Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The lives of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Cage), author Susan Orlean (Streep) and orchid poacher John Laroche (Cooper) become strangely intertwined as each one's search for passion collides with the others' in this adaptation of the best-selling "The Orchid Thief." [Columbia Pictures]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. 100
    Screenwriting this smart, inventive, passionate and rip-roaringly funny is a rare species. It's magic.
  2. 100
    It's typical of the nerve, the bravado, the sheer giddy playfulness and sense of fun that characterize what has to be the boldest and most imaginative studio film of the year.
  3. The notion of meta has never been diddled more mega than in this giddy Möbius strip of a movie, a contrivance so whizzy and clever that even when it tangles at the end, murked like swampy southwestern Florida itself, the stumble has quotation marks around it.
  4. It's a testament to Cage's canny performance and Jonze's seamless use of special effects that you believe Charlie and Donald are two entirely different people.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    The movie ends in a burst of violence that we are unprepared for and don't believe. Maybe it's the film's final joke. It's a miscalculation -- though a calculated one -- but it does not erase one's fond memories of all the odd, deeply humorous behavior that preceded it.
  6. Snags on the fact that neither story depicted -- not Kaufman's and especially not Orlean's -- is enough to sustain more than an incidental interest.
  7. Virtually everything that happens in Adaptation is almost juvenile showing off - daring to make a film that is in search of a script.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 80
  2. Negative: 12 out of 80
  1. Jun 5, 2014
    10
    Adaptation, just like my last review of Seven Psychopaths, references itself and is so ironic that it pulls it off. The movie is about a screenwriter who is having a hard time adapting a book into a movie, yet the actual screenwriter of this movie, Adaptation, wrote the movie about this subject. Cage plays a lonely, asocial screenwriter perfectly, and yet at the same time plays his social, flirtatious twin brother: sometimes in the same scene! It takes true acting talent to do that.

    Adaptation takes a banal subject- orchids- and turns it into an original piece of indie magic with a couple of unforeseen and unconventional twist near the end. It's more than a movie about a movie- it's a movie about failing to write a movie: if that makes sense.
    Expand
  2. lukeb
    May 8, 2008
    10
    A brilliant film, quite possibly my favorite film, it is beyond me why anyone can give this flick 0/10, i say they either lack the intelligence to appreciate an innovative creation or they should stick to predictable and simple flicks and avoid anything a bit different or challenging. This film has it all, great acting, cage and cooper give oscar worthy performances, i'm glad cooper got best supporting actor but why cage didn't get best actor is beyond me, this is his best performance, well at least in the films i've seen him in. Spike Jonze delivers stunning cinematography with an equally engaging narrative. This film is both comic and profoundly moving at the same time. being John Malcovich is a very good film, don't get me wrong but this is better, this is superb. Also look out for the countless in jokes mocking the conventional, predictable hollywood films. Especially the scene with Swinton and cage, Michael Clayton starring Tilda Swinton is an epitome of the kind of flick cage is trying to avoid making his screenplay like. Expand
  3. Jan 1, 2013
    10
    A film about the screenplay which is currently being written within the film and how it ends. Phenomenal and extraordinary. The lives of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Cage), author Susan Orlean (Streep) and orchid poacher John Laroche (Cooper) become strangely intertwined as each one's search for passion collides with the others' in this adaptation of the best-selling "The Orchid Thief." This brilliant meta-narrative and hilarious spoof of Hollywood's formulaic approach to telling stories. "Adaptation" came about because of Jonze and real-life writer Kaufman, who had worked previously on "Being John Malkovich." Cage's sweaty, uncomfortable turn in both roles is marvelous. I miss the vintage Nicolas Cage in well made films, and his performance here still amazes me every time. Enough can't be said about the performances of a stellar cast, Strep and Cooper (won Oscar), that exceed lofty expectations. Original, clever, beautiful, tragic, and I could go on. Expand
  4. BrianM
    Sep 17, 2009
    9
    Great Movie...Chris Cooper is Great!!
  5. Jun 28, 2014
    9
    Such a film that leaves you mulling over what just happened. In a good way, that is. The film's screenplay is contained in this droste effect of a film within a film. Nicolas Cage, when given the right script, can be an accomplished actor. Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper are far from supporting roles. It's a three way story and intertwines like 'Pulp Fiction'. Expand
  6. Apr 9, 2013
    8
    It's third act may be rather polarizing, but as an overall film, "Adaptation." is stil a beautifully written meta-drama with utterly priceless performances from Nicolas Cage and Chris Cooper. Expand
  7. SusieK.
    Jan 24, 2007
    0
    I tried to like this film, but I couldn't even finish it. My best friend loved it. I reckon it depends upon your taste. I found it very boring, I couldn't sympathize or care about any of the characters, and, in trying too hard to be artsy, it ends up being irritating and too dang long (I am not sure how much of it I saw, but my guess is about 2/3 to 3/4 before I got really fed up and quit watching). Expand

See all 80 User Reviews

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