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Critics and Box Office Agree: “Atlas $ucked”

Our libertarian pal Allan Bartlett posted a humourous Facebook message about the pending release of Ayn Rand’s novel (it’s FICTION people!) as the first of a three movie trilogy as “the movie that tells Hollywood to suck it.” Well, suck is exactly the term I’d use.

“Atlas Shrugged,” featured a bunch of no name actors and extras (“Cooter” the werewolf from last season’s TrueBlood?”), did a paltry $1.6 million in Box Office last weekend trailing behind such classics as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid II,” “Arthur,” and “Sourcecode.” Yep, Atlas Shrugged, the Libertarian porn flick was logged in 14th place.  Tear Partiers must think movie prices are too high, let alone the cost of a large popcorn and soda.

So what did the critics think? Not much.

“Atlas Shrugged. I arched eyebrow, scrunched forehead, yawned.” – Philadelphia Inquirer.

“About to lose his long-held rights to Ayn Rand’s novel, and perhaps to cash in on apparent Tea Party interest and support, producer John Aglialoro … rushed this film into a low-budget production and it shows in every frame.” – Boston Globe.

“For decades, Atlas Shrugged has been considered unfilmable, too long for one movie and too didactic for mass appeal. The version that finally emerged – based on the book’s first 10 chapters – doesn’t do much to alter those perceptions._ – St. Petersburg Times

“The acting is so poor and the story so badly told that the viewer’s feelings about Rand’s novel — an epic ode to free-market fundamentalism — are almost immaterial (though if you’re a devoted fan, you’ll perhaps be more forgiving).” – Arizona Republic.

“This movie is crushingly ordinary in every way, which with Rand I wouldn’t have thought possible.” – Chicago Tribune.

“Ayn Rand’s monumental 1,168-page, 1957 novel gets the low-budget, no-talent treatment and sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal.” – Rolling Stone (which gave the film no stars of five)

“Let’s say you know the novel, you agree with Ayn Rand, you’re an objectivist or a libertarian, and you’ve been waiting eagerly for this movie. Man, are you going to get a letdown.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.

“The first in a proposed trilogy, “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1″ is nearly as stilted, didactic and simplistic as Rand’s free-market fable.” – Washington Post.

“Don’t hold your breath for parts 2 and 3.” – Wall Street Journal

“I loved it, but I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate it Dan. It’s getting great reviews over at Fandango.” – Allan Bartlett.

So who is John Galt? Better question is, who cares?


  1. junior junior April 19, 2011

    I have to admit – the “Reardon Steel” sign in the background does appear to be a bit “cheesey” – not what you would expect to see for a billion dollar corporation. But I will be glad to give you my unbiased opinion after seeing the movie Dan.

  2. RHackett RHackett April 19, 2011

    The best review of the novel Atlas Shrugged.

    I like this part the best:

    Ayn Rand hoped it would take off as a popular catch phrase in real life, and it somewhat did. It’s used in coffee shops when one pseudo-intellectual wants to show off to another. In other words, it’s a mating call for nerds.

    The accompanying review is equally humorous.

    Especially this part:

    His friends
    The College Years: From Left to Right, J-Dawg, Cisco, and The Ragman. In front, Howard “Red” Roark

    The Ragman was the son of some bishop, a bookish and quiet lad, who – of course – chose to leave Europe to get the type of great education that the children of nobility can only find in Ohio.

  3. junior junior April 24, 2011

    Greenhuy says it best:
    “.. we love Rand, warts and all. Instead of just political philosophy, Rand offered fictional accounts that are apt descriptions of the conditions of our current society. She skewers the union thugs, petty despots, heartless bureaucrats, craven trade association whores I belong to that group), favor-seeking business owners, functionaries and freeloaders that run Sacramento and most of this country.
    My prediction is that the movie will be a huge success in DVD format. Americans are hungry for the ideas the book presents. We’re tired of watching a government that constantly punishes hard work, savings, entrepreneurship and risk. We’re tired of listening to the whines of an overpaid government union elite. We’re tired of crushing tax bills to fund government programs that do little to improve our lives and never live up to the promises made. We’re sick of a national-security state that constantly pokes, prods and searches us. We’re tired of the rules and the taxes and the assaults on our freedom and the arrogance and unaccountability of the powerful people in government. And we’re tired of the rhetoric from politicians that sounds more appropriate in a socialistic society than a free one.
    Yes, Rand had many flaws, and “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” is no different. Who cares? Go see it, and enjoy it anyway

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | April 25, 2011

      The movie added 166 theaters this week and lost half its revenue stream; it did less than $850,000 despite increasing the number of screens to 466 nationally. The producers never invited the NY Times to review it. This is on pace to do well under $6 million before theater owners — those who want to make money — boot it out for a flick that actually packs the theaters instead.

      • junior junior April 26, 2011

        I think that we are all living “Atlas Shrugged.”

        Ex-Labor Board Chairman: Union-Backed Case Against Boeing ‘Unprecedented’
        The former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board told that a board attorney’s bid to stop Boeing from opening a production line at a non-union site in South Carolina is “unprecedented” and could have serious implications for companies looking to expand.

    • Stop Bigotry Stop Bigotry April 26, 2011

      Most of you conservatives have rejected Jesus and made Ayn Rand your Savior and God. One cannot serve two masters or you will love one and hate the other. So Junior, who is your master, Jesus and his message of love one another, or Ayn Rand, an admitted atheist and her message of think of only thyself?

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