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'Atlas Shrugged': Critically Lambasted Right-Wing Drama Bombs & Producer Blames Liberal Media

Grant Bowler, Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Grant Bowler, Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part I

May 8, '11, update: The first installment of a planned trilogy based on Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged: Part I had one of the worst drop-off rates this weekend at the North American box office, down more than 70 percent after losing 143 locations. Currently showing at 228 theaters, Atlas Shrugged earned only $131,000, averaging a dismal $601 per theater on its fourth weekend out according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

For comparison's sake: Also on its fourth weekend, Robert Redford's The Conspirator, starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy, averaged $1,285 per theater at 460 sites. All things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters, the higher a film's per-theater average should be.

Of course, The Conspirator has Redford, Wright, and McAvoy, whereas Atlas Shrugged – which was lambasted by the vast majority of critics – has mostly little-known names both in front and behind the cameras: actor-director Paul Johansson, and actors Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Michael Marsden, Michael O'Keefe, and Michael Lerner. In any case, chances are that Atlas Shrugged: Part I will disappear shortly.

Producer John Aglialoro has said he wanted to go ahead and make Atlas Shrugged parts II and III, but without betraying Ayn Rand's “principles.” Since that meant “without losing money,” chances are there'll be no Atlas Shrugged sequels. Made for a reported $20 million (earlier sources pegged the film's budget at $10m), Atlas Shrugged has taken in only $4.28 million in North America.

Monday, May 9, Update: Atlas Shrugged was actually down 58 percent, still a steep figure though considerably less so than the estimated 70 percent. It collected $197,000, or about 50 percent more than reported on Sunday. Despite its stronger than expected performance this past weekend, Atlas Shrugged remains a major flop – one that will in all likelihood disappear in the very near future. The film's per-theater average remained quite low: $866 (The Conspirator's was $1,349). Atlas Shrugged's total to date: $4.34 million.

Photo: Atlas Shrugged (Rocky Mountain Pictures)

Atlas Shrugged Taylor Schilling Dagny Taggart
Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart, Atlas Shrugged: Part I

April 29, '11, update: The marketplace not only shrugged at, but downright turned its back on Atlas Shrugged: Part I, the widely derided film adaptation of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel about the individual's struggle against collectivism and government forces.

Directed by Paul Johansson from a screenplay by John Aglialoro and Brian Patrick O'Toole, and starring Taylor Schilling as Rand's heroine Dagny Taggart, Atlas Shrugged was supposed to have been – as the title indicates – part one of what would ultimately become a film trilogy like, huh, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings or Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors.

According to reports published in the last couple of days, that was no longer going to happen. Atlas Shrugged co-producer and co-screenwriter John Aglialoro blamed the liberal media and film critics for their willful, politically motivated box office destruction of his opus.

That, however, would be an acknowledgment that the United States' (purported) 11 million Tea Party members to whom Atlas Shrugged was targeted actually read – and believe in – film reviews written by bleeding-heart lefties. (Now, please, Tea Partiers, don't start calling me a bigot or compare me to a Nazi – see comments further below – because I'm referring to liberals as “bleeding-heart lefties.”)

So, Aglialoro now says he was misquoted. On the right-wing site Big Hollywood, in addition to singling out Roger Ebert and Peter Travers as enemies of his film and its ideals, the producer claims he wants to do Atlas Shrugged parts II and III, but without betraying Ayn Rand's “principles.” In other words, without losing money.

“This has to be a profitable venture.” Aglialoro explains. “The challenge is in finding a way to overcome the critics and the rest of the establishment, who are united against us.”

In the same piece, co-producer Harmon Kaslow goes on to claim that CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC, for unspecified “editorial reasons,” refused to air a 15-second commercial for Atlas Shrugged.

“This unforeseen censorship effectively puts the brakes on our follow-up marketing efforts where we were trying to reach millions of people unaware of the movie being in theaters now,” Kaslow adds. (Scroll down to take a look at the “censored” ad.)

When Atlas Shrugged opened, Fox News reported that Hollywood executives were “baffled” at its box office performance. If true, they didn't remain baffled for very long.

Atlas Shrugged: Part I had a passable opening for a movie at only 299 theaters, $5,590 per site. The following weekend (April 22-24), the political drama plummeted, losing nearly 50 percent of its business despite screening at 150 (50 percent) more locations. Its average thus dropped to a dismal $1,890 per site. It'll likely soon disappear without a trace.

