REVIEW: Netflix movie ‘The Adam Project’ sees Ryan Reynolds teaming up with his just-as-snarky younger self in time-traveling sci-fi adventure

Mar 11, 2022, 11:23 AM | Updated: 1:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The story of one of the most popular and beloved time-travel movies of all time (Back to the Future) came about when the film’s writer asked himself if he had known his parents in high school, would he have been friends with them?

The newest entry into the time-travel movie genre, The Adam Project starring Ryan Reynolds, instead asks the questions: Would the adult version of you be able to put up with the teenage version of you, and would the teenage version of you be happy with the adult you’ve become?



In the year 2050, a pilot named Adam Reed (Reynolds) steals an aircraft and time-travels back to the current day.  Because he was injured during the escape into the past, grown-up Adam needs the help of his 12-year old self () to accomplish his mysterious but important mission.

12-year old Adam, on the other hand, is still dealing with the recent passing of his father (Mark Ruffalo) and has been distancing himself from his grieving and overwhelmed mother (Jennifer Garner).  He covers up his emotional pain with a snarkiness that gets him into trouble with bullies and school principals.  When the two Adams meet up, neither is quick to warm up to the other.

Future Adam has come to the past to investigate the disappearance of his wife (Zoe Saldana), but chasing him is his father’s former business partner (Catherine Keener), who may have already meddled with the timeline.


I thought the casting was the strongest part of the movie, particularly the discovery of Scobell, who really seemed to get how to imitate Ryan Reynolds’ mannerisms and comedic rhythms.  Saldana, Garner and Ruffalo (their first movie together since 13 Going on 30) are all great but they just didn’t get enough screen time, in my opinion.

Director , who also teamed up with Reynolds on last year’s hit movie Free Guy, wisely keeps things light & fun.  The movie spends almost no time focusing on the science behind the time travel, and the future is mostly just referenced rather than shown.  But while I can see where that might frustrate some, to me it felt more like a throwback to older days in film where they didn’t feel like they had to take two and a half hours to world-build in every movie.

Perhaps that compact storytelling also helped them save budget so they could spend it on special effects they did include in the movie.  I thought it was pretty good, especially for a Netflix movie, and the futuristic soldiers and weapons were pretty creative.  There were also subtle nods to other films of the time travel genre.


The Adam Project is rated PG-13 for violence, action, language and suggestive references.  There is some blood, though not much, and physical bullying is shown.  The run time is 1 hour and 46 minutes.  Most families with kids over age 8 would probably be OK to watch this together.


To me, The Adam Project was a fun movie that, like pretty much anything from Ryan Reynolds anymore, depends largely on how much you like his snarky sense of humor.  I personally love it so I enjoyed this film.

While I liked the quick pacing of the movie, it also left the villains very underdeveloped and almost felt irrelevant.  Not getting to see the other talented actors in the cast do enough also robbed some scenes later in the film of the emotion they were going for, and watching both the Adam’s try and deal with their grief just didn’t connect like it could have.

Final Rating: TWO out of FOUR stars


The Adam Project is available to stream on Netflix, but it’s also playing in one Wasatch Front theater (Cinemark Jordan Landing).

Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Movie Reviews

Javon "Wanna" Walton (left) as Sam Cleary and Sylvester Stallone (right) as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN,...

REVIEW: Stallone’s ‘Samaritan’ stops short of superhero movie success

Sylvester Stallone's latest movie SAMARITAN sees him as a garbage man that a teenage neighbor believes to be a superhero in hiding. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says there are some cool moments that action and superhero movie fans will enjoy, but overall thinks it's good that the movie is only streaming on Prime Video and not in theaters.
1 month ago
(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn,...

REVIEW: ‘Thirteen Lives’ movie dramatically tells real rescue story of Thai soccer team from flooded cave

In THIRTEEN LIVES, a true story-based movie on Amazon Prime about the rescue of a teenage soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand, director Ron Howard manages to pull off the feat of balancing truth with drama without turning it into a documentary. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it was an emotionally-engaging movie that showcases the triumph of human effort and spirit when we work together to solve a problem.
2 months ago
(L to R) B.J. Novak as Ben Manalowitz and Boyd Holbrook as Ty Shaw in VENGEANCE, directed and writt...

REVIEW: Dark comedy ‘Vengeance’ goes deeper than easy stereotypes for laughs in murder mystery movie

The death of a one-time fling draws B.J. Novak's writer/podcaster character Ben to West Texas to investigate and hopefully turn the story into a career-making podcast in Focus Features' VENGEANCE. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says this dark comedy has some great twists and very funny moments, while also going beyond stereotypes to create real characters.
2 months ago
Michael Cera as “Hank” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Jimbo” in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank...

REVIEW: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ remakes an adult comedy classic into an animated movie for modern-day kids

A kids animated movie based on the irreverent 1970's film BLAZING SADDLES? That's exactly what PAWS OF FURY: THE LEGEND OF HANK is, right down to having Mel Brooks voice a character. A friendly dog ventures to the land of cats to become a samurai, and finds himself protecting a village that doesn't even want him there. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says its got a great voice cast but keeping your expectations for the movie in check will help you enjoy it more.
3 months ago
The Gray Man (2022) Ryan Gosling as Six. Cr. Stanislav Honzik/Netflix © 2022...

REVIEW: ‘The Gray Man’ is a violent but fast-paced throwback to action/spy movies of the past, with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling chasing each other around the globe

The new action thriller movie THE GRAY MAN, from AVENGERS ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo, sees Chris Evans' sadistic mercenary chasing Ryan Gosling's on-the-run CIA agent all around the globe to get back some stolen information. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a love letter to spy and action movies of the past, and is very entertaining at times, though it is also quite violent.
3 months ago
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND...

REVIEW: Portman, Bale help make ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ more than just another goofy adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, the 29th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sees Chris Hemsworth's Thor have to deal with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) using his formerly-destroyed mystical hammer and possessing his same power while trying to stop a villain who can kill gods. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's another goofy take on the character that has some very funny moments, but may not be to everyone's tastes.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
REVIEW: Netflix movie ‘The Adam Project’ sees Ryan Reynolds teaming up with his just-as-snarky younger self in time-traveling sci-fi adventure