Roger Ebert’s Final Film Review Published


After battling cancer for over a decade, Roger Ebert, Illinois ’64, died in Chicago, Illinois, on April 4, 2013, at the age of seventy. Despite his illness, Ebert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times and enduring presence in the entertainment industry made him one of the most popular and influential movie critics of his time.

Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally-televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, followed by several variously named At the Movies programs. The two verbally sparred and traded humorous barbs while discussing films. They created and trademarked the phrase “two thumbs up,” used when both gave the same movie a positive review. After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert continued hosting the show with various co-hosts and then, starting in 2000, with Richard Roeper.

Ebert was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands in 2002. He required treatment that included removing a section of his lower jaw in 2006, leaving him severely disfigured and unable to speak or eat normally. However, his writing ability remained unimpaired, and he frequently published online and in print until his death.

The last review by Ebert published during his lifetime was for the film The Host, which was published on March 27, 2013.