Also at Big Hollywood, quoting the ever-reliable New York Post, we learn that the New York Times (purposefully?) refrained from reviewing Atlas Shrugged when it came out, which may (once again purposefully?) have led to a major loss of revenue for Johansson's film.

Below is the initial paragraph from Carina Chocano's Times review, which was published yesterday, April 28. I don't know about you, but I get the feeling that Atlas Shrugged: Part I was immensely helped by the fact that the Times opted to ignore it at the time of its debut ten days ago. Seems to me it was an act of mercy, not malice.

Could anyone have guessed, way back when it was published in 1957, that Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's grandiloquent doorstop of a masterwork, would one day reach the big screen as high-camp comedy? Because stilted prose and silly plotting notwithstanding, Rand's unrelentingly popular book has exerted a powerful ideological hold on the culture, an influence that has only intensified in recent years with the emergence of the Tea Party. Still, for unintentional yet somehow boring hilarity, the novel can't touch the cinematic adaptation, which shifts the action to 2016 and presents Rand's ham-fisted fable of laissez-faire capitalism as something C-Span might make if it ever set out to create a futuristic, proto-libertarian nighttime soap. In the 1980s.

And here's Roger Ebert's tweet following the announcement that Atlas Shrugged: Part I would become Atlas Shrugged: Period.

Atlas Shrugged producer cancels Parts 2 and 3, blames critics, not his own lousy film.

Photo: Atlas Shrugged (Rocky Mountain Pictures)

April 17

Atlas Shrugged, Dagny Taggart, Taylor Schilling, Paul Johansson
Taylor Schilling as Ayn Rand's heroine Dagny Taggart in Paul Johansson's Atlas Shrugged

Robert Redford's period political drama The Conspirator, starring Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Kevin Kline, bowed modestly at the North American box office, scoring $3.92 million at 707 locations according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

At no. 9, The Conspirator averaged a just okay $5,550 per theater. Distributor Roadside Attractions will have to decide how much wider will be the expansion of Redford's drama, which has a none-too-enthusiastic 62 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. Cost: $25 million.

Robert Redford The Director hasn't had a major hit since The Horse Whisperer, which grossed $75 million back in 1998. The Legend of Bagger Vance, starring Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron, cumed at $30.91 million domestically in 2000, while Lions for Lambs, despite a cast that included Redford himself, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise, drew a paltry $15 million in North America. (Overseas, Lions for Lambs fared much better, pulling in $48.21m; Bagger Vance bagged only $8m.)

Faring even less impressively this weekend in the U.S. and Canada was Paul Johansson's critically lambasted Atlas Shrugged: Part I, which, at no. 14 on the chart, pulled in $1.67 million at 300 theaters. But then again, considering the film's vociferously negative reviews and the fact that it lacks a name director or big stars, in a certain way Atlas Shrugged's modest debut could be seen as quite a feat.

Having said that, Atlas Shrugged's $5,590 per-site average was less than 1 percent higher than that of The Conspirator even though, generally speaking, the fewer the number of theaters showing a movie the higher the per-theater average should be. Atlas Shrugged is currently screening at nearly 60 percent fewer locations than The Conspirator; in other words, Atlas Shrugged's per-theater take should have been much higher than that of Redford's film if it's to open in many more North American locations. Thus, barring a rallying call for Tea Party members and supporters, chances are the $10 million-budgeted drama pitting a determined individual against the government/collectivism will dwindle away rather rapidly.

Based on Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged features director Johansson, Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Jsu Garcia, Michael Marsden, Michael O'Keefe, and Michael Lerner.

Also debuting modestly was Bertrand Tavernier's Princess of Montpensier, which brought in $23,400 at three locations, averaging a passable $7,800 per theater. Princess of Montpensier stars Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson and Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet. According to indieWIRE, IFC Films is expected to add more theaters in the coming weeks.

The other movies on the North American top-twelve box office chart this weekend were:

  • James Franco-Natalie Portman's Your Highness with $3.89 million (down 58.5 percent). Total: an abysmal $15.95 million. Cost: $50 million.
  • Bradley Cooper-Abbie Cornish's Limitless with $3.89 million (down 30.5 percent). Total: $69.72 million. Worldwide: $100.32 million. Cost: $27 million.
  • Matthew McConaughey-Ryan Phillippe's The Lincoln Lawyer with $3 million (down 30 percent). Total: $50.57 million. Worldwide: $55.47 million. Cost: $40 million.

