It’s almost three weeks now since the world’s most famous film critic, Roger Ebert, passed away following an 11-year battle with cancer, and the tributes from various critics, journalists, actors and public figures have been truly heartening and humbling for all of us to watch.
He was a figure to aspire to, a champion of the industry, and as I’ve mentioned in previous articles about his career, he was a fascinating read even when we wildly disagreed with his opinion. Roger always knew how to articulate himself perfectly and argue in a reasonable enough manner that would generally have you go, “Fair enough, Roger”, even as you pan the film yourself.
Like any critic worth their salt, Roger wasn’t afraid to go against the grain, and did so frequently, as evidenced by these 10 movies he loved that everyone else hated…
10. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (4 stars)
Ebert Quote: “Sequels are not supposed to be better than the movies that inspired them. The third movie in a series isn’t supposed to create a world more complex, more visionary and more entertaining than the first two…But now here is Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, not only the best of the three Mad Max movies, but one of the best films of 1985.”
Critical Consensus: 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, though reviled by most series fans as easily the weakest entry.
I love the first two Mad Max films, but the third is a really hokey pile of crap; Ebert hugely broke with the pack by not just liking the film, but loving it, and most incredulously suggesting that it was the best one (whereas most view it as the worst). I just can’t comprehend how Roger thought this, that he gave it a higher rating than classic films like Blade Runner. To most, Beyond Thunderdome is garbage, but Roger seems to have seen something in it that I just couldn’t.
This article was first posted on April 24, 2013