Box art for Adaptation

Adaptation

comedy, drama


From the creator of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH comes a very original comedy about a screenwriter struggling to adapt a best-selling book about orchid thieves into a movie.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    91%
  • Audience Score
    85%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Adult stuff only but hilarious and fresh.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie has very mature material, including very strong language, brief nudity, sexual references and situations (including masturbation and a porn Web site), drinking, smoking, and drug use. The movie has quasi-comic violence, but characters are injured and killed. Characters break the law, including stealing from nature preserves and making psychotropic drugs.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how we chose our passions - or whether they choose us. Do Laroche and Orlean envy each other? Does Charlie envy Donald? Why did Charlie the real-life screenwriter divide himself in two in the movie portrayal? Why did he take real-life characters like Susan Orlean and John Laroche and have their movie characters do things that they never did? What do you learn from Laroche's reason for not fixing his teeth? If you were going to re-create yourself as a movie character, what would you write? This movie both uses and makes fun of many movie conventions - which ones did you spot?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    91%
    reviews counted: 29
    see all Adaptation reviews
  • Audience

    85%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Consider the irony: Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) wins best screenplay for a movie that's essentially about his failure to write a screenplay. That's worth a gold statuette on its own.

- Bill Muller, Arizona Republic, Friday, December 20, 2002

Rotten: Mired in the inertia of Charlie's writer's block, as if the real Kaufman never found his own passion for the material.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 10, 2003

Fresh: Reverberates on so many levels, comic and cosmic, that it is as trippy fun to think about as it is to watch.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, December 19, 2002

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Once again the combination of director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman makes for one of the weirder films of recent Hollywood years. The conjunction of the two stories, a screenplay writer struggling with his adaptation of a successful novel and the real events behind said screenplay in flashbacks, is extraordinarily well done. Of course that also makes the movie a bit of a mess each time the screenwriter goes through a messy period. His portrayal by Nic Cage is certainly one of his most outstanding performances to date. A film that is as hard to describe as it is to love. But in the end it's still very satisfying as an attempt to emphasize the feelings of a writer and someone who doesn't live life to the fullest, but needs tragedy to realize it.

- ironclad1609, Sunday, September 19, 2010

0 star

not interested

- MisterYoda666, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 stars

Every time I see this movie I enjoy it more. Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze created a word that is so far into the surreal and bizarre that you are almost tricked into seeing it as a comedy from first glance. However, this is far from one and probably the only thing that makes it reminiscent of one anymore is Donald and Laroche's character choices and personalities. There's a real story going on that is both tragic and almost chaotic. The transference from each movie within a movie to screenplay within a screenplay is baffling at times. Kaufman even says it's self indulgent while narrating. I don't think this story could take place on any normal level though because the manipulation of a simple flower story is one of the most interesting ways to adapt something. Nicholas Cage delivers two amazing performances that by some miracle play off each other extremely well. It's one of the times in his career where he doesn't seem to be himself in any way, but purely a character(s) that could exist in reality.

- ythelastman89, Tuesday, April 20, 2010