.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Guido

    He was right. Just because it is his job doesn't mean he should be wasting his time with something that is clearly worthless. If he can safely determine that why should he sit through 2 hours of mental torture? No money in the world is enough for that.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Monte

    If he only watched the first eight minutes of the film, he should never have been allowed to submit a review of the film. He didn't do the job he was suppose to, which would make one wonder how many other films has he done this to. Makes me wonder???

    October 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  149. arche

    you cant base a review off of 8 min alone.
    i really dont agree with what he did.

    btw, Moulin Rouge is a one of a kind. i LOVED it. its in its own class as a musical. a first when it comes to the filmotography. 2 thumbs up!

    October 21, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Jeff

    Very rarely do I take Ebert's recommendations anyway. Alot of movies receiving bad reviews are suprisingly good. He owes it to readers and movie makers to at least sit through a movie before he rates it. How hard of a job is that anyway?

    October 21, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Disappointed Reader

    It's his job, not a hobby. He should not have written the review and he should have been completely honest from the on-set. I absolutely cannot count on his reviews anymore before going to a movie. This speaks volumes of him, his work ethic and the newspaper.

    Poor Choice Mr. Ebert.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  152. Will

    Are you serious? Both films you referenced were GREAT... get a clue.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  153. Suzy Diamond

    It seems Mr Ebert is too busy being the political analysist these days that when you spend so little time on either you fail miserably on all fronts!

    October 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Ken

    He has a job to do and he didn't do it. I wish I could come into the office spend 10 minutes, call it a day, and get paid. Sure the movie may be bad, but you have a job to do and you need to do it in a professional manner.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Tricia

    Ebert often has plot points and details wrong when reviewing a movie. I wonder how often he fully pays attention when doing his job.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Resheda

    If I can sit through "Blindness", surely Mr. Ebert could have made it through "Tru Loved". But, if it was truly that awful, why expect him to sit through it? His review is based on what he saw and that apparently sucked to him, gave him enough talking points to create a list of deficiencies, sooooo...as long as he indicates such, it's fine to me. To each his own anyway. We'll probably all go out and see it now just to see if we can get to 8:30. ;o)

    October 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Leslie

    I'm in the film industry and I know this practice is rampant, but I do think it's unprofessional since people "trust" his views and if he isn't giving films his full attention, that's akin to fraud.

    On the other hand, I just have to say I'm glad that commenter "Jenny" isn't reviewing films! Both of those films won Academy Awards and are amazing. I'll trust Ebert's lazy reviews before hers any day.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  158. michele

    There are many times, after having paid for a movie, I am tempted to just leave. I don't because I have paid for the movie. Sometimes the movie gets better, sometimes it doesn't. If I were to have left, I would have only wasted my hard earned money. I think Mr. Ebert is paid to watch movies and write reviews. Some people rely on those reviews before plunking down $10 to see the film. He does them a disservice by not holding up his end of the bargain.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Melissa K.

    As a consumer, of course I have the right to stop reading a book or watching a movie and to tell my friends that I thought the book/movie not worth a watch. However, I cannot do that with my job. I paid to accomplish very specific tasks and then to report my findings. So do movie and book reviewers. I agree that all he had to say was that he couldn't make it through more than 8 minutes and was therefore refraining from reviewing the movie. His opinion of the work is rather clearly stated by such a remark; he does not need to pick apart the 8 minutes he DID see. Like the other commenters, I feel this was a very poor job.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Liz

    I actually think it's pretty funny that he did that. If I were about to blow money to see a movie and heard it was so bad the reviewer couldn't get past the first 8 minutes, I would take that to heart. At least it's honest.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Mike

    Todd, what a stupid post. get a real job.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Jon

    If it is your work to review a product, espeacily when it is a work of artistic value, you need to look at the whole picture. Some things, like films, books or even albums don't come together completely until you've taken it all in.
    If that's what you do for a living, then you cheated and still got paid for it. Worse, you damaged someones work without even taking the time to really study it. You owe the person who put their hard work into it to at least see it through before you tell them that it sucks.
    You can't compare it with telling your friend you couldn't watch it, because it's you and your friend, not you and your boss.
    Show some respect. It's what you get paid to do.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  163. Mazurka

    May I assume that commenters have read the Ebert review in question? Otherwise, they are guilty of the very shortcoming they accuse Roger of. If you read the review, you learn that Roger found enough wrong with the movie in those first eight minutes to justify his opinion. The revelation at the end that he found all these problems in eight minutes made the review twice as fun to read, in my opinion

    October 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  164. dallaspj

    He's a movie critic, so in my mind there's no way to get out of reviewing the whole film. It's his JOB.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  165. buffyrat

    He should have certainly revealed that he had only watched the first eight minutes of the film. Having done so he could have written whatever he wanted w/o misleading his readers. I'm disappointed. I've watched him since his PBS days.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  166. Chris

