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The Adjustment Bureau
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Adjustment Bureau More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Follow the Plan

9/10
Author: Mark-129 from United States
20 March 2011

I really had not intended to write a review but just couldn't resist.

The Adjustment Bureau is nothing less than an excellent Art House film masquerading as a Sci Fi romance.

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are awash in chemistry as star-crossed lovers kept apart by Chance in the form of members of the Adjustment Bureau, whose sole purpose is to insure the world continues apace following the "plan" of it's "Chairman." What makes this film so good is the obvious love on screen and I'm not necessarily thinking of the two main characters. The mood, direction, cinematography and expert performances by all involved show great respect and belief in the material.

The only disappointment is the last two minutes or so. The denouncement needed... something. Perhaps a bit of dialog that might close the story on an even more satisfying note.

Finally, this film will not be a huge box office hit, but, over time I'm predicting it's stature will rise to the first rank of Science Fiction films.

Kudos to all involved.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Second Foundation

Author: Harry T. Yung (harry_tk_yung@yahoo.com) from Hong Kong
18 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My two-word summary line demands elaboration. The greatest sci-fi author ever, late Isaac Asimov, published his Foundation Trilogy in three consecutive years starting in 1951 and culminating in 1953 with "Second Foundation". Interesting to note that the source of the screenplay of this movie, Philip K. Dick's short story "Adjustment Team", was published in 1954. While the two piece of fictional work have very different backdrops – the former set in millenniums in the future while the latter (and the movie inspired by it) is contemporary (i.e. the time of their creation) - there are remarkable similarities.

Second Foundation is a team of mentalist with a quest to keep on track a master plan (the "Seldon Plan") to ensure the survival and well-being of humanity. They have power to adjust human minds and events, but only at a minimum level lest the ripple effect leads to serious, adverse unintended consequences. This is exactly what the "Adjustment Bureau" does. While "Second Foundationers" come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, members of the "Adjustment Team" are uniformly male (insofar as the movie goes) similarly attired in banal business wardrobe topped with a feroda.

While there certainly must have been temptations to render the movie into a lofty dissertation of free will versus predestination, director George Nolfi wisely leans towards the other angle – a romance, or even rom-com if you shift your focus a little more to the witty rapport between high-potential politician David Morris (we're talking eventual presidency here) and super-talented ballet dancer Elise Sellas (potential leading world-class choreographer). According to the Adjusters' "book" they are not supposed to meet, but against all odds (or should it be "with the help of all odds"?) they meet by pure chance, not only once, or twice, but three times over a span of three years. Once the sparkle is ignited, no amount of intervention from the Adjusters can pull them apart in order that they can each follow their predestined path to lofty achievements. This is basically the plot.

In romance genres like this one, everything depends on the two leads and if they fail, nothing else can salvage the movie. Here, we have two that don't (fail, that is). Emily Blunt portraying Elisa does not have too big a challenge as the character is completely unaware of the plot complications. But she needs to be convincing as a young woman who falls in love at first sight and follows through with utmost devotion. With her fragile vulnerability nested in a bright, playful persona, Blunt is beautifully convincing. Matt Damon is at his best as the indomitable bad boy politician with a sympathy-earning underdog childhood. The scene of their first encounter is vital, a foundation upon which the credibility of the romance is built. Don't get distracted by the somewhat unorthodox venue of a men's restroom (which some critics make too much out of) but watch the pitch-perfect timing and delivery of the well written dialogue. Watch for the ignition of emotion and mutual attraction underneath the outwardly flippant exchanges. Blunt and Damon cruised through this vital scene effortlessly.

