Critic Ebert Criticized By Critics
After initially defending his decision to write a scathing review of the indie movie Tru Loved after walking out after the first eight minutes, Roger Ebert has had a change of heart. In a message posted on his website, he concedes, "In reviewing the first eight minutes, I was guilty of too much affection for my prose." Later, he vows "I will never, ever, again review a film I have not seen in its entirety. Never. Ever." (He has since seen the entire film and posted a detailed review of it.) Some of Ebert's fans and fellow critics are not willing to let him off the hook so fast, however. In the Los Angeles Times , media columnist Patrick Goldstein writes today (Thursday) "If there were ever an act that indelibly painted critics as elitist snobs, it would be America's best-known critic reviewing a movie after only bothering to watch for eight minutes." Orlando Sentinel critic Roger Moore sayes that writing a review of a movie based on its first eight minutes is "not cricket." He then concludes, "If we're going to start writing reviews of movies we haven't suffered all the way, or at least most of the way through, the way most people who shell out $10-12 do after they've spent the cash, we're all doomed." And Gary Susman, a sometime critic who writes the PopWatch blog for Entertainment Weekly' s website, comments "No other movie critic in America could have pulled off such a stunt without getting fired. I fear that, even though he corrected his mistake, he's still set a bad example. At a time when film critics all over America are losing their jobs, it can't be good for readers, editors, or filmmakers to think that when he did passes for professional, acceptable behavior among film critics and the outlets that publish their work, even for a moment."