    He's making a point and anyone who cannot see need to rethink what Ebert was trying to do, especially the people that said he did a bad job and it was unprofessional. Yes, you are so right. He was unprofessional in proving his point. (end sarcasm). Because a guy who is considered to be arguably the best and most recognized reviewer of movies today, had his own TV show, has written numerous books, reviewed thousands of films, and won a Pulitzer is unprofessional.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Alex

    How hard is it to watch a movie? Pretty simple job description, really.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  168. denise

    Well people may not have liked his tactics, but he stands by his review. Granted, an eight minute review IMHO isn't long enough, but I certainly understand not wasting your time to view the whole length. I know I may get slammed for this, but I sat through and watch the "critically acclaimed" No Country for Old Men , and at the end of that movie, I thought WTF??? The movie ended stoopid to me. I can't believe I sat through that movie, which was pretty entertaining up until the stupid ending, thinking that Javier's character was gonna get his.
    I am glad that I saw it on cable instead of a theater, because I might have asked for my money back.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Derrick

    Ebert was honest. The review was entertaining. What's the problem? I read the review and laughed out loud when I reached the part where he admitted to having seen only eight minutes of it. There are plenty other reviews I could read if I were so inclined. A writer as accomplished as Roger Ebert should be given some license to go off script from time to time. If a critic watched only eight minutes of a movie and then purported to review the entire thing, that would be indefensible. But, that is not what Ebert did. As long as his editors were okay with it, I don't see why it is even an issue.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  170. Todd Henkel

    With full disclosure, this is fine. Simply stating that he could not stand anymore of the movie after watching a few minutes is fine. Intentionally misleading readers however would be unethical.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  171. kayvan

    Whether he watched the whole film or 8 minutes or 8 seconds, its still a legitimate review. In any event critics are basically professionals spouting their opinions. I've made many a judgement on whether I will view a film based on the trailer, as do many others. How is judging a film on its first 8 minutes any differnt?

    October 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Russell Hammond

    Fine with me, I never read "reviews" anyway just for that reason.
    (Hmm...I guess that means I reviewed Ebert and without reading his blog first. Back at cha, Roger!

    October 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  173. Thunderhonky

    Is it really worth the effort to even recognize the fact that a review is just one persons opinoin. Why would anyone, let someone else tell you what to think about a movie!

    October 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  174. Timus

    Prob the best job there is (restaurant reviewers have to eat nasty food from time to time so I would say film critics job is easiest). And you can't find a way to sit through a good part of a movie in order to review it? An hour would be sufficient. Ebert WAS wrong this time.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  175. Leslie

    I like reviews by Ebert and I think imo he has the right to choose whatever methods to review a film. If he thinks that after going thru the section that he viewed it is enough for him to have an opinion, then as his readers, we should accept the review, period. I will accept Ebert as a whole package not some words he uses, not some paragraph he writes but the whole thing. IMO

    October 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  176. Loren

    Wow, I thought Ebert had standards. He knew what he was doing was wrong and getting approval from an editor does not excuse it. If you're going to do the job, then do the job, and if you can't, then you don't.

    I guess even a Pulitizer doesn't count for much in the long term.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Walter

    He should have led with the fact that he'd only watched the first 8 minutes so that I could stop reading at that point, because the review wasn't going to be worth my time...

    October 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  178. Weird Harold

    Ebert should have started his review with "This movie was so bad, I could only stand to watch the first 8 minutes. That should tell you much about the review to follow, some of the references and material come from notes, other reviews, and a script outline I received" or something similar, and then nobody would care.

    Movie reviews are suppose to be reviews of the movie, not a longish trailer (we all know how misleading trailers can be) or a short clip.

    Ebert crossed the line, we have all trusted him for years to sit in that dark room and watch the stinkers so we don't have to.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  179. beal9000

    Darn. I meant to write that I have no problem with it. Sheesh.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Tom Geis

    A professional reviewer has the duty and responsibility to view the entire work before producing his review. Period.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  181. beal9000

    I only read the first paragraph of the review and it sucked.

    Kidding. I kid.

    I read the whole review and I have to problem with it... especially with the full disclosure and all.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  182. Jenny

    Very rarely do I ever not finish watching a DVD I've started. I even forced myself to finish the decidely awful Moulin Rouge. One exception, however, was Lost In Translation. I simply couldn't take it anymore.

    Regardless, there are a lot of movies that were slow going at first, but as a whole very good movies. I think its not right to review a movie based on the first 8 minutes. At least sit through the first 45 minutes to an hour, and then if its still painful, run away.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  183. Mike Hogan

    His job is to watch movies and review them. He didn't watch the movie. Bad job.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  184. nezhmet

    I think the reviewer didn't do a good job. Very unprofessional.

    October 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |

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