There’s an adage saying that there are two types of critics: There’s Roger Ebert, and there’s everyone else. For two generations of filmgoers, Ebert was a bridge between movies and audiences. His widely-known work became synonymous with film criticism, and his impact will always remain. Beyond his early TV shows, Ebert found a second life on the Internet, and saw his work traverse the globe. On what would have been the iconic critic’s seventy-sixth birthday, take a personal journey through the legacy of Roger Ebert and what he meant to a film-obsessed teenager growing up in Portugal. Anyone who thinks about movies can stand to learn from Ebert, who showed us how to love thinking about movies.  

In honor of Roger Ebert and all things film criticism, take a look at Fandor’s spotlight on critically acclaimed films, and our own personal staff picks from the bunch.