Roger Ebert’s Hilarious Reviews on 4th of July Box Office Hits

Robert Ebert obit

Roger Ebert is sorely missed. The film critic’s prose was elegant in describing the finest movies, and hilariously biting and sharp-witted in describing the worst. This weekend, we can look forward to opening films such as The Lone Ranger, Despicable Me 2, and The Way, Way Back, but in terms of sheer blockbuster power, they probably won’t be making the list of the top grossing films for this fireworks-themed holiday. However, just because a film racks in millions doesn’t mean it’s a work of art. In celebration of the 4th of July and Ebert’s great sense of humor, I’ve selected five of the worst movies from the highest, opening-grossing films on the Independence Day money-maker weekend, and picked out the best excerpts from Ebert’s reviews.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Year: 2011

Opening Gross: $97,852,865

“Shia LaBeouf is scarcely heroic, and his girlfriend has no particular function except to be in constant peril and (in two hilarious shots) stare thoughtfully into space as if realizing something. The only considerable dramatic scene LaBeouf has is when his mother (Julie White) brings the manic plot to a standstill long enough to urge a self-help book upon her son.”

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Year: 2010

Opening Gross: $64,832,191

“And Edward has a noble speech in which he tells Bella he doesn’t want to have sex with her until after they’re married. This is self-denial indeed for a 109-year-old vampire, whose actions add a piquant flavor to the category ‘confirmed bachelor.’”

The Last Airbender

Year: 2010

Opening Gross: $40,325,019

“‘The Last Airbender’ is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.”


Year: 1998

Opening Gross: $36,089,972

“Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. ‘Armageddon’ is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you’d have a TV ad. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”

Wild Wild West

Year: 1999

Opening Gross: $27,687,484

“You know something has gone wrong when a story is about two heroes in the Old West, and the last shot is of a mechanical spider riding off into the sunset.”


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