Gone from the top twelve: Zack Snyder-Abbie Cornish-Vanessa Hudgens' Sucker Punch, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, and Simon Pegg-Nick Frost's Paul.

Among the top-twelve movies, Rio had by far the highest per-theater average, $10,455. On its second weekend, Your Highness had the lowest, $1,405.

Also among the top twelve (barring newcomers Rio, Scream 4, and The Conspirator), The Lincoln Lawyer posted the lowest weekend-to-weekend drop-off rate, down 26.8 percent. Your Highness posted the steepest, down 58.5 percent.

Photo: Atlas Shrugged (Rocky Mountain Pictures)

April 16

Taylor Schilling Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
Taylor Schilling in Paul Johansson's film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

Neither liberals nor libertarians (and the latter group's far-right cohorts) fared very well at the North American box office on Friday, April 15, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

As mentioned in my previous post, Robert Redford's period political drama The Conspirator, which revolves around the trial of accused co-conspirator Mary Surratt (played by Robin Wright) following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, opened modestly with $1.09 million at 707 locations, averaging a just passable $1,542 per site despite a number of positive reviews (62 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics), the fact that Oscar-winning legend Robert Redford directed it, and the presence of prestigious actors such as James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Kevin Kline.

Opening at about the same level – despite a considerably higher per-theater average – was the Paul Johansson-directed, John Aglialoro-Brian Patrick O'Toole-scripted ode to anti-government ideology, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, based on Ayn Rand's 1957 novel in which a railroad tycoon discovers the wonders of self-determination. Taylor Schilling plays the central character (once “attached” to Angelina Jolie), while director Johansson, Jsu Garcia, Grant Bowler, Michael Marsden, and Academy Award nominees Michael O'Keefe (The Great Santini) and Michael Lerner (Barton Fink) have other key roles.

Atlas Shrugged scored $683,000 at 300 theaters; its per-theater average was $2,277 – or about 50 percent more than that of The Conspirator, but at about 40 percent fewer theaters. Remember: all things being equal, the fewer the number of theaters the higher the per-theater average should be.

In other words, those variables considered, on opening day Atlas Shrugged performed just as modestly as The Conspirator. In a way, that's actually quite a feat for Johansson's film: the low-budgeted Atlas Shrugged, which cost a reported $10m, has a dismal 8 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics; compared to that, The Conspirator's 62 percent rating comes across as overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Atlas Shrugged's middling (as opposed to dismal) box office performance is perhaps a result of the film's strong popularity among its target audience: the far-right members of the Republican party, the Tea Party crowd a.k.a. “Teabaggers,” who have a hate-love relationship with the US government (They hate it when it comes to taxes, environmental regulations, the separation of Christianity/the State, etc.; they love it when it comes to the military, the enforcement of “traditional family values,” etc.)

See also: Box Office Russell Brand-Helen Mirren 'Arthur' Plummets & Wes Craven-Courteney Cox's 'Scream 4' Major Disappointment While 'Soul Surfer' Sturdy.

: Box Office

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Taylor Schilling
Taylor Schilling in Paul Johansson's film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The makers of Atlas have been working to get organizers to insert mentions of the film into the millions of e-mails that go out to the faithful, and Tea Partiers have obliged. … One recent e-mail to Tea Partiers in California, for example, alerted members of upcoming Freedom Rallies. But it also included a link to the movie's trailer, the name of the local theater that has booked the film and the line, 'Mark your calendars for a celebration of capitalism.'"

The Independent adds that Harmon Kaslow, one of the producers of Atlas Shrugged, “has duly turned the launch [of Atlas Shrugged] into a political event, branding it the film that Hollywood liberals 'don' t want you to see' … 'We are targeting Fox News, and talk radio shows, and believe me, they're listening. We are speaking directly to the sorts of people who can get a crowd to go out on a street corner to protest at a weekend. Because if they're able to do that, then it's pretty likely that they can also persuade people to go see a movie.'” (The Independent report adds that Atlas Shrugged star Taylor Schilling, “who is rumored to be a liberal,” was nowhere to be seen in photos taken at the film's Washington premiere last week.)

