Box art for Atlas Shrugged Part 1

Atlas Shrugged Part 1

drama, sci-fi & fantasy

Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A] DIY megaproduction... whose ambition vastly exceeds its technical command.

- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out New York, Friday, April 15, 2011

Rotten: 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).

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rotten: Apart from its deficiencies as fiction, whatever its philosophical limitations (the rich and able should only help themselves in Rand's "Objectivism"), the book proves proudly indigestible on film.

- Brian Miller, L.A. Weekly, Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Interesting. Slightly confusing. Apparently, a continuing saga...

- itsjustme2004, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2 stars

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" starts on September 2, 2016 with the derailment of a train on a critical stretch of track in Colorado that is going to delay gas shipments to the east coast for at least a couple of weeks. Making matters worse is that the steel shipment that Taggart Transcontinental so badly needs to effect repairs has already been back ordered for two months. So, Dagny Taggart(Taylor Schilling) overrides her brother James(Matthew Marsden) by going with an untested process that Henry Rearden(Grant Bowler) has developed. His being flush with business does not mean his wife(Rebecca Wisocky) has to like the bracelet he made for her, however. Admittedly, I am a sucker for dystopias, especially those where the main form of transportation is via train. And "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" does use that plot device to neatly update from the past to the current near future. Weirdly enough, this political movie is set at the time of a Presidential election(my money is on Cuomo vs. Christie, by the way) without mentioning one at all, taking the easy route to try to implicate Obama in all of the world's sins. For the record, regulation is meant to save business from its worst impulses, like insuring that tracks are replaced more often than once a hundred years, even as I think regulating the size of soft drinks is more than a little silly. If only shaky politics were the worst of this movie's sins, it would not be so bad, but alas it is, seeped in talky amateurism and animatronic acting that includes even the veteran character actors in the cast.

- gator681, Saturday, December 29, 2012

3 stars

Wow, this film is a mess, but it's not so bad that it's hard to "shrug" off. Yeah, I apologize for that, but hey, it's no worse than the dialogue in the film itself. Seriously, if you say it the right way, even the title sounds kind of like a soap opera; but then again, that's probably just because when you hear "Part 1", it's hard to not think of "Breaking Dawn". Of course, if you're thinking of "Breaking Dawn Part 1" and not "The Deathly Hallows Part 1", then you're probably enough of a pathetic doofus to like this film. Yeah, I know that it must be surprising to hear that this political drama is dumb, but really, just look up the director, because this film won't sound so promising around the time you hear that Paul Johansson is actually an actor and get down to about "Highlander: The Series" on his filmography. Really, if nothing else kept me going through the film, then it was probably the hope that someone would just go ahead and exclaim, "There can be only one type of metal for the train tracks!", which should tell you how much this film made me go a little crazy, because any sane person watching this would know that the dialogue would never be that good. No, it's not that bad, but, again, this is still an absolute mess, which isn't to say that there aren't a few things here to save it. The film certainly opens strong, flaunting fabulous cinematography and intense score - generic though, it may be -, as well as sharp editing and extremely clever concepts, and just like that, you're hooked. After that, however, most everything, except the pretty awesome score - even if it is fairly generic -, goes south, only to pick back up on the rarest of golden occasions, particularly the final act (The dreaded final "Noooooooo!" stinger notwithstanding), yet what keeps you with the film, even with all of its countless mistakes, is the fact that its concepts are quite promising. Sure, the path to evil is paved with good intentions, so this film remains an absolute mess, but its concepts and ideas are genuinely fascinating and engaging, creating some degree of charm that goes ameliorated by, of all things, the mediocrity of it all. The film isn't mean-spirited; it's just incompetent, with its heart still in the right place enough for the film to mildly compelling. Still, make no mistake, this is some clear-cut incompetence, sometimes on a soap opera level. The film is drenched in artificial, soapy intrigue, and while the film's good intentions make it some mild degree of engaging, at the end of the day, the film never really goes anywhere, because its tension and intrigue feels so incompetently-handled and rings false. Still, there are points where you don't care if it is artificial; just as long as you get some kind of intrigue, because this film will slow down like crazy in some parts. The film is very dialogue-driven, and while there are a good couple of parts where things kick in sharply enough to wake you back up, on the whole, this is dull repetition, and to make matters worse, the dialogue that this film is very much driven by doesn't seem to have enough gas to make it to the better side of town. Sure, the writing, as a whole, isn't that strong, being riddled with melodrama, as well as unbelievable characters and situations, but really, what hurts the most has to be the cheesy, soap opera dialogue, only without the usual so-bad-that-it's-kind-of-funny snap. Of course, as messy as the dialogue is, that doesn't mean that its delivery has to be bad, and yet, there are still plenty of poor performances all throughout this film, with a guy I just have to mentioned beng this guy, Edi Gathegi, who I will give some credit for dropping that surrealistically deep Kenyan accent, even if it did sound like he was struggling a bit (He was the Haitian cab driver in "Crank", just to give you an idea of how hard it must have been for him), but the boy shows up to every scene with no real presence or humanity; just an overly stern tone in his voice that's just plain embarassing. Still, his character is a secondary one, and the people we need to worry about the most are the leads, few of whom are terribly terrible, but when the bad get bad, oh boy do they get ugly, particularly Matthew Marsden, whose major James Taggart character is written to be one with a deep aura of mystery that leaves you wondering just what kind of person he truly is, yet Marsden just does not deliver on any layer and falls flat on any kind of presence or emotion, leaving the tension that relies so heavily on him to come crashing down with his performance. Much of the same can be said about Taylor Schilling, who, with all of her woodenness and dry presence, is mediocre at best, tainting the film and further driving down its compellingness, along with many other things. Yeah, I know that it sounds like I'm gearing up to fully pan this film, even with my compliments, but again, it has its moments and isn't at all truly mean-spirited at heart. Still, in the end, there's nothing in this film that we you haven't seen before and done immensely better, which isn't to say that there's not some degree of disappointment that this film couldn't have been better. At the end of the tracks, the film doesn't crash, held back by a few decent moments, as well as consistently good intentions and concepts, yet the final product still betrays those promises with many a moment of dull repetition, made all the worse by weak dialogue, which, in it of itself is made all the worst by boderline across-the-board stale performances, particularly by our very own leads, for goodness' sakes, ultimately leaving "Atlast Shrugged: Part I" to, maybe not crash, but still fall too flat and too hard to go completely redeemed by its moderate charm. 2/5 - Mediocre

- crossbladezero, Monday, April 9, 2012