“You might think of film criticism as frivolous. If you write it for a living or for a hobby, you know it can feel that way. It’s like that old Vonnegut quote: the critic puts on a full suit of armour to attack a hot fudge sundae. There are times when I feel that the effort isn’t worth the result, that expending so much time and energy on thinking and talking and writing about movies has no real consequence or gravity. It’s hard to think that film criticism could help anybody or make anybody happy. But Roger Ebert did something to make others more than a little happier: he wrote with generosity and courage, with openness and conviction, with intelligence and wit, and those who read him weekly or monthly or once in a blue moon were thus entertained, informed, moved. We disagreed with him. We were convinced by him. We made “two thumbs up” the definitive shorthand for judging a movie. Roger Ebert, frankly, was an inspiration, and I know that I am not the only professional film critic who can say with absolute certainty that I would not be one if it weren’t for this one great man, this incredible, singular voice.”

R.I.P. Roger Ebert (1942 – 2013) – – Film.com