Among the Tomatometer's top critics, Atlas Shrugged has absolutely no chance of becoming a cult hit. To date, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post is the only outlet that has offered some (cautiously worded) praise for Atlas Shrugged. Other critics were considerably less kind; among those was Variety's Peter Debruge, who opined: “Part one of a trilogy that may never see completion, this hasty, low-budget adaptation would have Ayn Rand spinning in her grave.”

At comingsoon.net, Silas Lesnick adds:

It would be impossible to offer any analysis of the film version without betraying some degree of personal stance towards Rand's (and presumably the filmmakers') beliefs. That being said, the intent of this review is not to debate the politics or ethics of Objectivism, but to ask whether or not the film has any value outside dogged, self-serving propaganda.

Put simply, it does not.

Atlas Shrugged is double-feature material for Battlefield Earth, offering a slavish interpretation of a story whose primary reason for being retold in the first place is cult devotion. While said devotees may deem the film successful at literally bringing the events of the book to the screen, there's zero sense of character, dialogue or pacing. That is, the requisite traits that even make this technically a story in the first place are close to nil.

Photos: Atlas Shrugged (Rocky Mountain Pictures)


         
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44 Comments to 'Atlas Shrugged': Critically Lambasted Right-Wing Drama Bombs & Producer Blames Liberal Media

  1. Bob P.

    I loved the movie. Don't forget. While some movies will come and go. This movie will be renting for the next 100 years. And when the Box set comes out I predict it will be a huge seller.

  2. Zenzation

    The movie was not all that bad, but the premise is implausible. There is no record of the government ever taking the dramatic steps Rand offers as evidence of liberal overstep. Successful scientists and business people don't walk away from their life's work with a conversation. That's just Rand's overblown ego creating an unrealistic world in which her words matter, which they don't. Her notion that unions do things to make a company fail ignores the success many companies enjoy though unionized. Ayn Rand grew up in Russia and hated communism, but to compare America to Russia is just plain ignorant.

  3. Steve Hegge

    It's amazing to me how the “critics” rate this film so low, while review after review posted gives from favorable to “absolutely love it” acclaim. Oh, I forgot. Ayn did say that the media would become establishment “lapdogs”.

  4. Bob Black

    As a member of the staff of one of the first reports some +35 years ago of the anticipated 'making' of Atlas Shrugged, most certainly I went to see the movie. I knew it would be almost impossible to distill a thousand page book of that nature into a movie, or even a trilogy. I am in a business that brings me into the homes of a large cross-section of people and I have ample time to examine their libraries (from just a few books to massive volumes). I've found that many of them do contain the two indicated above - the Bible and Atlas Shrugged, about as philosophically antithetical as two volumes can be. But in most cases, neither of them look like they've been read - not really. Yet both are claimed to have been read from cover to cover by many?

  5. play2k

    Everyone I know wants to see it, but it's not showing anywhere. Coming to a cardboard box under a bridge near you soon i guess… Admission paid for in peanut shells from hard working college grads who just couldn't wake up on time.

  6. Johnh2o

    The movie was mediocre at best. I am an ardent Ayn Rand lover and capitalist in the definition that Ayn Rand states in all of her works. The movie did a decent job of prompting people I have been suggesting the book to finally sit down and read it. They, like me and others, believe that the book is a 1000 times better than the movie but will say that at least they were prompted to start the journey thru the 1000+ pages because of seeing the movie. Whether the media stumped its sales or not, I hope that the producers will spend more time and effort filming the next part. The music was horrible and the actors did not transmit the roles as well as they could have. It was as if they had never read the book. Did they? That would be a great question to have answered. I can't tell if they did.

  7. Norman

    “Atlas” no doubt went over the head of most economically illiterite americans, including film critics.

  8. Gary Thornton

    I wonder exactly when the average American will realize that they (Congress - Senate & House - Democrats & Republicans) are ALL MILLIONAIRES and WE - the rest of America - are all ruled by Millionaires! “THEY ARE ALL THE SAME”!

    They say they feel our pain BUT they are all either lying OR delusional !!!!

    “The world is full of willing people, those willing to work and those willing to let them”! - Author Unknown

    45% of America working/paying taxes
    55% of America NOT WORKING/PAYING TAXES

    See what I mean?

