Atlas Shrugged: Part I - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Atlas Shrugged: Part I Reviews

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½ May 20, 2018
Was hoping for naunce. All I got was typical, surface level libertarian philosophy.
May 13, 2018
I have read this book many times and the movie is as close to being accurate as a movie based on a book could be. The actors were perfect in their roles.
I don't think this is a movie you can just watch without knowing the general content and be willing to see it as it is. If you differ politically from a capitalist free-market society you will probably hate every minute. Please don't watch and bring the views down.
I'm not a very political minded person but I feel like I ought to be doing something more everyone I read or watch this story. This COULD happen without the secret Atlantis-society to come back and pick up the pieces.
The heroes aren't heroes, they are hard working man and women who want to be acknowledged and rewarded for their work. Done are a$$holes, but they aren't in the market to sell themselves, just the fruits of their labor.
In this world everyone is supposed to work as hard as they can. The money is divided and the biggest probs are given to those that need it most. So, the guy with the health problems from smoking his whole life and can't work as hard as the healthy guy next to him will get a larger paycheck. The guy with 8 kids obviously needs more money than the bachelor next to him even though he's often late and tired from the newest baby screaming all night.
Not fair.
The only part about movie I struggle with and it's a book thing too, is that it's set in 2016 with the look, ideas, and mannerisms of the 40s.
March 28, 2018
not as bad as the tomatometer leads you to believe. it's not classic cinema at it's finest, but storyline is interesting and holds your attention throughout. the acting leaves something to be desired, but it's not bad enough to make you want to switch it off. overall it's a decent/good movie that seriously didn't live up to expectations.
January 13, 2018
Excessively talkie-talkie and very boring. The two worlds the filmmakers have tried to "marry" don't really go together. The characters in the film are all sexually-repressed better-than-thou's who go from dinner party to dinner party lamenting less money and no fun in the bedroom. The cast is comprised of unknowns as anybody with any sense steered clear of the subject matter at this point in history. The film is set in 2016 which makes the film make even less sense because we have NO competing railroads as is ... "some" are against high speed rails but in this film it is presented as if it is their brainchild. The film is impersonal and cold ... and there isn't a sympathetic character in the bunch. It just isn't any good.
September 17, 2017
Atlas shrugged, Zeus belched, Venus farted ... I couldn't get more than a third of the way through the book and can't imagine seeing the movie without being heavily sedated, although from the reviews it appears no sedation is necessary. Here's the story in a nutshell: the world is going to hell, the only one who can save it is a mysterious figure who has been missing for a long time, the bad guys are getting badder all the time and all the (attractive) productive people with the correct ideology keep disappearing, finally turning up in a kind of capitalist paradise--OMG! It's "Left Behind" for atheists! Surely all we need to know about the truth of Rand's vision is the look on the ashen face of one of her most devoted acolytes, Alan Greenspan, when in October 2008 as the markets tanked he said he had made a "mistake" in believing that banks operating in their self-interest would be enough to protect their shareholders and the equity in their institutions. Greenspan said that he had found "a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works." Bummer. Back to the drawing board, Objectivists. Now, can we please accept that Atlas Shrugged is a (not very good) novel, put it on the shelf and look for real-life answers to our very scary real-life problems?
½ June 13, 2017
This has to be the absolute worst adaptation of a book to movie that I have ever seen. From clunky, talking at rather that with, dialogue between poorly introduced and personality devoid characters that skips and jumps around in nausea inducing cheesiness, to bizarre and obvious attempts to throw a bone to those who have read the book, this has got to be the most whiplash inducing frakenstein's monster of a film I have ever seen. It's as though the writers spent about twenty hours on the script, written from a compilation of direct quotes they highlighted when the scanned the book years prior as "key plot narrative" and mashed together in obviously low budget scenes and scenarios. I'd expect a better performance by the actors at a high school than what is seen in this movie, this movie truly is awful.

Go read the book if you want a great philosophical centric and thought provoking read. This movie will provide nothing but a bizarre feeling of confusion and disappointment.
March 9, 2017
I suspect the reviewers are reflecting their political views rather than their views on "feelm."
February 21, 2017
Sincerely, the book, though preachy and at times laboured, has so much more relevance and diverse perspective despite its being toted as a neo-con wet capitalists dream. That said, the movie distilled any of the character and what emotional drama there was and chopped it into a carcass of an irrelevant film that I threw my popcorn at. Read the book with an open critical mind. Use the DVD of Atlas Shrugged part 1 as a door jam at best.
January 7, 2017
If you don't like this, you're the problem!
November 7, 2016
What the hell was this thing about? Why did they change the actors in every part? And John Galt was just too young in this movie. This was one of the most bizarre films I've ever watched.
½ August 19, 2016
Pure Garbage written by a pseudo-philosopher who ended up living the kind of life she spread hate about. The movie clearly was a reflection of her misguided beliefs, but to understand that, you have to understand her childhood in Russia.
½ August 15, 2016
Love the story, but the acting is horrible! It's like watching a very bad "B" movie.
½ July 6, 2016
I mean... It's Ayn Rand. I knew I wasn't going to like it, but this is just a train wreck (pun intended).

