After reading a quick note on the ARCHN blog that suggested the long-awaited movie adaptation of Ayn Randâ€™s pedestrian opus Atlas Shrugged is proving to be something a bit less than a runaway box office hit, I decided Iâ€™d better take a look at what the critics were saying about it. The following are some of the summaries posted on Rotten Tomatoes (where the movie so far has a one-star rating):
Richard Brody, The New Yorker: â€œThis comically tasteless and flavorless adaptation of Ayn Rand’s bombastic magnum opus delivers her simplistic nostrums with smug self-satisfaction.â€
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: â€œAyn 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.â€
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Mark Jenkins, Washington Post: â€œThe first in a proposed trilogy, â€˜Atlas Shrugged: Part 1â€™ is nearly as stilted, didactic and simplistic as Rand’s free-market fable.â€
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: â€œA low-budget film with more than a whiff of amateurism in its writing and direction.â€
Loren King, Boston Globe: â€œAbout 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.â€
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: â€œAtlas Shrugged. I arched eyebrow, scrunched forehead, yawned.â€
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: â€œThis movie is crushingly ordinary in every way, which with Rand I wouldn’t have thought possible.â€
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: â€œLet’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.â€
And just so you donâ€™t think all the mainstream critics hated it, Kyle Smith of The New York Post offers this endorsement: â€œThough a bit stiff in the joints and acted by an undistinguished cast amid TV-movie trappings, this low-budget adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.â€
Eh, movie critics. Theyâ€™re probably all Communists anyway.