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New Atlas Shrugged Film Booed Off Planet by Critics

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It takes a lot to get a 0% at the mass market critics' consensus site Rotten Tomatoes. Pick an awful movie you can think of and it probably managed a 5% or maybe even a 25%. Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes, more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat.

In other words, not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit. I love the headline over the Chicago Tribune review: "Taxing Indeed." Still waiting for "Don't Go (Galt) There." Or "Born Under a Bad Ayn." The New York Times for some reason did not review the film today. A political or cinematic statement -- or were they barred from the screening room?

Here's a sampling of commentary:

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: "Atlas Shrugged. I arched eyebrow, scrunched forehead, yawned."

Roger Ebert: "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."

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: "The book was published in 1957, yet the clumsiness of this production makes it seem antediluvian."

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: "It has taken decades to bring Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" to the big screen.They should have waited longer."

Kurt Loder, the former Rolling Stone writer, for the Libertarian site, Reason Online: "The new, long-awaited film version of Atlas Shrugged is a mess, full of embalmed talk, enervated performances, impoverished effects, and cinematography that would barely pass muster in a TV show. Sitting through this picture is like watching early rehearsals of a stage play that's clearly doomed."

Peter Dubruge, Variety: "Part one of a trilogy that may never see completion, this hasty, low-budget adaptation would have Ayn Rand spinning in her grave."

Washington Post: "Nearly as stilted, didactic and simplistic as Rand's free-market fable."

Loren King, Boston Globe: "Even fans of Rand's 1957 antigovernment manifesto may balk at having to endure dialogue that would be banal on the Lifetime channel, along with wooden performances..."

Greg Mitchell's two latest books are "The Age of WikiLeaks" in print or as an e-book, and "Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences" as e-book here and print here.