Adaptation. 2002

Critics score:
91 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Bruce Newman, 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. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: It's the most original, exhilarating and hilarious movie of the year. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: It's an amazing piece of work. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Probably the most creative and noncommercial screenplay to be embraced by a Hollywood studio in years. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: It will surprise you. It will delight you. It will give you something truly chewy to take home from the theater. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Almost all of it is funny and provocative in ways many other Hollywood movies, especially the adaptations, can't touch. Read more

A.O. Scott, 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. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 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. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This is epic, funny, tragic, demanding, strange, original, boldly sincere filmmaking. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The boldest and most imaginative studio film of the year. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Mired in the inertia of Charlie's writer's block, as if the real Kaufman never found his own passion for the material. Read more

Steven Rosen, Denver Post: Kaufman's carefully constructed screenplay emphasizes so many layers of duality, it's beyond gimmick. It's a world view. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: A comic gem with some serious sparkles. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: A daring and gleeful rearrangement of film grammar and a zinging ode to the imagination. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: One of the most soulful and loopily romantic movies I've seen all year. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: A movie far more cynical and lazy than anything a fictitious Charlie Kaufman might object to. Read more

Peter Rainer, 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. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: 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. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: What a bewilderingly brilliant and entertaining movie this is. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Warped, self-lacerating and giddily hilarious. Read more

Mick LaSalle, 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. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: 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. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: For two-thirds of its running time the film is close to genius. But there's still no third act. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: 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. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Every bit as clever and surprising as Malkovich. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Adaptation's success in engaging the audience in the travails of creating a screenplay is extraordinary. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Adaptation may not be the first movie to examine the creative process. But it's the most playfully brilliant. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Adaptation is simply brilliant. Read more