7.8/10
14,196
80 user 225 critic

Life Itself (2014)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert.

Director:

Steve James
25 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

At the Movies (1986–2010)
Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Chicago critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert rate new movies with a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.

Stars: Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Richard Roeper
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi.

Directors: Tyler Measom, Justin Weinstein
Stars: James Randi, Deyvi Peña, Penn Jillette
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Nico's father is leading a double life with two women, 17year-old Nico being the oldest child of the illegitimate family. While his father is absent half of the time and only caring about ... See full summary »

Director: Celina Murga
Stars: Alian Devetac, Daniel Veronese, Gabriela Ferrero
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Broken, desperate men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor risks everything to help them.

Director: Jesse Moss
Stars: Jay Reinke, Andrea Reinke, Alan Mezo
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, John Rogers
Tower (2016)
Documentary | Animation | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Animation, testimony, and archival footage combine to relate the events of August 1, 1966 when a gunman opened fire from the University of Texas clock tower, killing 16 people.

Director: Keith Maitland
Stars: Violett Beane, Louie Arnette, Blair Jackson
Blackfish (2013)
Documentary | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Stars: Tilikum, Dave Duffus, Samantha Berg
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.

Director: Brian Knappenberger
Stars: Aaron Swartz, Tim Berners-Lee, Cindy Cohn
Grizzly Man (2005)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog
Citizenfour (2014)
Documentary | Biography | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Director: Laura Poitras
Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney
Documentary | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Martin Scorsese ... Himself
Ava DuVernay ... Herself
Werner Herzog ... Himself
Roger Ebert ... Himself
Errol Morris ... Himself
Ramin Bahrani ... Himself
Gene Siskel ... Himself (archive footage)
Stephen Stanton ... Roger Ebert (voice)
Steve James ... Himself
Gregory Nava ... Himself
Chaz Ebert ... Herself
Donna La Pietra Donna La Pietra ... Herself (as Donna LaPietra)
Nancy De Los Santos Nancy De Los Santos ... Herself (as Nancy De Los Santos-Reza)
Marlene Siskel Marlene Siskel ... Herself (as Marlene Iglitzen)
Sonia Evans ... Herself
Edit

Storyline

'Life Itself' recounts the surprising and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert - a story that's by turns personal, wistful, funny, painful, and transcendent. The film explores the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert's life: from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism and his nearly quarter-century run with Gene Siskel on their review show, to becoming one of the country's most influential cultural voices, and finally to Roger's inspiring battles with cancer and the resulting physical disability - how he literally and symbolically put a new face on the disease and continued to be a cultural force despite it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing Roger loved more than movies


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief sexual images/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life Itself See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$153,875 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$131,411, 6 July 2014

Gross USA:

$810,454

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$815,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original plan for the film was to document the active schedule Roger Ebert maintained despite his illness, including attending screenings, writing reviews and for his blog, and hosting dinner parties with his wife. However, before filming began Ebert suffered a hip fracture that required months of rehabilitation, and he was later diagnosed with a new cancer, meaning the documentary instead became (in part) a chronicle of his final days. See more »

Quotes

Roger Ebert: Look at a movie that a lot of people love and you'll find something profound no matter how silly the film may seem.
See more »

Connections

References The Deer Hunter (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Man
Written & performed by Leonard Cohen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Critic Gets the Last Laugh
18 July 2014 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Life Itself (2014)

**** (out of 4)

I first discovered Siskel and Ebert by accidentally waking up early one morning and turning the television on to see two guys getting into a heated debate over a movie called DEAD AGAIN. It's funny but it's a moment in my life that I'll never forget because it opened my eyes to other movie lovers and the show would also introduce me to all sorts of movies that weren't playing at my small town theater. LIFE ITSELF, based on the book of the same name, covers the life and career of film critic Roger Ebert who is of course best known for his television show with Gene Siskel. The book was a wonderful read and especially for fans of Ebert but director Steve James does an extremely good job at bringing it to the screen even if we really don't see anything here that we didn't read in the book.

With that said, there's no question that the film is highly entertaining and especially when it deals with the rather love-hate relationship between Ebert and Siskel. There's no doubt that these moments are the highlight of the film as we get to see some classic clips of the two on their show but also some memorable outtakes as well as their appearances on talk shows, including an intense one on Carson where Ebert rips Chevy Chase who is sitting right there. The film also covers Ebert's personal life where we get interviews with the likes of his wife as well as Siskel's widow. Filmmakers Werner Herzog and Martin Scorsese are also on hand and discuss their relationship with Ebert. Of course, the hardest part to watch about this film are the scenes involving Ebert in the hospital where we see how much pain he was in towards the end of his life. These scenes really are hard to watch but at the same time it leaves you in amazement that he was able to continue writing on his blog at such a high level.

LIFE ITSELF has some flaws including the structure of the story but I doubt any fans of the critic are going to be disappointed. I think the 115-minute running time was fine for a general release but it seems like there's probably a lot more that could have been included.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 80 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed