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At Any Price (2013)

tomatometer

50

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 45

At Any Price features a terrific performance from Dennis Quaid, and it offers further evidence of Ramin Bahrani's unique eye for detail, but film is weighted down by an overly melodramatic story.

44

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 18

At Any Price features a terrific performance from Dennis Quaid, and it offers further evidence of Ramin Bahrani's unique eye for detail, but film is weighted down by an overly melodramatic story.

audience

33

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 4,725

My Rating

Movie Info

In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious HENRY WHIPPLE (Dennis Quaid) wants his rebellious son DEAN (Zac Efron) to help expand his family's farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the family's entire livelihood. (c) Sony Classics

R,

Drama

Ramin Bahrani

Aug 27, 2013

$0.4M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (90) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (45)

The disappointment and malaise of a modern farmer's life comes through, but almost as an afterthought. As Bahrani makes clear, it's worth a more focused film.

June 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bahrani fills the frame with weathered faces and "At Any Price" feels like it unfolds in something close to the real America. But he wants to give us larger-than-life drama, and his strengths are life-sized.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bahrani seems less interested in getting at the heart of a man who has sold his soul than he is in showing how the hard facts of modern farming have literally and figuratively changed the landscape.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Written and played with a little more subtlety, Henry and his contradictions could have been fascinating; as it is, "At Any Price" keeps us at a distance, gazing at characters who never quite come to life.

May 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like the small farmers forced to kowtow to corporations, writer and director Ramin Bahrani chickens out. His melodramatic script reduces a global conflict to a Grain Belt "Glengarry Glen Ross."

May 16, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It clumsily showcases an environmental issue -- in this case, the corporate strong-arm tactics used to promote GMOs -- through routine interpersonal drama.

May 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tough, engaging, and brutally honest, At Any Price is one of those quiet gems you hope others will have the opportunity to discover for themselves.

October 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

At Any Price has an interesting story at its core, but it's bogged down by undeveloped characters and sideplots, as well as a poorly-written third act.

August 26, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

...feels like a great American tragedy, like East of Eden or Death of a Salesman. There's ... a fidelity to the way things actually work themselves out in the real world, in compromise and half-measures and moral doubt.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Bahrani is striving for something epic and tragic - Shakespeare among the soybeans - but too often the film settles for merely melodramatic.

August 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Though Bahrani may be moving toward the mainstream here, he remains an empathetic, nuanced chronicler of the American working class.

July 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

At Any Price isn't so much about race cars or corn as it is about what price we're willing to pay to protect what we love, and to keep our hopes and dreams alive. As such it's a fitting parable for our times.

July 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie City News
Movie City News

As is implicit in the title, the destructiveness of competition is a rippling concern in Bahrani and co-writer Hallie Elizabeth Newton's unpredictably expansive script.

July 24, 2013 Full Review Source: HitFix
HitFix

At its heart, the film is a small-scale story about two men learning how to fix their mistakes -- or, if that isn't possible, to live with them.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Twitch

A thought-provoking and original drama that takes an intriguing look at the competitive nature of the agricultural industry.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Dennis Quaid gives a deep performance of a shallow farmer who's obsessed with success. But the script for this unfocused, distraction-saddled heartland drama needed more cultivation.

May 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Dennis Quaid turns in a strong performance, but writer-director Ramin Bahrani's earnest but unfocused melodrama offers neither a compelling storyline nor a satisfying message.

May 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

With Bahrani's assured direction squaring off against his ragged script, this proves to be a mixed bag of a movie, maybe worth seeing for reduced admission but not necessarily at any price.

May 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Bahrani's evocation of place and culture is utterly convincing, even if his story seems to have gone before the cameras before it was quite ripe.

May 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It cheats you with acres of unharvested ambitions.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

while [Bahrani] did create a sociologic examination of an industry and culture that effects everyone, and educates the audiences, he didn't know how to end the story.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: AspectRatio.us
AspectRatio.us

... sporadically compelling drama, a lack-of-character study trashy enough for fun and thoughtful enough to be taken seriously.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times

Maybe the writer-director found himself adrift in the corn fields.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

We don't need to love the characters to care for them but not hating them will help us build a bridge to apathy PDQ.

