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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 99 Ratings

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  • Summary: Published in 1957, the Ayn Rand novel takes place in a dystopian version of the U.S. in which society has collapsed as the government gains increasing control over industry. The decline occurs while the most productive citizens, led by John Galt, begin vanishing. (Rocky Mountain Pictures)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 19
  2. Negative: 11 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 15, 2011
    63
    Though a bit stiff in the joints and acted by an undistinguished cast amid TV-movie trappings, this low-budget adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.
  2. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Apr 15, 2011
    50
    Speechy and preachy and just a teeny-weeny bit naughty.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    Apr 21, 2011
    40
    The book proves proudly indigestible on film.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Apr 16, 2011
    38
    Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is nearly as stilted, didactic and simplistic as Rand's free-market fable.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 16, 2011
    33
    The film is curiously sterile and lifeless, hardly the stuff of revolution. It feels more like an ideologically reversed "Tucker: The Man And His Dream," written and performed by robots.
  6. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Apr 19, 2011
    30
    Lifeless as entertainment and incoherent as ideology.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 15, 2011
    0
    Who's the idiot responsible for this fiasco? You can't blame the Tea Party, an organization of 9 million that the film's producers are exploiting to get butts into seats. There's an object lesson in objectivism for you.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 66
  2. Negative: 23 out of 66
  1. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    For any reviewer to give this movie a negative rating, they must be blinded by their "steal from others to give to others and claim it's giving" mindset. 85% of the 'pros' who watched it for free hated it (take from others) 85% of those who spent their own hard earned money liked it (responsible for their own actions) I look forward to seeing it again when I don't have to drive 80 miles to see this movie. I look forward to buying the DVD and I look forward to buying my own tickets for Parts Two AND Three. Expand
  2. DC5
    Apr 23, 2011
    10
    Great film considering the low budget, extreme limited time to produce it. Ayn Rand's message comes through and the film leaves you wanting for more. I enjoyed it more the second time. It's worth seeing twice. Expand
  3. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    This film is a testament to those who are struggling to freely exist within this corrosive society of government/corporate alliance which can only lead to the eradication of individual rights. The film does the best it can with so many philosophical ideas to address; but instead just focuses on the storytelling to further the plot. Fans of the nanny state will no doubt dislike it; but those who "smell a rat" and understand that this is not the way for human beings to live will see it for the greatness in all of us that is presented. Expand
  4. Apr 18, 2011
    8
    Overall I am amazed at how well they abridged and adapted the first part of the book. That being said, gripes include the poor handling of the emotional element between Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart; and the shuffling of events surrounding the "new engine." Further, though well done, the story line, which builds more slowly in the novel naturally felt rushed. Having said that, it was really impressive how all the essentials were covered; and though they weren't as developed as they could've been, if say the movie were 3 hours, they're points were delivered clearly and tactfully. I enjoyed it very much. Expand
  5. Aug 30, 2012
    7
    As I'm close enough to Rand's sense of life and theory of art, I enjoyed it on those terms. Those are characters and a story I'd wish to see. Rearden. Francisco. Lillian. Very well done. Rearden is understated and in better humor than the book Rearden. I think I like the movie Francisco better. Lillian was an improvement over the book too - warmer and with more charm. Rearden and Dagny were hit and miss. Their across the table business dealing was stilted, but they connected well on some smaller, off hand interactions that gave me a feeling of connection between them.

    On the downside, I thought the plot got butchered starting from the sex scene with Rearden and Dagny, and continuing to the end of the movie. It's like they ran out of cash and couldn't pay for all the scenes required. But if you haven't read the book, you probably don't notice the butchery, and if you did read the book, you'll take the good and gloss over the bad.

    Also on the downside, Hugh Akston was all wrong in character, and both he and Stadler were just too young. For such a small part of the book the movie made a decent self contained whole. The negative reviews on the acting or production values were unfounded. I do think it falls well short of the book, but most adaptations do, and it is a lot to live up to. If you like the themes, you won't get them anywhere else, and you'll find decent acting and a coherent if hurried plot to embody them. A decent movie giving you something you won't get elsewhere. Moderate thumbs up.
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  6. Oct 11, 2012
    2
    What a piece of junk. Ayn Rand's great novel turned into poorly made movie. It looks like a bad tv movie or a straight to video yawner. The shots are contrived and overly staged. The set designs are over the top in their attempts art deco. The adaption of the story is basically fine and I suspect that all of the positive reviews are from people who agree with the underlying political philosophy of the story, and not what was made. At least I hope so. It does capture Rand's philosophical battle against big government. So if all you care about is a message you already agree with, and don't care about any of the other qualities of a well made film, this ones for you. Seeing it made me melancholy for what Albert Ruddy's version would have been like in the 70s, right after he made the Godfather. He loved the book and it's message. He had Faye Dunaway, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford lined up. It would have been properly funded and produced. Seeing this piece of garbage made me weep for what could have been. Expand
  7. May 4, 2011
    0
    Read the book. It was awful... Saw the film. Clearly, I'm a masochist! It was actually worse than the book! Ayn Rand was not a nice lady. I can't help but feel her characters would have left her behind as well... Expand

See all 66 User Reviews