It's not even fair to criticize this movie as a movie. There's literally no nuance or artistic merit to anything going on in front of or behind the camera. There was supposedly a 20 million dollar budget but it looks like a hallmark movie. There are more times than I could keep count where the actors ran out of breath mid sentence and they just went with the shot anyways.

I'm assuming the dialogue and characters are directly transferred from the book. So instead all I can really criticize is the ideology.

This is possibly the most sociopathic movie I've ever seen.

The government is nothing more than a boogey man, attracting all of the evilest and greediest (although greed is only evil if you're not working in the puplic sector) people in the world. Luckily all of the good people (you know the kind of people that say things like "No you listen I'm taking over this business we jointly own", who try to use sex to rob people, and people who cheat on their spouses) have had exceptional success with their business and have helped grow the economy and made the lives of all Americans better, but not the Mexicans they had to be sacrificed because they were inevitably going to be socialists (yes, this actually happens).

The two main characters impose their wills upon the other evil and weak businessmen and are universally successful, unless the evil government is involved. The fact that libertarians leach on to this story is laughable. This isn't libertarianism. This is red pill power fetishism. It's wish fulfillment for sociopathic businessmen, with a complete lack of understanding of the existence class politics.
June 16, 2016
Great film. So much for open minds as far as the critics go.
March 28, 2016
Thought provoking but contrived. A very poor apologetic for greed.
½ March 25, 2016
Atlas Shrugged is the first of the film series that's based on the book by Ayn Rand, and it stars Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler in the story adaptation about gasoline going really up, and consider that railroads are the only things that matter to the world, Rearden's Railroads is trying to make a difference, but people are trying to stop that from happening. I've heard about this film series for a long time because of the very low reviews that they all have. Years later however, my history teacher brought up the name the author Ayn Rand, and we were talking a bit about the films, which at the point, I was curious to see what it's about, and so I rented all three of them. So for the first one, it's a decent start which is a surprise to me as I went in with low expectations. The acting is fine, which I'm surprised that Taylor Schilling is in this, which she put up a decent performance also, but it's really nothing special for any of the actors. The script is also fine, which I'm glad that I was actually a bit invested in this, and was never confusing since railroads were the main plot of it. For a low budgeted film, the effects are pretty good, for the most part that is. The story is interesting, but it's a bit out there however. The characters are a bit inconsistent in this like when the main character says that she doesn't get emotions, but then there are times when she does get some emotional moments. Throughout the film, it feels very underwhelming and was trying to be better, but was restrained or something. There were some plot coincidences that happened out of nowhere. Atlas Shrugged: Part I is a decent attempt that with an interesting cliffhanger, I'm curious to see the sequel to this one.
½ January 22, 2016
Such a shame, because as a huge fan of the book this movie in no way, shape, or form does it justice. They skip over some of the best parts, throw things together that to someone who has never read the book, would be utterly confused as to what is going on. Such a squandered opportunity. Hopefully someone down the road can come along and do the book justice (or maybe just do Rand's The Fountainhead), but until then we have this piece of garbage.

Edit: Oh, and they have it take place in the 21st century when the book is based around the train and steel industries of the early 20th century. You've got to be kidding me.
½ January 19, 2016
Unfaithful adaption. Poorly shot. Big reveals of the book spoiled in first 2 minutes of the movie. Essentially a big slap in the face to fans of Ayn Rand's monumental work.
½ January 10, 2016
Just seamed to go on an on.
½ December 7, 2015
So this is Atlas Shrugged, the long-delayed film version of Ayn Rand's long and overexposited philosophy course marketed as a novel. I know something of the book and went in expecting something of a trainwreck. It's much worse than that. I thought it would be an amusing crash but instead the film is interminably long and filled with ridiculous pacing. I had wondered how they'd adapt Rand's clumsy dialogue and boring speeches into film and they do it in the simplest way possible: they film it as written. So

Basically the plot is this: the rich, successful white businessmen are fiendishly oppressed by a government that's trying to make them support small businessmen and the less privileged. These noble figures care so much about, well, themselves that they abandon the society that rejects their desire to form monopolies (quite literally the stated and heroic goal) and drive small businesses and dissatisfied workers out of business (again, quite literally exactly what we're shown in scenes designed to make clear that we should support this) that they abandon it to its fate and leave to form their own government where they're free to oppress people in peace.

