One of the most compelling documentaries of the year, Life Itself is a great send-off for a legendary man. Director Steve James – the only documentary filmmaker for this particular job – cuts together a vivid portrait of Ebert’s life with his daily routine towards the end of his life. It is unflinching in both portrayals, which is fair and exactly how Ebert wanted it. His contentious relationship with Gene Siskel is the highlight of the film; equal parts funny and heartbreaking, it captures the duo’s magic perfectly from all sides. It is a tough film to watch, especially as a lover of film, because Roger Ebert blazed the path for small-time film critics around the world and it is an absolute shame that we don’t get to enjoy his work anymore.
Bottom Line One of the most compelling documentaries of the year, Life Itself is a great send-off for a legendary man.