Roger Ebert on Greatness

Roger Ebert

“I have been criticized recently for giving a pass to films of moderate achievement because they accomplish
what the audience expects, while penalizing more ambitious films for falling short of greater expectations.
There may be some truth in such observations, but on the other hand, nobody in the real world goes to every
movie with the same kind of anticipation. If I see a film by Ingmar Bergman, as I recently did, I expect it
to be a masterpiece, and if it is not, Bergman has disappointed me. If I attend a horror film in which
Jennifer Connelly and her daughter are trapped in the evil web of a malevolent apartment building, I do not
expect Bergman; if the movie does what it can do as well as it can be done, then it has achieved perfection
within its own terms.”

– Roger Ebert, movie critic

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