Atlas Shrugged: Part I - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Atlas Shrugged: Part I Reviews

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December 4, 2014
Considering the volume of material covered in the book they did a good job with the movie. It is definitely worth seeing.
October 19, 2014
...only out of morbid fascination.
October 3, 2014
This movie gets too much a bad rep. Either ignorant liberals immediately hate it simply because it's Atlas Shrugged or Hardcore objectivists hate it for not living up to their standards. I'ts stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Firstly this isn't the book. This is a movie. So lets not compare it to the book and look at it on its own merits. Its not great. But it's nowhere near as bad as reviewed.

It's an average film. If you don't like dialog and boring dinner scenes this isn't for you. However this is designed for a different audience. I actually enjoyed it. Not in the way I enjoy a 5 star epic; but in a different more tame way.

It's really not fair to judge a movie because they had a low budget either. I'll put this straight out their as a non biased source. It's not as bad as the reviews claim.
September 24, 2014
Horrible acting and low-budget production, yet the cast from this installment, especially Taylor Schilling, was leaps and bounds above the second installment despite increased budget for the latter.
Super Reviewer
½ September 22, 2014
Who is John Galt? Atlas Shrugged is a cerebral and provocative film that explores some deep social and political issues. In this modern adaptation, the government socializes the economy following a financial collapse, but two industry leaders (Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden) resist and plan to build a rail line to Colorado that could alleviate the economic turmoil of the country. While the acting is rather mediocre, to an extent it services the characters; which are cold and distant. Ayn Rand's writing is hard to translate to the screen, but this film does an admirable job. And while it fails to capture the grandeur and passion of the novel, this cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged does convey the spirit of the material; delivering a challenging and thought-provoking political drama.
September 19, 2014
I only hope that this movie holds true to Ayn Rand's novel.
September 15, 2014
loved it. gives you an idea over how bad big government can get.
½ September 12, 2014
Failed to bring the excitement and mystery of the plot and the poignant emotions of the characters of the novel to the screen. Comes off as lifeless and contrived and not the least bit entertaining.

as a bona fide rand fanatic, i was bitterly dissappointed.

I was especially upset that they immediately spoiled the mystery of who John Galt was- probably the biggest source of mystery and excitement in the book, in the beginning of the first movie. That's why the movie poster for Part III of the film series saying "who is john galt: FIND OUT!" is kind of silly. He was never faithfully portrayed in the film as the enigmatic villain he was throughout more than half of the book.
August 28, 2014
good movie. 2nd one it better
August 22, 2014
Enjoyed this! Hadn't even herd of it before and am currently watching the second one! ??? Will get the third tomorrow too!
August 17, 2014
Fuck. Ing. DULL. I haven't walked out of a movie in so long, but this one was the one that I unintentionally have been waiting for. Granted, and I will admit it as one more Fuck YOU to Ayn Rand and her base, I didn't pay to see it, so there should have been no-pain-no-gain. But oh, there was pain, so much. I don't fall asleep during movies, just because I'm sensitive to the light and sound of a movie theater since there's so much of it. Considering that this is, as my wife described, like 'watching Nazi-paint dry', I tried, oh lawd I tried, to fall asleep during this. Because it really is, without a doubt one of the dullest of the piece-of-shittiest shits I've seen in a while.

But, Jack, you're asking, what is the movie "about"? Um... let's see ::glances up at plot synopsis:: it's basically about a couple of rich fucks who run a railroad company in, um, five years from now(!) who keep hearing about some guy named John Galt who is supposed to be the Hero of Capitalism or some such crap, and then there's a new metal for a railroad and the really boring day-time soap opera chick comes on as one of the Taggart siblings to be the Heroic Capitalist Avenger or whatever and throw some water at a guy's face and look not angry and oh no I've let this be a run on sentence....

I so couldn't give a shit reallly to even explain it. It's basically watching the upper echelons of society- those with a lot of money who act like heroes because they are making tons of money for themselves while the 'villains' are those dirty, dirty liberals who are smoking fat cigars and making big fat deals behind or just out in the open of closed doors. Supposedly society has collapsed, sorta, gas prices have skyrocketed (past what it is now, like $37 per gallon or some such malarkey), and all the BIG drama takes place in office rooms and fancy restaurants and nice houses and once or twice in "actual" places like a subway terminal or a street. We become aware of some vast conspiracy that has businessmen being abducted by some shadowy figures in the street (and what blandly shadowy figures they are, a first in cinematic history I think)... this SHOULD be one of the creepy and memorable parts of the movie, even an unintentionally funny part, but the only chuckle is at a stupid freeze-frame in black and white with TYPED-OUT LETTERS done for the person on screen.

I don't want to under-sell it - it's biggest crime is being indifferent, to itself and to its audience. If I were an Ayn Rand fan (and if I ever become one I'm certain you'll be the first to know you bastards) I would be offended by this movie. I didn't get a sense of any kind of political or philosophical conviction past... I dunno, making lots of money and screwing poor people over once or twice? I guess that's the libertarian and/or "Tea-Party" ideal, but it's such poorly handled propaganda. Where's Leni Riefenstahl when you need her, or (arguably) Michael Moore? Hell, when it comes to a cult - and make no mistake, the "Randians" are often called as such - how about Battlefield Earth? At least that has Travolta hamming it up like it's Christmas time and the pig's just aching to be sliced.

That's another thing I should note, what contributes to the dull sense of life slipping ever so quickly away from the film, is the acting, or non-acting really. While there are some professionals here, people like Michael Lerner and Jon Polito, which just made me pine to go back and watch Coen brothers movies, and other somewhat recognizable character actors ("Big Love" from House and that one Winkies dream dude from Mulholland Drive), none fare well here because the director, some uber-HACK who mostly moonlights on WB tripe like One Tree Hill, doesn't even give the character players a bone to chew on. Taylor Schilling though is the most eggregious offence here and one of the main things that had me walk out. Her eyes, dead eyes, like a doll's eyes, do nothing with a character who is supposed to have gumption and determination and... SOMETHING, I dunno! Even when she does emote it's that kind of empty style that would make Andy Warhol cringe and sends mothers weeping with their children in agony. Her paired with the equally woodboardwood Grant Bowler and Matthew Marsden (I don't think I got to see the director in action as the much touted Galt by the time I left).

And sure, maybe by now you might be thinking 'but, Jack, come on, how can you review it without having seen the whole movie? You might be missing on some of the most brilliant political commentary you've ever seen!' Well, first of all, in that case, why were you reading this you trolling piece of garbage. And secondly, I'm not Roger Ebert and I don't need to do a kind of deal like he did with that one movie where he watched 8 minutes and wrote his review (do forgive me for not remembering the title). I gave it a solid chance, and I tried to get into it, even as a "bad" movie. But there's *nothing* there. It's a soulless, empty excursion into a very bad American mindset in the writing that is surrounded by the kind of direction that is bad on a Last Airbender level. It also kills you realizing what better things you could be doing, how you can actually be having real substantive arguments or reading stuff online or at home or watching a solid political or philosophical thing somewhere. It's pandering tripe of the lowest order that commits the ultimate sin, as Frank Capra would say, of boring the audience.

But hey, it's a resounding success according to FOX News, so all is right with the world! :D

>:(
July 19, 2014
I thought it was a good adaptation of the classic work. Considering the low budget and time constraints, I think they did a great job. I'm glad I read the book. I wish more people would see this and comprehend her message.
½ July 14, 2014
This film is so soul-crushingly boring that watching it may induce drowsiness . In fact just thinking about how slow this movie was is making me very sleeeeeepp.....ZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
July 3, 2014
Rubbish watched the first two parts on netflix, the whole thing is bollocks.
June 29, 2014
This is a poorly acted, hideously boring, incredibly pretentious and preachy piece of garbage about the glories of the free market. I would hope that ideologues would not love it because it's Rand. I hope that they would hate it because it is from a technical standpoint utterly inept at its very best. If they made Liberalism: the Movie that had the production value of an 80s made-for-tv movie, I'd be more than a little insulted.

The problem with any message movie, whether the message be "the power of love" or "that money is awesome", is that in trying to either convert the sheeple or preach to the converted, they usually in their earnestness forget to entertain.

I do however look forward to the filmmakers first post-Rand project: The Wealth of Nations Part I.
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2014
Finally, someone actually made the adaptation of Atlas Shrugged come true. The first part of Atlas Shrugged consists of the 10 chapters from part 1 of the book, we are introduced to Dagny Taggart the savvy headstrong businesswoman who struggles to overcome the regulations from the government (and her own brother) to maintain the family business in railroad company, she saw the opportunity to revive the company through the use of a new type of steel invented by Henry "Hank" Rearden to lay the tracks. Despite the public tried to do everything to stop her, she held on to her belief and it was a success. She then discovered a revolutionary motor which could convert static electricity to kinetic energy along with Hank, but the motor was incomplete and abandoned by the inventor. As she tried to track down the inventor, government moves closer and closer to destroy her. I was thrilled to see this film as I've read the book and regarding it as one of the highest achievements in human history, but the film simply did not live up to the standard I expected nor as the standard of the book. The script did not come even close to what the book has written, yeh I was excited to hear the dialogues that followed the lines from the book but they were slightly altered for the sake of the less intelligent; the film was really rushed that it missed out a lot of the important details from the book. I mean, how can you transform 300 pages of words into a movie that only last 102 minutes? Even Dead Until Dark was adapted to 12 hours of True Blood and it was only 292 pages long. The film only covered the surface of the novel without going into the theories of Objectivism, Ayn Rand would be so mad if she was alive today and saw the film (as she did with The Fountainhead) The best part of the film was the casting, each character was exactly as what I would imagine for them to look like (except Hank would is blond in the book) Taylor Schilling was simply divine, I wouldn't find anyone else to play Dagny than her, she did a marvelous job. Grant Bowler was perfect too! (Kiwi pride) but the best casting award has to go to Rebecca Wisocky, she was perfect to play Hank's devious moocher wife. The main theme was great, it gave me the chills. The set design was simply yet great, extremely dystopian yet balanced out the limitation of having such a low budget. Overall, ambitious yet felt short.
April 22, 2014
11% critic approval 70% audience approval, a bit of disparity there. It would seem the critics don't know what the people want or need to consider a movie a success.
½ April 21, 2014
Poorly acted. I read a review that it was similar to a religious flick in acting and reverence for its' subject matter and found that review appropriate. Interesting plot having never read the book.
February 18, 2014
Outstanding. I can't imagine a harder novel to develop into a film. They succeeded with part 1.
½ February 10, 2014
I like what stood for, it's a great of example of the over reach of government, but outside of that there wasn't much appealing about it. I couldn't get into it. I do intend to see if the sequels fair better.
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