There is a danger when, in trying to convince readers that a new film in a series is really good, that you'll take the shortcut of badmouthing previous entries, just to support your opinion. Even if you end up contradicting your previous reviews.
This is especially dangerous in the internet era, because the reader can look this stuff up, even when you didn't bother to.
From Roger Ebert's review of Casino Royale: "...Daniel Craig is bloody damned great as Bond..."
From Roger Ebert's review of Quantum Of Solace: "Daniel Craig remains a splendid Bond, one of the best."
From Roger Ebert's initial review of Skyfall: "...with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he previously played unconvincingly."
So..."bloody damned great" and "splendid" means "played unconvincingly"??? Maybe it's some kind of professional critics' code...or maybe he changed his mind about Daniel Craig's earlier performances.
Or maybe, just maybe, Ebert couldn't think of a better way to praise Craig's current performance than contradict himself.
Or perhaps he didn't remember what he actually thought of the earlier movies, and couldn't be bothered to look it up. It wouldn't be the first time a critic misremembered Bond's past in order to make a point...
I tweeted Roger Ebert, questioning him about this. I received no reply (nor did I expect one...dude must get 1,000 silly questions per day). But subsequently, he rewrote the online review to read: "...with Daniel Craig taking full possession of a role he earlier played well in "Casino Royale," not so well in "Quantum" -- although it may not have been entirely his fault. Or is it just that he's growing on me?"
So, let's be fair: he goofed, but he corrected it (although "a splendid Bond, one of the best" is still pretty inconsistent with "[played] not so well in Quantum")
Still, that is not the only example of his forgetfulness of previous films.
More from the Skyfall review: "The movie's innovations begin in its first shots, which abandon the
familiar stalking silhouettes in the iris lens, and hit the ground
Well, it's an "innovation" only if you don't count the last two movies, which also did the same thing.
And it's not an "iris lens," it's a gun barrel, Roger--unless you think 007 has been shooting photographers for 50 years...
Yes, it's a very positive review. And he's a heck of a fine writer. But it would be a lot easier to take Mr. Ebert's film criticism seriously if he actually paid attention.