    Who is John Galt?

  9. Cassandra251

    It is really too bad that the professional critics didn't like this movie, but not surprising since it probably doesn't fit with their political agenda. The cinematography, locations, costumes, editing were all impressive. The acting was not Oscar-calibre, but still good. “Atlas Shrugged” is a difficult book to read, and it was clear that the screenwriters struggled with some of the dense, slightly archaic dialogue. Even so, it was an enjoyable, suspenseful telling of an important story. It was certainly better than any film Michael Moore ever made! I hope that there is some way that Parts II and III can be made.

  10. bassboat

    Tand,
    Sorry you did not enjoy the movie. Could you name a movie espousing the ideas of Ayn Rand? Of course not, so on that fact alone it is the best movie ever made celebrating the individual, capitalism, and the evils of government. Will part 2 be better? Yes.

  11. Pete

    Ayn Rand's works and her philosophy impact my life enormously to the good, but I will not follow the pollyannish who want this movie to be a true condensed reflection of her masterpiece. It is not. The music is mediocre, the actors are mediocre, hard to believe, because they do not seem to understand their characters and the main theme, nor do screenwriter and producer.
    This bad movie is not a good tool to market Ayn Rand's ideas. It misrepresents those and does therefore discourage reading her works by the people for whom ideas matter.

  12. Tand

    I am not political just an independent who loves the free market compared to where I moved from. The movie was good and the message was good. All the makers, in my mind, came here to America. Well.. all the takers.. you can find them anywhere outside America. But the last 3 year, I have seen how the Democrats have acted and I'm against most of what their ideas for this country are. Even though I read all the liberal leaning critic's article, I still found the movie to be enjoyable.

  13. DeAnn

    I have been a major fan of Rand's works for 40 some years. Like many in that category, I was anxious at the first viewing hoping you would get it right. You did. I think Rand would be very pleased with getting her message across. When all the readers of Atlas Shrugged around the world get to see this film you will get the support you deserve. Perfect casting (not sure about Galt based on his promo photos).

    When you think about it, Roger Ebert and other critics mentality and slant is exactly the message in her work.

  14. bassboat

    Interesting the overwhelming approval that the people gave the show of those who attended. Dan of course has the right to pan the movie but he is in the minority. I think John's complaint was the bias of the critics in panning the movie. It was a done deal before they came to see the movie because of their collectivism bent. This bent resulted in people not coming. The critics were not doing their job.

  15. Dan

    Letter the John Aglialoro,

    I am a huge fan of Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged for me is the most important book I have ever read. However we have to be honest with ourselves here. Listen John. Part 1, isn't the world's Readen Metal. These people aren't saying to not see the movie because it's dangerous to society. It's not being legally censored, so there is no censorship. You are complaining about the very system that the book espouses the virtues of, the free market. If a film cannot cut it in the market, usually there is a reason and in the case of Part 1, it's because the movie is awful.

    If you cared you should have done a better job in the first place.

    -
    Dan

  16. To my mind, Ebert's review damaged his own credibility more than anything. It sums up as “I predicted I'd hate it, didn't understand it, and then decided I'd hate it.” But the fact that he's able to make a career of reviews does indicate that people actually listen do them.

    I was predisposed favorably since I liked the book, but didn't expect much for a “Part 1” that doesn't contain much action. When I finally saw it (having to travel an hour to do so) I was overwhelmed. It was quite moving. But I'm not a typical moviegoer either since I never see movies opening weekend and that's apparently the only one matters.

    I do doubt that MSNBC commercials would have boosted the audience significantly. But I also suspect that reviewers like Ebert have a non-specific effect once it turns into “oh I heard it wasn't very good” word-of-mouth. Even friends I saw it with, who liked it (though perhaps not as much as I), were given this expectation.

    So yes, you can probably argue that died-in-the-wool Objectivists would know better than to listen to Liberal media. But that's nothing compared to the number that could like it, if given the chance, but weren't so convinced they'd pass 5 nearby theaters to get to the one showing it.

    (That said, the director did linger too long on the champagne-pouring scenes, I did chuckle to myself at how they were overemphasized.)

