Roger Ebert Reviews Atlas Shrugged

And gives it one star (out of four):

I feel like my arm is all warmed up and I don’t have a game to pitch. I was primed to review “Atlas Shrugged.” I figured it might provide a parable of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that I could discuss. For me, that philosophy reduces itself to: “I’m on board; pull up the lifeline.” There are however people who take Ayn Rand even more seriously than comic-book fans take “Watchmen.” I expect to receive learned and sarcastic lectures on the pathetic failings of my review.

And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault. I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand’s 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms.

During these meetings, everybody drinks. More wine is poured and sipped in this film than at a convention of oenophiliacs. There are conversations in English after which I sometimes found myself asking, “What did they just say?” The dialogue seems to have been ripped throbbing with passion from the pages of Investors’ Business Daily. Much of the excitement centers on the tensile strength of steel.


    1. Thank you Roger Ebert, for the best new term for movie sex. I doubt if I’ll ever see another steamy screen seduction without thinking, “Hmmm….here comes the rumpy-pumpy!”

  1. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone also has a great quote (even though it makes little sense):

    “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. “

  2. I saw the film yesterday. I never the book, but could understand the movie fine. I have a film library of 2500 films and I’m a film maker.

    I have lost my faith in film critics. The movie and book are a parody
    of collectivism vs individualism. The characters were wonderfully played
    , but as we know they are characters from fiction. The acting did all that could be asked and was powerful.

    The film was a series of montages and powerful scenes and great film making.

    I’ll never trust film critics again because how can someone judge a film with so much bias. You always here about the black list in the industry and this film is being red listed by the critics. These critics are the same people who gave Roger Moore’s films 4 stars. My opinion is that this film is much better than any of Moore’s films.

    I recommend you see this film and judge for yourself. The film is a masterpiece in my opinion. We need a new breed of film critic no responsible to the liberal press, open minded and independent. We deserve better newspapers because people with other viewpoints are censored by the biased press that now control the newspaper industry.

    Go see for yourself and you can be the judge, or jury. Be open minded and never rely on the narrow minded biased critics again.

  3. Well I can understand the bad reviews especially from those people who do not believe in objectivism. It would be grinding on the nerves to know that there are people who believe that you do not deserve the profits from their minds and their work. That they do not believe in sharing the wealth, just because the government feels we should.

    As you can tell I am sure I enjoyed the movie. The acting was good and not overplayed. Of course the “ratings board” gave it a PG 13 -parents strongly cautioned for sexual content. That was the bare shoulders in the 30 sec. love scene (but of course they ignore daytime TV) They are probably really concerned that young people will actually understand the movie and the philosophy and turn away from their “give me all you have” philosophy.

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