The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews; Rotten Tomatoes reports that 5 of 45 written reviews from critics (11%) were positive – with an average score of 3.5 out of 10. It summarized the critical reaction: "Passionate ideologues may find it compelling, but most filmgoers will find this low-budget adaptation of the Ayn Rand bestseller decidedly lacking." Metacritic gives the film a "generally unfavorable" rating of 28%, as determined by averaging 18 professional reviews. Some commentators noted differences in reaction to the film from professional critics as compared to audience members.
"So OK. 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. It’s not enough that a movie agree with you, in however an incoherent and murky fashion. It would help if it were like, you know, entertaining?"—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, April 14, 2011
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film only one star, calling it "the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault." Columnist Cathy Young of The Boston Globe gave the film a negative review. Chicago Tribune published a predominantly negative review arguing the film lacks Rand's philosophical theme, while at the same time saying "the actors, none of them big names, are well-suited to the roles. The story has drive, color and mystery. It looks good on the screen." Kyle Smith in the New York Post gave Atlas Shrugged a mostly negative review, grading it at 2.5/4 stars, criticizing its "stilted dialogue and stern, unironic hectoring" and calling it "stiff in the joints", but also adding that it "nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item."
Reviews in the conservative press were more mixed. American economist Mark Skousen praised the film and wrote in Human Events, "The script is true to the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s novel." The Weekly Standard senior editor Fred Barnes noted that the film "gets Rand’s point across forcefully without too much pounding," "fast-paced" when compared with the original novel's 1200-page length, and "at least as relevant today as it was when the novel was published in 1957." Jack Hunter, contributing editor to The American Conservative, wrote "If you ask the average film critic about the new movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged they will tell you it is a horrible movie. If you ask the average conservative or libertarian they will tell you it is a great movie. Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see." Peter Foster in the National Post credited the movie for the daunting job of fidelity to the novel, wryly suggested a plot rewrite along the lines of comparable current events, and concluded, "if it sinks without trace, its backers should at least be proud that they lost their own money."
Other articles related to "critical response":
... In a review of their album Spice, Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly called it "a fearlessly corny ballad", and added that it "will likely keep them from being one-hit wonders in America" ... Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch said that in the song, the girls "are sunny vocalists who harmonize with perfumey sweetness when called upon" ...
... An August 1972 review by Time said that many of the film's ideas "sound good on paper" but that the "skits wind down rather than take off from the ideas" the film includes "some broad, funny send-ups of other movies (Fantastic Voyage, La notte), and its fair share of memorably wacky lines" but that "overall it is just Woody marking time and being merely a little funnier" ... The Time Out Film Guide noted that some of the film's sketches are "dross, but the parodies of Antonioni (all angst and alienation of a wife who can achieve orgasm only in public places) and of TV panel games ('What's My Perversion?') are brilliantly accurate and very funny ...
... Peter Hartlaub, of the San Francisco Chronicle, felt Zombie was successful in both " his own spin on Halloween, while at the same time paying tribute to Carpenter's film" he thought Zombie managed to make Michael Myers almost "sympathetic" as a child, but that the last third of the film felt more like a montage of scenes with Halloween slipping into "slasher-film logic" ... Nathan Lee of The Village Voice disagreed in part with Harlaub, feeling that Halloween may have placed too much emphasis on providing sympathy for Michael Myers, but that it succeeded in " Carpenter's vision without rooting out its fear" ...
Famous quotes containing the words response and/or critical:
“The truth is that literature, particularly fiction, is not the pure medium we sometimes assume it to be. Response to it is affected by things other than its own intrinsic quality; by a curiosity or lack of it about the people it deals with, their outlook, their way of life.”
—Vance Palmer (18851959)
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