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The Adjustment Bureau
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22 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Great Title - Poor Plot

4/10
Author: Carson Serrani from United States
17 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I honestly had extremely high expectations for this movie from what the movie trailer was portraying. However after I watched the movie I was sorely disappointed. In my opinion it should have been about how "The Bureau" was controlling everyones moves and actions uncovering their every single move into their lives. Unfortunately the movie zeroed in on a "love story" and "fate"; which in my opinion made this Sci-Fi Action movie turn into a Sci-Fi Drama Chick Flick!

Like I previously stated: the trailer lead me to believe that the plot was going to be a Sci-Fi conspiracy movie about how the government or "The Bureau" controls the world (USA) and someone found out about them and tried to stop them to tell the world, but end up being killed for treason! Something along those lines, in my opinion. Anyways, overall I give this movie a 4 out of 10 because the plot could have been so much better for a Sci-Fi Thriller! Instead of turning it into a love story, which by the way there are way too many of those around already so why did they do this to the movie? I have no idea. But it was a bad idea.

Final Note: (SPOILER) Folks, if you love movies like 'Vantage Point' or 'The Bourne Supremacy' - stay away from this movie because you will too be sorely disappointed as was I. This was nothing close to what I was expecting from what the movie trailer of "The Adjustment Bureau" portrayed at all! Good luck folks, I hope you too have a different opinion than mine. Because I am just one person, who has seen hundreds of thousands of amazing, great, stupendous and kick-ass movies! So I know what I'm talking about when I wrote this review. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Best regards,

Carson Serrani Dezign Labs Web Team CarsonSerrani@DezignLabs.com +1 (888) 505-2819

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

This dime tour of NYC did not impress or entertain

Author: FatMan-QaTFM from United States
23 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review will contain a few spoilers. Here's the first one: it's mediocre at best.

Philip K. Dick shorts could fuel Hollywood for years. They're nice, well thought out premises that aren't so complicated that they leave viewers confused – movies like Minority Report and Total Recall. However when you put a good short in the hands of someone like George Nolfi, the clown responsible for penning Timeline and Ocean's Twelve, you get The Adjustment Bureau.

The movie starts out as a quirky rom-com with lead man Matt Damon losing a Senatorial election and find comfort in the arms of a flirty girl hiding in the men's room. Such stuff as dreams are made on. He has a chance meeting with her again some time later, but the big twist occurs when he's confronted by the partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, told it's just not meant to be and angels will kneecap him if he spills the beans about their big operation. Years later, we get a replay of the situation and it all goes to heck in a knapsack when The Adjustment Bureau says it must not be.

There are a few big problems with how this movie handles the thriller aspects. First, you have to care about characters for any chase or conflict to even matter. We get a slew of sappy Notebook-esque lines with little character development. As far as I'm concerned, David Norris is a childish flake and Elise Sellas doesn't give two craps about anybody's feelings but her own. Not very likable, but I guess they do deserve each other. Second, a thriller won't be thrilling if there is no danger. The biggest dangers are Norris not being a great politician and Sellas not becoming famous in modern dance circles. No threat of bodily harm and the bad guys are completely befuddled when water is in the picture. I've ranted in the past about this Hollywood notion that unless you get the girl AND the money, fame, and good looks, it's not worth it. For most of us, finding true love would be enough – we wouldn't have to be President on top of all that. Last, all throughout the movie the plucky "buddy comedy" music doesn't give the a sense of impending doom. If Richard Widmark's brutal wheelchair down the stairs scene from Kiss of Death had been accompanied by bongos and a symbol hit at the end, I don't think it would carry the same weight.

Maybe we've seen too many Matrix-type movies to be impressed by mind- bending sci-fi chases, but this dime tour of NYC did not impress or entertain.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Call me a sap, but it worked for me

8/10
Author: rzajac from Taichung, Taiwan
7 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's a strain in the comments to the effect that the purity of Dick's message got sold out by the treatment. So I watched it with some wariness.

