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Review: Atlas Shrugged

Not all books should be made into movies
By TOM MEEK  |  April 12, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

Actor Paul Johansson, in his directorial debut, sets his adaptation of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel — now a Libertarian sacred text — in a near-future (2016) plagued by socialism. Somehow, though, the economy is stuck in the '50s, where US steel, oil, and rail interests are world-shaping industries. At odds are brother and sister Jim (Matthew Marsden) and Dagny (Taylor Schilling) Taggart over the future of the family's railroad empire. Dagny turns to radical steel magnate Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler), but dirty backroom politics by the socialists stifle their capitalistic ventures. In addition, the mysterious John Galt (Johansson) is whisking any promising leader off to some netherland. It's that sci-fi twist, in part, that made the book a cult classic. But Johansson's version, though admirable in scope, comes off too much like an overcranked episode of Dallas. Not all books should be made into movies, and this is one of them.

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