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When Siskel & Ebert Were Wrong

June 6, 2013
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This is my tribute to Siskel & Ebert, my favorite movie reviewers. They didn’t get everything right. Siskel in particular didn’t seem to rate action or horror movies as highly as he should. That’s predictable of him. Even so, both Siskel and Ebert rated certain movies much lower than they should, and sometimes their low ratings can be quite shocking. This is my top ten list of good movies that they wrongly gave a thumbs down to.

10. Evil Dead II (1987)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. I didn’t expect either of these critics to like Evil Dead II and I was impressed that Ebert liked it, who enjoyed the comedic touch to the movie. Why is this even on this list? I consider it to be a horror classic, and it has a 7.8 on IMDB, and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. which helps confirm that this is a decent movie and not just one that I personally enjoyed. (See Ebert’s review.)

9. Evil Dead (1981)

Both Siskel and Ebert gave it a thumbs down. I didn’t expect either of them to like it, but I would consider this to be a classic. It currently has a 7.6 on IMDB, and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not alone in enjoying this movie and thinking it’s decent. Considering movies with a cabin in the woods or possession theme, I would consider this to be the best. (See their review here. )

8. Predator (1987)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. Predator was one of the coolest action films of the eighties, but it isn’t a sophisticated movie by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not supposed to be, but it’s still a movie I would consider to be a “must see.” It currently has a 7.8 on IMDB and 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See their review here.)

7. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. I love the Back to the Future movies, and I can’t understand how anyone could give it a thumbs down. It’s not as good as Indiana Jones, but it’s still high on my list of best movies ever. It has a 7.7 on IMBD and the audience gives it 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See their review here.)

6. Batman (1989)

Ebert gave it a thumbs down. Ebert has a good track record, but it’s not perfect. Batman was the best superhero movie of its time and it inspired a lot more to come. Giving it a thumbs down is crazy. It has a 7.6 on IMDB and 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See their review here.)

5. Die Hard (1988)

Ebert gave it a thumbs down. Die Hard was one of Bruce Willis’s best movies and it was the reason he became a superstar. Die Hard is now probably the best Christmas movie ever made. Die Hard has an 8.3 on IMDB and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See their review here.) (Also: Why Roger got it wrong.)

4. Unforgiven (1992)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. This movie won four academy awards including best picture. It has an 8.3 on IMDB and it has 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is a good movie. Giving it a thumbs down doesn’t make sense. Ebert did give it a thumbs up, but he has been criticized for not giving it a better review as well. (Why Roger got it Wrong.)

3. Aliens (1986)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. Aliens is one of the coolest action movies of the 80’s—and ever for that matter. It has an 8.5 on IMDB and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See the review here.)

2. Terminator (1984)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. Terminator is one of the greatest action-horror movies ever made. It has an 8.1 on IMDB and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See the review here.)

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Siskel gave it a thumbs down. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It wasn’t necessarily as good as the original Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark), but it comes close. Sean Connery as Indie’s father was great. I can’t stress how important it is to see this movie enough. It currently has an 8.3 on IMDB and the audience of Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91%. (See the review here.)

Honorable Mention:

  1. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Both gave it a thumbs down.)
  2. Dead Poets Society (Ebert gave it a thumbs down. See the review.)
  3. Silence of the Lambs (Siskel gave it a thumbs down. See the review.)
  4. Army of Darkness (They both gave it a thumbs down. See the review.)
  5. Golden Child. (Siskel gave it a thumbs down. See the review.)

Also, one of my favorite movies of all time is Big Trouble in Little China. I don’t think Siskel and Ebert ever reviewed it together, but Ebert has reviewed it. He did not appropriately rate the movie and only gave it a couple of stars. It has a 7.2 on IMDB and it has 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. (See Roger Ebert’s review here.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Larry Purtell permalink
    January 16, 2014 1:23 am

    Another to add to the list is “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation”.

  2. Jonah Falcon permalink
    June 23, 2017 4:58 pm

    There is no such thing as a “wrong” review. Reviews are opinions.

    • July 2, 2017 12:19 am

      Why think opinions can’t be wrong? Obviously there is a matter of taste when it comes to art, though. This is about a clash of preferences at the very least.

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