Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
San Jose Mercury News:
The most lacerating Hollywood comedy since The Player a decade ago, perfectly capturing the self-absorption of the industry for which it was made.
With Adaptation, Kaufman has found an entirely new way of telling a story, belying the old credo that there's nothing left that's new for the movies to show us.
Probably the most creative and noncommercial screenplay to be embraced by a Hollywood studio in years.
It will surprise you. It will delight you. It will give you something truly chewy to take home from the theater.
Almost all of it is funny and provocative in ways many other Hollywood movies, especially the adaptations, can't touch.
New York Times:
Mr. Cage and Mr. Jonze share a casual, daredevil sensibility, and the two of them -- or should I say the three of them? -- pull off one of the most amazing technical stunts in recent film history.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie,
It's the sort of movie that keeps reinventing itself and nudging us in the ribs as it does. You'll want to see it soon, because everyone you know will be talking about it.
This is epic, funny, tragic, demanding, strange, original, boldly sincere filmmaking.
Mired in the inertia of Charlie's writer's block, as if the real Kaufman never found his own passion for the material.
Kaufman's carefully constructed screenplay emphasizes so many layers of duality, it's beyond gimmick. It's a world view.
Demonstrates that Kaufman, the real Charlie Kaufman, has a rare and really weird talent not only for finding portals into other people's psyches but also for Silly Puttying his own into the stories he tells.
One of the most soulful and loopily romantic movies I've seen all year.
A movie far more cynical and lazy than anything a fictitious Charlie Kaufman might object to.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Few recent movies have conveyed so forcefully how people can feel shut out by their own lack of passion, how they yearn to end the emptiness.
I can't imagine Adaptation having much mainstream appeal, but, for those who look for something genuinely off-the-wall in a motion picture, this will unquestionably strike a nerve.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Gradually the movie's one joke plays out, and Charlie's doubts about inserting himself into his own screenplay prove to be well-founded.
Compare Adaptation to Woody Allen's lame Hollywood Ending, and you can see that Kaufman is Allen's true successor-formed by Allen but primed to carry the torch a little farther into the swamp of his own neuroses.
What Adaptation nails about writing is the soul-splitting duality of it: The combination of arrogance and neediness, of ego and insecurity, of the writer's lonely inertia with the romantic grandiosity of what they create.
For two-thirds of its running time the film is close to genius. But there's still no third act.
Too smart to ignore but a little too smugly superior to like, this could be a movie that ends up slapping its target audience in the face by shooting itself in the foot.
Every bit as clever and surprising as Malkovich.
Adaptation's success in engaging the audience in the travails of creating a screenplay is extraordinary.
Adaptation may not be the first movie to examine the creative process. But it's the most playfully brilliant.