The late Roger Ebert was, for 46 years, a film reviewer for The Chicago Sun-Times. During this time he became the most prominent and beloved film critic in America. For years the show he co-hosted with Gene Siskel was a staple of public television, while his reviews appeared in more than 200 papers.
On more than one occasion Ebert said the hardest reviews to write were for films that were average, neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Writing reviews of great films came naturally to him. So did reviews of bad films. Ebert’s scathing reviews became a part of his legend, quoted by fans.
10. Battlefield Earth
Battlefield Earth, based on an overly-long science-fiction novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is universally regarded as one of the worst films ever made. Roger Ebert was not a fan, either, describing it as a movie so bad, it attains a kind of grandeur. Everything about it is ill-conceived, from the “grubby” visuals to the hideous-looking characters played by lackluster actors to the soundtrack, which “sounds like the boom mike is being slammed against the inside of a fifty-five gallon drum.” “Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time…” wrote Ebert, then adding, with a note of awe in his voice, “I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies.”