Atlas Shrugged - 6/10
This was a tough one to rate. I really enjoyed the book despite its marginal prose. Any book that gets made into a movie invariably will be missing something. Because getting the rights to make the movie is such a difficult task and demanding responsibility, it makes it more likely to be done right and I think this proved to be a valiant, if underwhelming, first effort.
They cranked this out with a $10m budget and 27 shooting days and in parts it shows. The production value looks like more than $10m, but the rush job of shooting shows what they had to compromise on. The dialogue relies a lot on the book itself and it doesn't always translate well to the screen. The movie could definitely have used another 15-20 minutes of character development and background info of the main and secondary characters. They get the point across fine of who is who and what their purpose is, but for those who have not read the book, it would be very easy to miss if you're not paying close attention b/c a lot of info is pushed through a very tight space.
It could have used another 15 min of "events" for lack of a better term. They just crammed so much into a short period of time. The end was helpful though in driving home the point of what was going on.
I'm hoping this one makes enough for the next two installments to be done right. They got off on the right foot and can really make this into something respectable as a whole. I do think the movie is not the best for those who have not read the book, but it gets the point across enough. My GF has not read the book and doesn't have well-developed sense of the underlying philosophy, but she enjoyed it.