Updated April 8 1:53 p.m. ET
(CBS News) There were few more passionate advocates for films as art than Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert, who died Thursday at the age of 70 after a long battle against cancer.
Despite the seeming limitations of serving as the co-host of a syndicated TV review show and plying his trade in the Midwest (where distribution of independent or foreign-language films can be spotty at best), Ebert helped shine a light on deserving films to millions. He was an early supporter of such noted directors as Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Werner Herzog, and his published collections of film criticism offered a bracing celebration of cinematic innovation and emotional clarity (and, in the case of "I Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie," a piercing cry against mediocrity).
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In 2012 the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine polled international critics to choose their 10 favorite films, as it has every decade since 1952. Ebert once again offered his selection, despite his qualms about reducing his passion for the medium into a tidy Top-10 list. ("Lists are ridiculous, but if you're going to vote, you have to play the game," he relented.) Films which he'd previously included in his S&S polls, such as "Notorious" and the documentary "Gates of Heaven," he considered thusly canonized, and was willing to cut loose, to welcome new entries into the pantheon.
The following, in alphabetical order, are Ebert's 2012 choices. Click through this gallery by the tabs up top to read excerpts from his published reviews.