  17. jeremy richter

    Please finish this series. I loved the book and always wished it to be on the big screen even as I was reading it for the first time. Even if it went straght to d.v.d. I would buy it. Stupid critics and the morons who believe them ruin it for the rest of us… not unlike the novel eh? although the theater that I saw it in did not even have a poster of the film and I saw not one advertisment for it either. Maybe that might need to change to get the people in the theater.

    Thanks

  18. bassboat

    Atlas Shrugged is a tremendous book for most who read it. For those who have read the book they will enjoy the movie, for those who have not read it they have to pay attention closely or they can get lost. It's a tough plot to portray in less than 2 hours. I think John's best shot is a prime time soap where the plot and the characters can be unfolded in a timely fashion. You have to remember this, after the Bible, Atlas Shrugged has been voted as the most influential book on people's lives of any book ever written. To toss it aside because you have a problem with the message is really rather shallow.

  19. abe4honesty

    Whose liberty, joe4liberty?
    And who do you think you're kidding, joe4dishonesty? You may be self-deluded and probably a bigot as well, but you're not fooling most of us.
    Know thy Tea Party friends:

    “So, first, it's an overwhelmingly Christian group. 81% identify as Christian, and nearly half (47%) say they are part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement.

    “Secondly, it isn't libertarian, it's much more socially conservative, with 63% saying abortion should be illegal and only 18% in favor of gay marriage.

    “Third, it is fundamentally a Republican movement. 76 percent identify or lean towards the Republican party.”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/05/130353765/new-poll-tea-party-overwhelmingly-christian-and-socially-conservative

  20. joe4liberty

    For the record, tea party members (whom you choose to label as tea-baggers) are NOT conservatives, they do not love the governments war on everything, and while they may stand for Family Values, unlike the right, they do not believe that the government should have ANY say in what a family is or does.
    As Sun Tsu said; “know thy enemy - know thy self”. Clearly the Tea party and the libertarian movement are your enemy, and clearly you know nothing of them… which gives me hope that bigots like the author will find themselves on the same scrap-heap of history as other great bigots of the early 20th century.

  21. TGIS

    You probably haven't seen the movie and know nothing of Ayn Rand, but the movie certainly has nothing to do w/ “family values”; the main love affair is adultrous and none of the major characters have children.

    Ayn Rand was libertarian and not conservative. She was also an atheist.

  22. Maryanne

    Omega, you forgot about Mel Gibson, another good Christian Republican.

  23. Sten

    It's bizarre that so many tea partyers identify with Rand's philosophy, while also identifying with the Christian Right. Rand held no punches in her takedown of the Judeo-Christian religion as one of the leading proponents of the “Morality of Death”, and of the looters (e.g. banks and corporations) that the faithful blindly allow to rob the country. Rand nailed the self-defeating nature of blind faith based upon the sacrifice of reason, yet many professed Galtians on the Right still march to that drumbeat of mystical brainwashing.

  24. Debbie

    This was a great movie! We were encouraged to see it on tax day. Liberal Hollywood does not want you to see it. That is a sign that it must be good for Americans to see. It defends capitalism and individualism . I believe capitalism is the only moral way people should live in this world. To me, the left are like parasites to our society. They will stop at nothing to criticize and eradicate the right. I believe this movie helps expose them for who they really are. Don't listen to what the left have to say. See it for yourself and then decide where you stand. Do you stand with the movers, America's entrepreneurs or the takers, big government, unions, leechers, and moochers. ?

  25. MIKE

    APRIL 20/ TOTALLY ENJOYED THE MOVIE / VERY RIVERTING.
    UNFORTUNATLY IN THE LOCAL PAPERS /NOT ONE WORD OR INFO ABOUT “ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 1”. I HAVE RECOMMENDED THIS FILM TO EVERYONE I TALK TOO.
    THAT WILL BE THE ONLY WAY TO ADVANCE THE MOVIE/ MORE WORD OF MOUTH
    LOOKING FORWARD TO PART II AND III, DO NOT KNOW WHEN IT WILL COME OUT.
    IF A LONG PERIOD OF TIME BETWEEN THEM, ALOT OF EFFECTIVENESS WILL BE LOST.
    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHEN II AND III?

  26. Adam

    Gee, aren't we thin-skinned?

    “Tea-baggers” is as “offensive” as calling a Communist a “Red” or a “Commie” and the politically correct “p.c.,” or referring to liberals as “bleeding hearts.” How many Tea Party members would find those types of “name-calling” offensive? How many would consider themselves bigots if they talked about reds or bleeding-heart libs?