There is a fantastic trio of support of the three Adjusters. Playing Harry (The Good) is Anthony Mackie who gained general recognition with his performance in "The hurt locker". Always recognizable is John Slattery playing Richardson (The Ugly), not a bad guy by nature but simply a typical civil-servant type following orders and excelling in dealing with problems by "kicking them upstairs". "Upstairs" is my personal favourite Terence Stamp, ever since his performance as a young sailor in "Billy Budd" in 1962, that is, three years before his signature performance in "The collector" (1965). In "The Adjustment Bureau" he plays Thompson (The Bad), who is high up in the hierarchy but not quite at the top. The three of them add significantly to the pleasure from watching this movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Almost Passed it By, but So Glad We Didn't

9/10
Author: perry-winkle656 from Canada
18 March 2011

Yes, if not for the wife being a huge fan of Matt Damon, I don't think we would have bothered to go and see this movie. We saw a few reviews comparing it to Inception, which we both thought was awful, but finally decided it just couldn't be that bad, so off we went. Boy, are we glad we did. Just goes to show that comparing one movie to another can sometimes, and more often than not is, the wrong thing to do. We loved this movie. It's got romance and the spark between Damon and Blunt was amazing. It's got intrigue, suspense, lots of action, a few laughs, and is very entertaining, the way all movies should be, but so few are. This is definitely the best movie to come out so far this year, and if you don't see it, then you're just cheating yourself out of some solid entertainment.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Original plot and very intriguing

9/10
Author: neenahhh from Philippines
17 March 2011

I was surprised to see a lot of negative comments about this movie, seeing as how I thought this movie was brilliant. It had this whole playing-with-your-mind factor which kept viewers interested. But it wasn't as mind-blowing as 'Inception' was, though.

I'm glad that the movie lived up to the promises of action, thrill and romance that was shown in the trailer. The people who decided what to put in the trailer should also be given props. Not much was given away, but the audience got the gist of the movie. I was surprised at many events that happened during the viewing. All trailers should be like this one, not like those overly long trailers like 'Charlie St. Cloud' where they practically reveal everything. This movie had a great trailer that attracted lots of expectant viewers to a great movie.

This is one of those movies where it feels like the events could actually be happening in real life. What if all those little times when we had a blackout or when the TV screen becomes static-y or when we drop our things, were all planned to somehow alter our course in life? It made me wonder.

This is a great movie. I would have given this movie a perfect 10 if I hadn't got brainwashed by some of the posts in the discussion board. If I read those posts before I went out, I probably wouldn't have chosen to see this movie. Don't listen to naysayers. I'm surprised they even exist. This was a truly excellent movie!

Viewed on: March 17, 2011 ; December 26, 2011

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Well Crafted Movie but it was played too safe

8/10
Author: Glenn Soltes from Guelph
16 March 2011

I really enjoyed this movie. It was both creepy and thought provoking.

It was also incredibly internally consistent considering the type of movie it was. The acting and writing was excellent.

The cinematography was also excellent, and the writers didn't delve too deep into explaining everything, which in this case was a good thing.

BUT ... I couldn't help feeling a little shortchanged as the movie pretty much stuck to the Plan ..... the Hollywood Plan.

With a little more daring this movie could have transcended. There was just so much material here to be tapped and this movie only scratched the surface.

The cinematography was also excellent, and the writers didn't delve too deep into explaining everything, which in this case was a good thing.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Love: Simply Fate

9/10
Author: jonnyhavey from United States
15 March 2011

Finally, an original take on the over done love story about boy meets girl, boy can't be with girl, boy does what ever it takes to be with girl. There is a twist this time around concerning an uncontrollable higher power as boy redefines the meaning of giving up everything. Writer Director George Nolfi (Writer, "The Bourne Ultimatum") creates another thrilling screenplay with its roots coming from a short story called the "Adjustment Team," written by Philip K. Dick starring Matt Damon ("Hereafter") and Emily Blunt ("The Young Victoria"). Damon plays a party hard young man named David Norris who grows up to become a very famous politician with a heartbreak past. Norris is destined for greatness, however, after leading the senate race for New York state he loses leading him to the one place on earth that he can relax and be alone, the bathroom. After practicing his losing speech supported by very well crafted film editing, he meets a woman named Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). After kissing her he is inspired to give the best speech he has ever given making him the front-runner for the next election. He feels as if he is destined to be with Elise, but does not have anyway to keep in contact with her. He tries his hardest to see her again, but what he does not realize is that there is a greater force at power concerning a group known as the Adjustment Bureau. Why can't he be with Elise and how far will he go to be with her? "The Adjustment Bureau is a supernatural, spiritual, religious thriller about mastering ones fate at any cost.

