ⓘ At Any Price

At Any Price

ⓘ At Any Price

At Any Price is a 2012 American drama film directed by Ramin Bahrani and written by Bahrani and Hallie Newton. The film, starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and later screened as an official selection at both the Telluride Film Festival and the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Sony Pictures Classics purchased the film and it was released in the United States on April 24, 2013.


1. Premise

In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple Dennis Quaid wants his rebellious son Dean Zac Efron to help expand his familys farming empire. However, Dean desires to become a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the familys entire livelihood.


2. Cast

  • Red West as Cliff Whipple
  • Ben Marten as Brad Johnson
  • Chelcie Ross as Byron
  • Dennis Quaid as Henry Whipple
  • Heather Graham as Meredith Crown
  • Sophie Curtis as Aubrey
  • Clancy Brown as Jim Johnson
  • Zac Efron as Dean Whipple
  • Maika Monroe as Cadence Farrow
  • Kim Dickens as Irene Whipple

3. Reception

At Any Price received mixed reviews. The film holds a 52% approval rating based on 98 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10, on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The websites critical consensus states, At Any Price features a terrific performance from Dennis Quaid, and it offers further evidence of Ramin Bahranis unique eye for detail, but film is weighted down by an overly melodramatic story." On Metacritic, the film has a 60 out of 100 rating based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, praising Bahrani for delving deep into the plot with layers and themes that communicate effectively and singling out Dennis Quaids performance as his best as "a flawed man with selfish values, a man for whom business success has seemed desirable no matter what its human cost."

Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that the performances of Quaid and Efron help deviate the film away from its credit straining plot twist, saying that they "drive them home in a movie that sticks to your ribs and stays in your head." Noel Murray of The A.V. Club gave the film a "C–", finding it a disappointment with its complex farmland plot being wasted with performances and dialogue "at the level of a Founders’ Day pageant". Holden also noted that Bahranis intention of making a mainstream film with substance will detract his usual audience, saying that "He’s treating them like dolts by making a film that holds to the corniest aspects of Hollywood storytelling, interrupted by bullet points."