    Time for you guys to get rid of the tea bags and start drinking some strong coffee. And then learn how to spell the word HYPOCRISY.

  27. Omega

    @tens

    “Its not about money to rich people. Its about what ideas are theirs and that is what most millionaire care about. ”

    If you believe that, you must also believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and that idealism, not greed, was the reason those who ruined the world economy in 2008 (I'm referring to your genius millionaires) paid themselves bonuses financed by American taxpayers' hard-earned money.

    I should add that your idea of a liberal as someone eager to burn the flag is a little off-kilter. Liberalism has nothing to do with pyromania.

  28. Dilson

    “Atlas Shrugged” put me to sleep.

  29. Jennifer

    I loved the movie - love the book - and CAN'T WAIT for parts two and three to come out….. I only hope its Soon!! Its perfectly cast and done So Well on its meager budget - director and cast should be applauded and honored as Great Americans!!! Our audience clapped and whistled at the end too - awesome cliffhanger - we saw it 2x this weekend and can't wait for more!!!

  30. tens

    I saw the movie today and it was amazing. Good messaging at the end. Even though Liberal would like to see the American flag burn and the country fall over their own greed about I want I want I want and those rich people make to much. They're not hiring, they should hire, they should spend, they should not hold onto their money.. blah blah blah. Its all about what They think how other people should spend their money. Its not about money to rich people. Its about what ideas are theirs and that is what most millionaire care about. They can lose all the dollar they have and make it again, it doesn't matter to them. Everyone can start a business if they try. Everyone can buy small real estate and work their way up. There are Millionaires with CP and other handicap. There are millionaire who were born in a poor family. Give me a break. When the producers move to a different country it is somehow the republicans fault.

  31. Omega

    Correction: Eastwood was in a long-term relationship with Sondra Locke when he cheated on her. They weren't married. Living in sin, I guess.

  32. rk

    One thing to keep in mind was the modest advertising budget and that it was put on at the last moment in many theaters.

  33. Omega

    @Aleph,
    You should've added that it's okay for Republican idol Clint Eastwood to impregnate a woman (half his age) while married to another. That it's ok for Republican Bruce Willis to support a bloody (and costly) war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction that never existed. Not to mention all the “pro-family” Republican politicians and religious leaders caught having sex with prostitutes (male and female), fattening their banks accounts with illicit money, and the like.

    And yeah, absolutely, Hollywood gets criticized for being “anti-American” and “anti-religious,” and that's because I'm assuming it's totally “American” and “religious” to believe that we should NOT help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Well, yeah, if you're a satan worshiper and the like. Because Christians, Jews, Muslms, etc. are all taught that we MUST help those in need. (And no, I'm not talking about needy billionaire bankers, those who hate the government except when they get trillion-dollar bailouts.)

    And really, to compare the fate of the Jews during the Nazi era to the well-deserved ridicule Tea Party fanatics get for their lack of compassion, their nastiness, their intolerance, and their hypocrisy is not just ludicrous, it's downright insane. That's why you people are so scary.

    As for “Atlas Shrugged,” don't expect parts ii and iii ever getting made. But don't despair, “The Hangover 2” opens soon.

  34. Rick

    You will never get a honest opinion about the Tea Party aka Main St America from the liberal media. We expect this out of the idealogues that see no limits to the size and scope of government, taxes and assault on personal and religious freedoms. We don't ask the government to enforce our view but rather uphold the constitution for which they including the current administration see as fundamentally flawed. Now more than ever people are feeling and seeing first hand the disastrous effects of government and state spending gone wild. We are living in a time where the average quality of life has taken a serious down turn. Politicizing and emotionalizing the argument will not dig us out of our current hole that has ballooned by as much as 13 percent in the last 3 months alone. Bottom line is government must retract regardless of who holds power and right now neither side seems to have the political will to do it. Raising the debt ceiling and increasing taxes even if on the affluent alone will not get us out critical trouble. The idea that we are not out of money or can just keep kicking the can down the road is irresponsible and incredibly dangerous. The likelihood of an openly pro union president cutting government at a time where we needed it yesterday is a pipe dream. This is the reason a film in limited release like Atlas Shrugged will have an audience.