Besides being very well written and original "The Adjustment Bureau" is just a really cool movie. It is a love story that guys have no excuse to not go to with their girlfriends, because it is much more than that. First of all Matt Damon, the king of thrillers most well known for the "Bourne Trilogy", stars in the film in which he is essentially on his own against fate. The ever so talented Emily Blunt is lovely to watch on screen as well with her good looks and superb acting ability, making a very well acted film. The Adjustment Bureau itself was very well depicted revealing just enough of their secrets, while leaving room for plenty of mystery. All of them also look awesome with because of their characterization and costumes (hats and overcoats). A simple yet very complicated and deep film is produced leaving you to even understand your life a little better.

The shortcomings in this film can be attributed to minor details. The film does its best to be simple, but at certain points unexplainable incongruities appear that contradict other explanations. However, these shortcomings aren't big enough to hurt the film. Other complaints may stem from the films preachy religious ending that may be a let down for some audiences.

"The Adjustment Bureau" is a part of a release weekend marking the beginning of good 2011 films. It is a different kind of love story that does not necessarily have a bad guy and a good guy simply about a man and a woman who want to be with each other. Is it fate? After leaving the theater you may even think that you were meant to see the film.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

thumbs up for this one :)

9/10
Author: jessica from Australia
15 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I Recently went to see this movie and I thought it was brilliant. I like the idea behind it. I am not a huge fan of Matt Damon but after seeing him in this movie I have changed my opinion. The acting was great and the love between the characters seemed genuine and not fake like in other movies I have seen. What I took out of this was the extremes that people are willing to go to for love.It wasn't too over the top and it terms of love and romance, it was real. Aside from the romantic side, the action was good and you were always on the edge of your seat hoping that these 2 characters would find a way back to one another and defeat the people who are against them being together. A great movie for people of all ages.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Film that Goes Beyond Shallow Entertainment

7/10
Author: 3xHCCH from Quezon City, Philippines
14 March 2011

This was a movie that I watched without any preconceived notions about it. I thought at first that it was a political film as Congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) was on his campaign to be the youngest Senator of New York. Then I thought it was a romantic film when Norris meets a charming mysterious girl in a men's restroom (Emily Blunt), and gets hit with love at first sight. However, the script makes another turn and introduces us to the agents of the Adjustment Bureau, whose job is to make sure the lives of each person goes according to the Chairman's plans. Whoa, there is a supernatural dimension to this movie, as well!

I felt the movie was very interesting. You will get into the flow of the story and be very entertained. A big part of its connection with the audience are the very appealing performances of both Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as the star-crossed lovers, David and Elise. Their chemistry was charming and electric! Despite how the story was going, you will want to root for the two of them. I must admit you will have an inkling how everything would end up, but still you will want to follow the story up to the very end to see how it goes. The special effects of the case books and the opening doors add to the thrill of watching.

At the end of the movie though, you will be thinking about your own life, religion and fate. The "Chairman" is a none-too-subtle reference to God. There is God's will and Man's will. The movie suggests that man can get around God's will when he intently wants to make it happen. As Catholics, we believe we should leave our life all up to God's will. "Your will be done, not mine." Therefore, when personal religious beliefs come in, a film like this can go beyond shallow entertainment. I enjoyed watching "The Adjustment Bureau" as a suspenseful love story, although I may not necessarily subscribe to its inherent philosophical premise.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good story but lacking chemistry

6/10
Author: quinnox-1 from United States
13 March 2011

The adjustment bureau has a pretty interesting story based on familiar science fiction themes however the main plot revolves around a couple who are supposed to be madly in love with each other but this isn't reflected on screen. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt play the lovers and the lack of chemistry between them is awkward and uncomfortable. I never felt they even liked each other let alone being crazy in love. In fact, it seemed to me Emily Blunt's character actively disliked Matt Damon's character in many scenes. Since this love story was very unconvincing and is the main focus of the movie as the story develops it takes away from the fairly intriguing story of Matt Damon accidentally stumbling into a hidden world of a Matrix-like dimension.

