Online Film Critics Society

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics

Reviews: Life Itself (2014)

life_itselfReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marina Antunes @ Row Three
  • Chris Barsanti @ Film Racket
    • Excerpt: …the film overflows with humor and pathos and crankiness and ambition and a soaring belief in the transformative nature of art. It’s the whole package.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A powerful, illuminating, and heart-affecting documentary about the long career of the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and his courageous battle with cancer.
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: we see how the man who’d literally lost his voice procured a new one via his blog where he wrote about everything under the sun and if there’s a weakness in this film it is that we don’t hear enough about this fine work.
  • Edwin Davies @ A Mighty Fine Blog
    • Excerpt: I write about films because I love cinema, and if I do it with any skill, it’s because I spent hours reading Ebert.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Life Itself is an empathetic, affectionate, and, at times, shattering film that honors its subject through its candor.
  • Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films
    • Excerpt: Life Itself really isn’t Steve James’ kind of movie. James likes to spread into his subjects’ lives, take in the long horizon through his own observations. It is in the footage of the day to day of Ebert’s final few months that James finds familiar ground, and it is here where the film really comes alive.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Unflinching and engrossing, it’s an inspirational tribute to America’s most influential film critic.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The latter scenes with his wife Chaz contrast with his often cantankerous relationship with his famous cohort Gene Siskel. Although those displays are where the documentary soars, the final act provides a poignant coda on the life of a man who left an indelible legacy on film criticism.
  • Dustin Jansick @ Way Too Indie
    • Excerpt: A superb tribute that will leave Roger Ebert fans delighted and inspired. Thumbs Up.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: As Roger would say about any of his four star reviews, “I could not imagine not seeing this film again.”
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
    • Excerpt: It’s filled with biographical information, clips of films, great anecdotes, and loving reminiscences. But what lingers is the sight of Ebert in the hospital, propped up in a wheelchair with a keyboard on his lap, determined to put down more words.
  • Don Lewis @ Film Threat
  • Glenn Lovell @ CinemaDope.com
    • Excerpt: The ultimate cineaste to the end, Ebert saw himself as James’s collorator rather than his compliant subject … Fascinating, engrossing, life-affirming … without being in the least mawkish.
  • Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row
    • Excerpt: It exudes his love of the movies from every frame, and ultimately, the love that the movies returned to him.
  • [New – 5/25/15] | Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: One man changed the way a nation saw the movies
  • Piers Marchant @ sweet smell of success
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Poignant Ebert doc is life-affirming.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: This is not a sponge-cleaned prepackaged documentaries that glorifies Ebert as a product, but rather the bittersweet story of a kid who came from a small town in down-state Illinois, fell in love with journalism, developed a deep passion for the movies, and became famous by being lucky enough to talk about it on television.
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: Life Itself may not be perfect, but it is compelling, insightful and most of all, personal. I’d like to believe that is exactly what Roger would have wanted it to be.
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: In the end, “Life Itself” has too much to do with Roger Ebert’s death and not enough to do with the man who trademarked a couple of thumbs pointed either up or down.
  • Josh Spiegel @ Sound on Sight
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: A truly extraordinary documentary about Roger Ebert’s life — warts and all.
  • Mel Valentin @ VeryAware.com
    • Excerpt: A heartfelt, poignant documentary of the world’s favorite film critic.
Updated: July 10, 2015 — 11:14 am

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