  35. Mary Humphrys

    “the Tea Party crowd aka “Teabaggers,” who have a hate-love relationship with the US government (They hate it when it comes to taxes, environmental regulations, the separation of Christianity/the State, etc.; they love it when it comes to the military, the enforcement of “traditional family values,” etc.).” Would that be anything like how the liberals love the government when they redistribute income, but hate it when it doesn't allow gay marriage? Okay, I get it!

  36. Faye

    Finally some honest reviews! Well said! I don't think I can add anything. I loved the movie. Couldn't figure out how they would handle a book that doesn't seem to lend itself to film. It was visually beautiful, entertaining, mysterious, etc. I don't think I have ever seen such bad reviews of any movie - ever. Don't believe them. Think for yourself. Our audience clapped at the conclusion.

  37. ragnar

    I find it intersting that this comments section does not allow name calling. I suppose the only name calling allowed at this
    web site is from the story authors (i.e. “tea-baggers”).
    I wonder if they will post this when I call them…
    (fill in the blank).

  38. VeganDude

    I was shocked that I liked this so much. This movie is FANTASTIC. It's not as hard hitting as the book (I'm a huge fan), but I recommend it to everyone. They did quite well at adapting it. The actors captured the passion of the characters while still leaving the hint of stoicism & intellectualism with which Ayn Rand painted her characters.

    Also, the first time the John Galt Line runs is exhilarating, and the final scene is bone chilling and worth it unto itself.

    SEE THIS FILM! it is not just for Tea Party folks; you will not regret it. I'm seeing it a 2nd time tonight!

  39. Aleph

    I saw the movie yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. I think the harsh criticism gave me such low expectations that I was more impressed than I otherwise might have been.

    It's interesting that the reviews for this film attack the author for her personal life, the film makers for their marketing, the viewers for their political beliefs. I don't think I've ever seen a movie so maligned because the plot doesn't support Liberal Hollywood.

    It's okay for Roman Polanski to be a rapist and for Woody Allen to be incestuous. It's okay for our modern young actors and actresses to be shallow, self-absorbed drunks, drug addicts, unwed parents, thieves. It's okay for anyone in Hollywood to be anti-American and anti-religious.

    Anything and everything is permitted…except the right to think that those who produce should not be forced by an oppressive government to support those who do not.

    Anyone who believes in freedom from over-taxation is given an obscene epithet (first applied by a man whose sex life should be nobody's business but who insists on making it public ).

    We who feel obliged to hide our political and economic beliefs for fear of attack or retaliation are given ONE movie that supports our views. And left-wing critics from throughout the country emit a collective gasp of horror when we go out to see that movie to show support for the men and women who were brave enough to make it.

    In Germany in the 1930s one group was identified as a threat to society and the propaganda machine went into full swing. Was it any different than what's happening now to those who stand up to say we must change our ways or someday soon deal with the consequences of economic collapse?

  40. Jason

    I think it was god, well acted, and wil be going to see part two and three.

  41. I saw it today and was pleasantly surprised. It held up under all the withering criticism. It is amazing how many people don't want this story to be told.

  42. Davie Jones

    You do realize that the term “teabagger” is a pejorative, right. You do realize you sound like a bigot, right?

    Right?

    This insensitivity reminds me of the way the “N” word used to be bandied about by rednecks who thought they were superior to another group of people.

  43. Spencer Stang

    If you're going to take the time to slander somebody you could at least get some facts right. The only common element among all Tea Party supporters is that they want smaller government. I don't know a single Tea Party supporter who supports the wars that Bush/Obama have delivered to us. Most Tea Party supporters (definitely not all) support medical marijuana, if not outright legalization of all drugs. Most support fewer laws against what consenting adults can do. Most support the shrinking of Govt period-get out of our wallets, get out of our bedrooms, stay away from our kids (i.e., stop spending their money!). . . just leave us alone. Why the left/right folks think that it's okay for Govt to go beyond basic protection of individual liberty is beyond me but it certainly isn't ethical.

  44. Chuck Jones

    I saw Part One today and was very impressed, not only with the film adaptation of the book, but in addition, I was delighted with the talent displayed by the cast and the panarama of the beautiful state of Colorado. While the book was a difficult read, the movie was delightfully easy and interesting to watch. Kudos to all involved in the production of Atlas Shrugged Part One, and I anxiously await Parts Two and Three!