This is kinda funny. Last summer I gave my wife my copy of Rand's book to read. She got about half way through it, and gave up. She said she didn't like the characters in the book, and it was "too wordy".
Tonight we're leaving the movie, and she says "Wow, that was really good".
I was almost speechless, and then we started discussing the movie.
One thing that I noticed about 10~15 minutes into the movie was "Is this really Part 1"? I felt like I was watching a mini-series, and had caught it at the second or third episode. Granted, it's a long, complex book, but I felt that "something" was missing, and I can't quite put my finger on it.
I thought the actor that played Hank Rearden did an great job, while the actress that played Dagny Taggart was a bit lifeless for the first half of the movie. To me, the way the characters played in the movie are almost a complete reversal of how I perceived the characters in the book. Rearden's family, except for his wife Lillian, were relegated to much less important roles than the characters in the book.
Francisco d'Anconia is another major character in the book who's given very little 'air time', and Hugh Akston comes off as major space-case
Again, this is a long, complex novel with deep characters, and bringing it to the screen at all is a major triumph.
While I won't say it's one of the best movies so far this year, I think it's one of the more important ones, given the relevance of Rand's book to today's society.
Here's a much better review from the American Thinker website.