This "oppression" consists entirely of strawman arguments which present the government not so much as the extreme form of a nanny state but as an entirely imaginary system where the government crushes big businesses but does nothing for anyone. All "villains" are simultaneously altruists out to provide opportunities for the less wealthy and greedy fatcats out to line their own pockets. It's not that those two traits are incompatible, but they make no effort to merge them or even point out their hypocrisy. The villainous businessmen are willingly giving up their profits to help the less fortunate and yet somehow also seen as lining their pockets from this in a typical fatcat way. How can those two ideas coexist? And the film doesn't even try to make sense of it because that'd mean assuming that there are rational beliefs possible outside their own.

Yes, this film is about objectivism; the idea that greed is good doesn't go far enough. Greed isn't just good it's the only good. Altruism isn't just naive it's evil. Any attempt to help your fellow man is wasted because if they aren't already successful it's because they're not working hard enough. The poor deserve to be poor. No free meals. No helping hands. No supporting small businesses. Nothing that would damage the almighty profit. If it doesn't benefit you personally you shouldn't do it. All history is made by supermen, people who are smart enough to recognize that only profit matters and good enough to maximize that. They drive the economy and they create jobs, although as the film makes clear they also don't follow safety regulations or pay a living wage. If they deserve to survive then they should have been better businessmen. It's about the single most appalling philosophy of the century. Even fascism and communism at least paid lip service to the idea that their society (however narrowly defined) needed to be kept from starvation and abuses of the wealthy.

And the film itself is designed to do nothing but promote this agenda. It's not really well-equipped to do anything else. The entire plot is just people talking about how great their business is, or how awesome it is to not care about other people. So yes, we get to watch people talk about business regulations and economic policies all day. Yay! The basic concept is that in the dark future year of 2016 (my God, that's like tomorrow!) the entire world is brought low by an oil shortage. This creates a new reliance on the railroads, which the country now relies on to transport goods cross country. You might be expecting this to mean that people have stopped or severely limited driving cars, boats, or airplanes. Nope. They still use them just as before. But now rail is big! So the lead character has found this businessman who is marketing a brand new type of metal that could revolutionize the rail industry (10x stronger than steel!). Her brother decides he doesn't want to use this new steel because he wants to support the small businesses he usually buys from. What a jerk! She overrules him somehow and orders the new steel put in. At this point her brother conspires to sabotage his own line and prevent it from being completed. Because the plot assumes that all non-greedy people are stupid. That's the only explanation this film can find for why people wouldn't sell their own family for profit. After all, they're already acting against their own interests by supporting smaller companies, so they must be irrational. There can be no other explanation. So our hero now has to succeed in her ultra high-tech railroad against all odds.

And that's basically the whole plot. Nothing really happens in this entire film. A series of wealthy businessmen keep being accosted by a mysterious man in a hat, as their names appear with the word missing written under them. it was at this point that I came to the horrible realization that this film thought it was a thriller. Honestly, it's hard to find words for how dull this is. It doesn't really have any plot, and what little there is gets delivered in highly stilted and unbelievable pronouncements. Despite this oversimplicity the film just fails to make sense. It's confusing, needlessly so. Who are all these people vanishing? Why does it matter? Is this supposed to be sinister? It's all exposition and nothing is exposited. Just again and again they state the same thing: looking out for your interests is the only true good. I'd call it propaganda, but that's supposed to make an idea seem attractive. This just made me fall asleep, and I don't sleep through films easy.

There are a few funny scenes. Like the testing of their new bridge. They treat this as if it's some dramatic moment as they ride in their train across it half-expecting it to fall. It's so obviously a falsely dramatic moment I couldn't stop laughing. Only morons would test a bridge like that without having done stress tests first. By the time they ride over it would be obvious if it would hold up or not. What's more, making it over once is irrelevant. The question is whether it stands up over time. And of course, the train rides along the course of a valley until it reaches a tall cliff. Naturally that's where one puts their railroad bridge! That said, moments like this are few and between. The film wasn't as campy as I had hoped. It isn't really anything. Just a bland mess with a repulsive message.

It's rather hilarious to read the positive user reviews of this film because they're all passionate ideologues. That's not funny because they have an ideology, but because they stutter around for a bit looking for something, anything, positive to say about this trainwreck and end up criticizing the film left and right before moaning about how much better the book was (like poetry!) and finally settling on a positive review just to make a point. Reading the positive reviews should actually show just how bad this film is because you can see that even its fans have little to offer apart from criticism. They only support it because of what it stands for. I feel no sympathy.
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