But in the end, it worked for me. Yeah, the cinematic realization of the concept of spiritual intervention was kinda sorta klunky... Although I would be utterly tragically hip if I failed to tip my hat to the flash of campy sight-gagging on that theme! And, in the end, it was worth the investment of suspension of disbelief.

Not the greatest venue for Damon's cache and skills, but not too chabby, either. At the end of the movie, I was quite touched and taken by the moral of the story. The proof lies in the following pudding: Given that there is no Adjustment Bureau, does the moral still ring true?

*** Spoiler Alert ***

. . .

"Waking Life" said that "dream is destiny". But is Dick (and this movie) more aware of the underlying truth? Is the key to destiny really love?

***spoilers off***: I gave this an 8 merely because I feel that psychothriller sci-fi rarely overcomes its idiomatic commitments to reality-basis to truly transcend and become timeless art. Though The Adjustment Bureau gave me a run for my money, my expectations weren't entirely exploded. If they had been, it would've gotten a 9 or 10.

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28 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

And now something completely different... (of Philip K. Dick)

8/10
Author: saul-cepeda (saul.cepeda@gmail.com) from Spain
8 March 2011

We have here smart and smooth dialog, ontological arguments, great acting, sci-fi, clever editing, space-time dimensions and an inspiring love story. After watching the trailer, when I hear Philip K. Dick + George Nolfi (Bourne's Ultimatum, Ocean's 12, ¡Timeline!...), something disturbing came to my mind: a kind of Dark City-Paycheck hybrid... Nothing further from the truth.

The adaptation of PKD's short stories for the screen has no newness, but do it in a completely new shape within a romantic-comedy-like film (preserving all the Chaos Theory/Free Will/Determinism leitmotiv of the text) is a show worth seeing.

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224 out of 443 people found the following review useful:

Interesting premise sacrificed to silly clichéd love story

2/10
Author: benzing from Troy, NY
18 February 2011

I saw this at a preview screening. The premise of mysterious strangers controlling our destiny comes from the eccentric imagination of Phillip K. Dick; everything else in the movie is cookie cutter Hollywood fluff. None of the characters are remotely believable either in their everyday lives or in the nonchalant reactions to learning mind bending secrets about themselves and human destiny. What could have been an entertaining and creepy paranoid fantasy instead becomes a by the numbers sermon on the power of "true love" (which seems to refer to the infatuation you experience after spending a few hours engaging in cute banter and rolling in the hay with a virtual stranger). Has a number of unintentional laughs, not the least of which involves a character recounting a skewed history of the human race that ignores everything outside of Western Europe and America. Beyond all the silliness and the immaturity of the script, however, what really surprised me was how lazy it all felt. The performances were lackluster, the tense scenes were boring, the love story was passionless, the fantasy elements pedestrian. Towards the end I thought we might be at least being heading toward something really outrageous, but even that turned out to be a false hope.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Yes the romance is nice but the idea is lost and presented with such blandness that it is hard to care

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 November 2011

This film offers an interesting idea regarding an unworldly force that nudges and directs the path all of our lives take, it could have done a lot with it but what it decides to do is make a romantic film within this plot. Now there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself but someone should really have a word with the marketing department who decided that a concept-thriller would be easier to sell, since that is very much the film they set their campaign around – not this one. Anyway, cheap marketing aside, I came to this film on DVD with the trailers a long distance memory and average word of mouth having lowered my expectations somewhat.

The film starts with some spark and drive to it as we are introduced to the characters and have the curtains pulled back to reveal what is really going on and the power that "they" have. At this point I was interested but as the film progressed this was slowly worn out of me. Some will say this is because I am not a romantic; while that may well be true I did actually like the romance between David and Elise, it was well played and the two had that sort of spark that was required to make me believe in them after so little time, so my problem with the film isn't that the central motivator for the events is this potential love between them. No, my problem with the film is with what it does with the idea itself – which is practically nothing.