Terence Stamp plays a powerful chief enforcer type character and I thought he was excellent in this role. By far he had the most interesting character in the movie. Another problem is there are too many celebrity cameos in the film. Well known news people like James Carville and CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Mayor Bloomberg, all these appearances are brief but still make the movie feel artificial. I'm trying to watch a movie not CNN political news.

The story is a good one, if a little unoriginal and too familiar of other more successful movies in the past such as The Matrix. This movie is worth seeing but the two actors at the center kind of let down the story line.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A cool concept produces a boring story

6/10
Author: Terrell Howell (KnightsofNi11) from United States
13 March 2011

So what all can be said about The Adjustment Bureau? Honestly, not that much. This film wants to offer a lot, but overall it is just glaringly... average. It opens excitingly with the introduction of Matt Damon's character, David Norris, who is running for New York Senator. He is projected to be the winning candidate due to his immense popularity amongst the young voters. He has a sure victory lined up for him until a story about his rowdy college days surface. This article causes him to lose the race. While preparing to give his losing speech he meets a girl named Elise, played by Emily Blunt, in the restroom. After a brief romantic moment with her she leaves. David doesn't see her again for months until one day he happens to meet her on a bus. This time Elise gives David her number before he leaves. He goes into his office, only to discover that all of his coworkers are frozen in time and they are being "adjusted" by mysterious men in suits and hats. He learns that these men are adjusters and they control what humans call fate. After filling him in on their operations, the adjusters let David go and he then goes on a persistent quest to find Elise, the woman he is madly in love with but was never supposed to meet more than once.

The best adjective to describe this movie would sadly be... boring. It starts well and ends decently depending on how you look at it. But the majority of the movie is just plain dull. Not much happens throughout the middle of this film and all the story lines are drawn out too much. The characters are likable, but not terribly interesting. For the most part this film lacks any kind of interest or excitement until the climax which definitely will draw you back in.

The concept of this film is very neat and I enjoyed all of the subtle sci-fi aspects of the film. There's nothing glaringly sci-fi about it. The adjusters all look like normal people and they don't use any kind of exotic looking technology to do their work. They aren't dressed up in some bizarre alien garb and instead they wear suits and hats. The most sci-fi thing they do is travel between various points far away from each other through doors around the city. The unfortunate thing is, the actual plot that comes out of this intriguing concept is a pretty basic and lackluster romance story. The concept of this film can be related back to films like Dark City (1998) or The Matrix (1999). Those films tell vastly more interesting stories than the dull romance The Adjustment Bureau presents. I can't say that anything about the plot itself was horribly constructed or poorly done, it just wasn't that interesting. There are too many possibilities to go along with this concept to choose the one in this film.

About two thirds of the way into this film Terence Stamp's character Thompson is introduced. This is when the movie really starts to kick off again. Some important things are revealed along with Thompson's arrival and that made the film start to become a lot better. After Thompson is introduced the film rises and falls a few more times before it ends with a climax that is done very well for what it's worth. By that I mean it gets about as interesting as such a dull movie can get. It has an odd ending, but I think it worked for the most part. It wasn't terribly memorable (I say this because I'm having trouble remembering exactly how it ended right now) but it's about what you'd expect.

The Adjustment Bureau isn't a terrible film by any means. It's not great either. The filmmakers could have done so much more with this, but they refrained, and the result was a very boring film. This is not something I would ever watch again and in fact I don't think it is something I'll remember ever seeing in about a week. This is just one of those films that had a lot of potential but fell short and ended up being something that isn't painful to watch, but it isn't an exciting watch either.

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