Ayn Rand's industrialists fight against the Fair Share Act, which further strangles the economy.
First, the most unfortunate thing about this film was the endorsement that the real Sean Hannity gave to the fictional Hank Rearden. Additionally, protesters directly referenced the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. The one-to-one relationship between the modern day right wing and Rand's objectivists is bullshit, and it's a shame that this film's creators got sucked into Rand's abduction by the right wing. After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand's, which takes us out of the film's world.
Second, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis's performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny's characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe's gravel-voiced Rearden.
Finally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin's book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot.
Overall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn't really get her.