Adam (2009)



Critic Consensus: Hugh Dancy's elegant performance as a man with Asperger's Syndrome elevates Adam, an offbeat but touching romantic comedy.

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In movies, when two twentysomethings serendipitously wind up under the same Manhattan roof, witty repartee usually transpires, then sparks fly, and eventually they fall into bed. But the boy and the girl in Adam are no ordinary characters, and their romance is anything but familiar. Soon after moving in, Beth, a brainy, beautiful writer, encounters Adam, the handsome, but odd, fellow in the downstairs apartment. A pleasant chemistry flows, but his awkwardness is perplexing. Whether avoiding eye contact or standing by blithely while Beth drags a heavy load up steep stairs, Adam seems utterly oblivious to social convention. Then one night, Adam regales Beth with an elaborate outer-space light show. It's a magical moment, tainted slightly by his obsessively thorough astronomical explanation. Their connection is palpable. It becomes clear that Adam's inability to decipher nonverbal signals is beyond his control. And yet Beth doesn't balk. Their mutual interest tentatively takes root.What makes this rare story about obstacles to human intimacy credible is its tremendous psychological wisdom; what makes it transcendent is the intelligence and authenticity radiating from actors Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne. Though their particular challenges are extraordinary, Beth and Adam's tricky relationship elucidates something universal: truly reaching another person means bravely stretching into discomfiting territory-and the shake-up can be liberating.
PG-13 (for thematic material, sexual content and language)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Hugh Dancy
as Adam Raki
Rose Byrne
as Beth Buchwald
Peter Gallagher
as Marty Buchwald
Amy Irving
as Rebecca Buchwald
Mark Linn-Baker
as Mr. Klieber
Karina Arroyave
as Teacher Assistant
Adam LeFevre
as Mr. Wardlow
Mike Hodge
as Judge
Peter O'Hara
as Williams
John Rothman
as Beranbaum
Terry Walters
as Michael
Mark Doherty
as Cop #1
Tom Levanti
as Cop #2
Luka Kain
as Bruce
Brooke Johnston
as Stephanie
Lonnie McCullough
as Expert Witness
Bill Dawes
as Scottie
Hunter Reid
as Child
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News & Interviews for Adam

Critic Reviews for Adam

All Critics (128) | Top Critics (34)

Adam is As Good as It Gets with a dash of Rain Man, movie comfort food, but still charms us through the familiar rhythms of its story.

Full Review… | August 26, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Dancy's eye-opening performance reveals he's a bona-fide acting talent, capable of carrying a movie without ever playing to your affections.

August 21, 2009
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Sure, it's complicated, but isn't that always true of romance? And doesn't it blow the hinges off the universe -- every single time?

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

There's no getting around the character's plight as an eternal outsider or the natural sympathy it draws. But writer-director Mayer never loses control of this fact, offering a story that's both sweet and tart, unique and familiar.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

It may not be original, but Adam could leave a lump in your throat.

August 19, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

For much of its first hour, writer/director Max Mayer's Adam is one of the year's more endearing love stories.

August 14, 2009
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Adam


A bittersweet and unconventional love story that benefits mostly from Hugh Dancy's great and extremely impressive performance as a handsome young man with Asperger's Syndrome.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


The love story is sweet, and what ultimately needs to happen in order for Adam to grow socially happens, but the representation of Asperger's Syndrome is pretty formulaic. All the symptoms are hit, and everything is explained a little too much. I wish we could have read the rest of Beth's raccoon book. The movie is almost there, but not quite.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


I think that I must be in love with Hugh Dancy. Anything I see him in I really like..and this movie I just loved. Very touching, romantic and sweet. I am glad that they didn't give us the typical love story ending. I actually really loved the way they approached the conclusion. Sooooooooo nice

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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