As the world mourns the loss of film critic Roger Ebert, here are a few words Stephen Hunter wrote in June 12, 2005 in his article, “Catching a Movie With an Old Friend“:

Ebert was different. He saw that the movies were changing and that they were full of ideas, and he wrote brilliantly but never condescendingly. He wasn’t a mandarin, a New York esthete slumming in the double features and issuing on-high epiphanies and bons mots with a snigger of aristocratic disdain, and he wasn’t the unofficial hack publicist. No, he was a really smart guy who got that movies were hard-wired into the baby-boom generation cerebral cortex, that they were in some sense that generation’s secret language, and that they bustled and seethed with anger, impatience, self-confidence and sometime insolence. He was there not merely to issue gratuitous opinion but to argue. Read more


Roger Ebert gives the thumbs-up after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 (MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters)


And here’s a glimpse at the reactions of those who knew him, were influenced by him and have given him their virtual thumbs up: