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The Atlas Shrugged Review Thread

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Can't wait for part 2 !

Many told me the novel is long and never-ending and that they were honestly expecting the movie to be slow and boring.

So finally my local movie theater chain aired the movie this week. I had to see it regardless of what others said. This was a huge inspiration to Ron Paul so my curiosity could not be held back.

I really loved it! It was such a good movie. I usually read the book and then go watch the movie. I think this will be a simultaneous experience over the 3 part trilogy. I was going to watch this movie last month on a date, but she wasn't interested. Her loss,big time. It's a great movie, you'll totally enjoy it. I thought it was going to be really long but it's only 90 minutes.


I really liked it! So refreshing to have something come out of Hollywood that actually isn't a shortcut to thinking. In a era of movie madness invested by the slanted and infested by the moronic it is wonderful to have this tribute to a true champion of the human spirit and experience ... such an iconic novel and powerful message, Ayn Rand would be proud of this silver screen trilogy ... I am!

Latest... around $3.4 million take


Sure wish they had wider distribution from the get go. It will find a bigger audience on DVD. Most of the people who can relate to the film would have read the book a long, long time ago.

FANTASTIC - on several levels, one of which is the movie itself

Just the fact that THIS BOOK was the subject of a movie was encouraging. Considering the literal bombardment of reprehensible violence, depraved and crude sex, drugs, and all of the other counter-productive social engineering projects that outnumber a movie such as Atlas Shrugged, I found this movie to be a fantastic oasis in the middle of all of the garbage. As for the claim that having read the book was necessary to "understand" or properly "follow" what was going on, I completely disagree. In fact, my daughter and her fiancee met over this book. My eldest son read this book. Our household has had many conversations concerning the subject matter of the book - and I went to see it SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE I HAD NOT READ THE BOOK and, in so doing, I could offer honest perspectives based solely on the movie. What's more, I could say to those who feel that having read the book was almost necessary that UNLESS and UNTIL they exposed themselves to "A Sense of Life" watched ALL of Ayn Rand's interviews AND listened to all of her lectures that they in turn lacked sufficient insight into the MIND BEHIND THE BOOK to understand the book! But, why beat a dead horse? This movie has very important concepts to impart - and many people do not read. Clearly this movie had BROAD appeal across a broad range of demographics! There were men, women, old, young, all points in between, many cultures, those who were polished in dress and mannerism, those who were not, some who came in groups, some who attended alone, some (such as we were) with their children. This wide appeal is indicative of a few things which could easily be the subject for another thread entirely. As for the casting - and BECAUSE I had not read the book - I imagined Dagney Taggart as the quintessential bitch...a well-dressed, high class hussy. In fact, the actress in that role IMPROVED on the character (from how I imagined her based upon conversations with those who DID read the book) by portraying her as intelligent, successful, determined, ethical, elegant/decidedly feminine, composed - in essence portraying excellent qualities with her good looks being an asset only - and NOWHERE was she shown "using her sexuality" as a tool. Rather than her being some back biting, sultry little witch doing whatever she felt necessary to get whatever she believed she wanted at any given point in time. In closing, not only did I think Atlas Shrugged was excellent, but I've also found that the Fountainhead was already made into a movie some time ago - and we've got a copy of that on its way right now! Can't wait to check it out.

If you're collecting Ayn Rand movies . . .

"We the Living," her first novel, was also made into a movie -- in Italy, during World War II! Fascinating movie, which follows the book very closely because, I've heard, their budget didn't allow for a screenwriter. They used much of the book (in Italian translation) as their script!

Great movie. I liked it better than the movie version of The Fountainhead.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

CSM on Atlas Shrugged

Christian Science Monitor on Atlas Shurgged:Time to go Galt?

Let it not be said that we did nothing.-Ron Paul
Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.-Sophia Magdalena Scholl

reedr3v's picture

It's great that the Monitor printed this

astute OP. I liked the author's technique of specifically linking real people and events of today to Rand's characters and plot points.

These mixed reviews sure prove that beauty is in the mind...

...of the beholder.

I suppose if you are an avid movie-goer and you're up on all the latest Hollywood gossip and you know which "stars" are in vogue right now that you probably would pan this movie.

But I could care less about that. Most movies today are crap.

The subject matter is crap (ie: "Scream" the big deal release last week).

Or cheesy animated mindless crap ("Rio")

"Comedies" aren't close to funny.

So my "out of the loop" mind enjoyed this movie and I was able to turn on 3 new people to the Atlas Shrugged phenomenon.

Two are reading the book now.

I applaud the effort, time, money and sacrifice it must have taken to make this movie happen at all and it was NOT a terrible effort by any means.

I hear it is going to nerly 1000 screens now and that is really great news.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

I can honestly say I loved

I can honestly say I loved it! Nothing will ever come close to the book, but this exceeded my expectations.


This movie is laugh out loud bad. Every single line in the film is delivered badly, like a soap opera, awkward and overly dramatic. If you haven't read the book, I don't see how you could have any idea what you're watching, or why you would care. The casting is unfortunate in the lead. She's not believable. She doesn't set up events in a way that allows you to connect with what's going on in the story. There's no emotionally rational participation with the characters, for good or ill. Even the editing is confusing. Sometimes there's an awkward insertion of an establishing shot, in a sentence of dialogue that hangs too long, so you're left wondering, "What was that?" There's some nice CGI of trains, but also awkward, disconnected stock footage of track maintenance, sort of unrelated to story line. Even the tag line is abused. One could apply it to the film...who is John Galt?

This review is laugh out loud bad.

I happen to disagree with every last thing you said (though I will defend your right to say it! lol...).

And your comment about not having read the book, at least anecdotally, is dead wrong. See my reply just below, to yuengling.

Atlas shrugged was bad.

I'm amazed at the great reviews of this movie. The script and dialog overall felt pretty rough and general. I think the viewers that went in without reading the book would have been severely disappointed. The budget on a movie is irrelevant if the script and the acting is bad. I'd put up most lifetime movies up against this schlock any day. More importantly I think the movie failed to demonstrate a compelling point about governmental regulations and disincentives. Also, how long were those damn ballroom scenes?

As I posted below...

Two people I know saw it without reading the book, and liked the movie.

Since I posted that, two more have seen it without reading the book, and also liked it.

None of them LOVED it, but they all liked it, and would like to see a part 2 made. Two of the four are now interested in reading the book.

All of them are conservative leaning politically.

I don't personally know anyone else who saw it so my sample size of 4 is small lol, but a good sign.

Brain Drain

I've been doing battle with the I-hate-Atlas-Shrugged crowd for the last few days. Some of cruder ones have scoffed and said, essentially, go ahead and disappear to your fantasy island when you 'go Galt' because we won't miss you and someone else will take your place.

Well, it occurred to me that they know not what they say. There was a time when people DID 'go Galt,' and they were deeply missed. It was called the Brain Drain and it was particularly pronounced "in centralized economies such as former East Germany and the Soviet Union, where marketable skills were not financially rewarded." (Wikipedia)

So the next time someone dismisses 'going Galt' as a ridiculous concept, I will remind them that it's already happened.

I enjoyed it.

It doesn't deserve the bad reviews. I was surprised by how good it was.
I find it interesting that they used a real orchestral score. Somebody cared enough to invest in the sountrack...not any memorable music, but it wasn't synthesized crap like many big budget films today.

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"If you’re into political activism, at least for Ron Paul if not for anyone else, I strongly recommend spending some time with iroots.org." - Tom Woods

tasmlab's picture

Worked for me

Finally (six days later!) saw AS part I. As a fan of the book I enjoyed it very much. I thought the actors and filming performed well (counter to the pro reviews).

As a back-seat director/monday morning QB, I only had a few minor complaints, such as the early reveal of the strike and some of Galt's preachy lines. And maybe the scooby-doo moment with the engine.

I think the most important part is for the directors to not get too far away from the book, which I thought they did pretty well. In the past decade, it's been a trend to take the source material seriously. It's too bad they didn't have the funding to take the care and time Peter Jackson had with "Lord of the Rings".

I would wonder what Rand or Rothbard would say about this. Rothbard was a professional movie critic and hated talky, pretentious movies, supposedly favoring James Bond films that were slick, sexy and flashy. Would these two preferred more action and panache? We'll never know.

Overall I was very pleased, looking forward to installments 2 and 3, and encourage everyone to go see it.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

The MSM disconnect

Vin Suprynowicz discusses the massive disconnect between moviegoers positive reviews and the opinions of media mogul critics.

Essentially, the article suggests that the movie challenges the preconceived fixed political dogmas of the media critics. The critics therefore inject in their reviews their knee-jerk reactionary aversion to the message rather than an accurate critique of the artistic quality of this independent production. They want the message of the movie silenced.

Let it not be said that we did nothing.-Ron Paul
Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.-Sophia Magdalena Scholl

I've said this all along.

Killing the messenger - for bringing the message.

I would guess that 90% of movie reviewers are liberal thinkers who can't stand the underlying message of "Atlas Shrugged."

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

It Was Pretty Good

I doubt it will win any major awards, but it wasn't bad. Definitely worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of Ayn Rand.

$1.6 million weekend, #14 overall, only in 300 theaters!

The per screen average suggests the movie could have easily made 3, 4 or 5 times as much with wider distribution. With some films, the initial weekend totals actually can lead to wider distribution. Now that theater owners know Atlas Shrugged can bring people in. Let's see what happens.


From our own Andrew Sharp on Russia Today


Michael, would you be willing to add this to the post? This is a segment from the Adman vs. the Man show - but it's just the edited part reviewing the movie.

Check out http://iroots.org/
"If you’re into political activism, at least for Ron Paul if not for anyone else, I strongly recommend spending some time with iroots.org." - Tom Woods

Reardon Metal owner

in the movie, I don't know his real life name had a couple parts where he was obviously acting, and acting poorly, but maybe just 3 or for speaking parts. I have never read the book, so I was kind of lost at first, but being awakened, was able to make my own plot in my head as it went along, and my plot ended up being the right conclusion. I don't know if unawakened people will get it, but I did. Part two should make things happen, and click in people's minds. There was much clapping at the end, it has been awile since I went to a movie that people clapped at the end, so I am guessing it was because of the plot line.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!


Hank Rearden is a main character in the book and is a close ally of Dagny Taggart

I saw it today in a packed house--wow!

The actor that played the part of Francisco d'Anconia was there as well. He told us that so far the movie was being received very well judging by the numbers of people who showed up to see the movie since its opening on Friday, despite the poor reviews given by the suspect critics who work for the Hollywood machine. He asked people to raise their hands if they had read the book. I would say that more than half the audience raised their hands. He also said that when Part Two starts production he hopes that Antonio Banderas or Benecio Del Torro don't show up to try to take his part from him because he intends to keep it! He was very proud of being involved in a movie that needed to be made and was thus far successful outside of the Hollywood norm.

To the critics I have this to say, All that glitters is not gold and real gold is found where you mine it yourself. In other words, Atlas Shrugged, the movie, doesn't have the glitz that other movies do, but it has all the real gold in it if you look for it. I liked the movie and so did the audience who all clapped their hands of approval at the end of it!! Bravo!

PS. For a chapter by chapter summary of the book, try this: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Atlas-Shru...

Saw it. Loved it!

I went in with low (budget) expectations, and ended up enjoying it immensely. All of the plot points seemed very clear to me, the characters were well defined, and the "economy in the dumpster" scenario was quite relatable.

I'll recommend it to everyone.

SteveMT's picture

Atlas Shrugged movie boosts book to #4 on Amazon.

The negative critics of this movie are wrong again.

Atlas Shrugged Movie Boosts Book to #4 on Amazon Bestseller List
Apr. 17 2011 - 9:47 am |

Here’s a marketing question I thought I’d never ask: Would you think that a critically panned, low-budget movie, with a virtually unknown director and cast, could catapult a more than 50 year-old book near the top of the Amazon bestseller list? Well, exactly that appears to be happening with the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The $10 million film Atlas Shrugged Part 1 has hit the big screen in a relatively small way, with distribution on 300 screens in 80 cities.

More at:


4/5 stars, IMHO. Going to see it again.

Movies often are thin depictions of books. But I thought the acting/actors were credible. No time for in-depth pretexts for Dagny and Hank. Yet, not quite as much as the Movie of Fountainhead, it strove to be the Indiana-Jones of fast-paced depictions of philosophical conflicts.

I'll no doubt be seeing it and reading the book again now!

Two thumbs up! ****/*****.

I saw it last night and walked away very happy.

I don't know what the critics are talking about. I thought the acting was fine and at some points it was great.

Reardon was portrayed especially well. And I thought Dagney ended up being a very believable character.

My only complaint is that some names from the book were mentioned without further reference as to how they relate to the story. In attempting to be true to the book they may confuse people who haven't read it with this tactic.

But the names were quickly passed by so that it didn't interfere too much with the main story line.

The movie was short enough that they could have added 10 or 12 minutes explaining these characters.

Also, they could have developed the relationship between Dagny and Francisco better. It never shows how they knew each other from childhood.

I do hope all these original actors/actresses are present in the next two versions.

My friend runs a small movie theatre (he couldn't get it the first week) but he said the per/screen average nationwide was very respectable (came in 3rd of all movies released this weekend).

The big release "Rio" played on 3800 screens nationwide. "Atlas Shrugged" was on 299.

I really applaud the entire cast, director, producers and everyone involved for a job well done in a hostile climate to have to work with.

Can't wait for part II.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Most reviews here that were disappointed

appear to have had high expectations that the movie would follow the novel closer. I think they made a wise choice in not doing that because it will lead many to Ayn Rand.

My GF tried reading the book before and admitted she was lost early on, but after seeing the movie she now wants to try again because she has more of a premise. We both had low expectations going in and were both pleasantly surprised going out.

We went to a 1:00pm showing and the theater was about 70% full, which is not bad for a Saturday afternoon. I heard it is 3rd in box office ticket sales so far. I hope it makes enough money that they will bring part 2 out sooner.

Anyone watch the credits?

I saw CATO and Freedomworks listed in the credits. Any chance we can expect to see funding from any RP endorsed operations? I'd raise some money to see this thing get some additional production or advertising. Most people if they give this a chance will get an earful of common sense.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
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