May 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Movies With Butter
Movies With Butter

Audience Reviews for At Any Price

I don't think this movie knew what it wanted to be. I'm almost sure that half of it was on the cutting room floor, and what was left was a movie confused. Dennis Quaid overacted his way through this film, which didn't help. Not a terrible movie (I did watch it in its entirety), but not a good one, either. Plus, it left a VERY questionable message that didn't sit well with me...
February 17, 2014
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

How far would you go to chase a dream?

Good Movie! The opening credits suggest that this film will be a romantic tribute to the fading world of the rural family farm. But At Any Price is really about how rural America has become just as ruthless capitalist and competitive as the rest of American life. The film is about the corruption of the American Dream and how the family farm is becoming increasingly ruthless competitive system. At Any Price is a film about the cost of family and the high cost of the family farm. The farm appears to be just another exemplar of the troubling nature of American capitalism. While the film may prove to be too dark for the ordinary audience of these actors, it is very powerful film about dysfunctional family life and economic life in modern America that should be widely viewed. Highly recommended for those interested in serious film drama.

In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple wants his rebellious son Dean to help expand his family's farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the family's entire livelihood.
October 17, 2013
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

I had a mixed reaction to the film. It needed a major rewrite. They had a great idea for a movie here, but they didn't execute it correctly. It feels like 2 stories are going on here, the Dennis Quaid one and the racing one with Zac Efron and they don't successfully come together here, in my opinion. Dennis's story was more interesting and fascinating than Zac's. One big problem here is that a lot of character were not developed well.

One major theme here is the relationship between fathers and sons. That is seen a lot in Dennis Quaid films (example: Frequency, The Rookie). He also did the father and daughter theme with movies like In Good Company and Soul Surfer. This film reminded me of movies like Promised Land, Mosquito Coast, Days of Thunder, In the Bedroom, A History of Violence to name a few.

Dennis Quaid is excellent here. I haven't seen him play a character like this before. Zac's character, in my opinion, wasn't developed well. He does have a great on screen chemistry with Dennis. I thought Zac was better in other films. Heather Graham, Kim Dickens, and Clancy Brown also do a good job in their supporting roles.

Despite the flaws, I say, see it for Dennis Quaid's performance in it.
March 9, 2014
SC007
Sol C

Super Reviewer

Ramin Bahrani's At Any Price is an interesting film, often feeling authentic, and disturbingly insightful, while at other times feeling a bit disconnected with itself. The film centers on ambitious farmer and seed seller Dennis Quaid, and the relationship with his restless and disenchanted son, played by Zac Efron.
What I liked most about At Any Price was the film's tone. It was observant without being judgmental, poignant without being obvious, and almost clinical in its execution. The film was not entirely far from feeling like a Cohen brothers vehicle, with the characters finding themselves in ever-deeper situations. We are entreated to a family that on the surface seems to be embodying the American dream, but with a dark undercurrent of greed and corruption. It is populated by strong performances and interesting character dynamics, with Dennis Quaid having an undeniably strong performance.
On a technical level, At Any Price features beautiful cinematography, beautifully utilized framing, and a consistent pace. The problem, however, was the script, which was far from as polished as the rest of the film. Its dialogue felt stilted and often too-on-the nose. Had the caliber of actors not been lesser, it would have failed on its face. Quaid in particular struggled to really sell many of his lines, with his character being overly verbose, and the dialogue too strained, desperately trying to sell a quaint and folksy personality. Thus, while the film has a number of intelligent undercurrents, the scripts execution often undermines itself.
Despite its complete lack of polish and notable scripting deficiencies, At Any Price is still an effective drama, offering a good story, and ending on a rather compelling note.

3.5/5 Stars
August 31, 2013
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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