The film has very little pace and generally it drags itself along with the audience always looking over their shoulder to see where the film is – we're already 2 steps ahead and it would be lovely if the film at very least kept up with us. It doesn't though, it plays its spiritual card very early on and it never presents a real danger or threat to be overcome – the men in hats never come off as controlling or a threat or even anything close, at worst they come off as stuffy old kill-joys and in this way they make a poor "opposition" for our protagonist. I'm not suggesting I needed this to be an action movie, but the lack of any sort of sense of threat or urgency really hurts the film because this "idea" is the majority of the film, not the romance – so to mess up the basis for your film is not going to go well.

It is a credit to the on screen presence and charm of both Damon and Blunt that the romance side of the film works well, they both held my attention and kept me interested even when the rest of the film was so very light and surprisingly bland. Mackie, Slattery and Stamp deserved better – all three of them seemed to be phoning it in without anything really going on in their performances, only the odd flutter of urgency gave them good moments but otherwise they are let down. And they are let down by writer/director Nolfi; this guy has been the writer on a couple of big money-makers but he has done himself no favours with this effort – he loses the idea and gets tied up with the romance, forgetting that the idea is the story, not the romance. He lets his cast down and he lets the audience down – it still all looks expensive and professionally done, but this is for little comfort when the story-telling is so fluffed.

The Adjustment Bureau may well be built on a good idea (I will find and read Adjustment Team) but it does very little with it. The romance at the core is engaging but the idea is lost and is handled badly. There is little of interest, threat or pace about it; it isn't a terrible film by any means, it is just so average and lacking in edge that I really found it hard to care – and the fact that I was often ahead of it in regards narrative really didn't help either.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

boring and anticlimactic

Author: phd_travel from United States
10 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't bother to watch this silly yawn of a movie. It's neither here nor there. This movie is totally missable. The story is weak and the cast is totally wrong for their parts. There is no chemistry between the leads. Matt Damon looks too boyish for a senator and is a bit small sized for Emily. Emily looks a bit cross eyed and doesn't have that lean look of a ballerina. Serious miscasting. The running around and doors are repetitive and the passing of time is abrupt. The ending is a let down. Just a silly far fetched waste of time. The basic premise makes no sense if you think about it. Can't imagine why people went to see this dud and the box office was so respectable.

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31 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Bhuu-ahahahahahaha!

Author: Carson Trent from France
7 April 2011

Until yesterday when I wasted 2 hours of my life I was totally unaware of this Nolfi fellow. The Sentinel, Oceans 95210's, Bourne Ultimatum...Well, all of these would have served me as a fair warning, but I was oblivious. Shame on me, because I had seen them all, and the man has absolutely no clue about what he's writing about. Paper thin characters, ludicrous story, and laughable cardboard cliché dialog. Sample: "All I have are the choices I make, and I choose her, come what may." Well, Tarantino's certainly got nothing on you, Nolfi...

For those who are not familiar with Nolfi's oeuvre, here making his unfortunate directorial debut, expect a simple plot, no surprises, nothing new, nothing deep, nothing funny, no new filming technique, a fair insipid Damon, a fair Blunt, no chemistry whatsoever, no opportunity for chemistry whatsoever, a tired and apathetic Stamp, and a ludicrously adapted K.Dick story, some basic elements borrowed from "Dark City" 1998(men in hats which adjust us while we sleep), and "The Lost Room" 2006(doors which lead to far places) which unfolds like a soap opera episode of The Young and the Restless. Expect an uninspired soundtrack, and no twist. Yeah, that's right, there is no twist. And expect John Slattery with all the wardrobe from Mad Men. I guess with the recession and all, they thought of a way to keep the suits in rotation to maximize rentability. In a nutshell, expect no reason to remain seated and continue watching.

Pff, I'm not even having fun dissing it...Avoid like bird crap on a blue obnoxious hat...

Bo-riiiing! Nolfi, noted. No more surprises.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A thriller with no 'baddies'

8/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
29 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The blurb on the DVD cover describes this as 'Bourne meets Inception', so as I enjoyed those films I was keen to see this. While there are similarities I must say I thought this was much lighter fare; that's not to say I didn't enjoy it though. At first it looked as this would be a political thriller; with candidate for the US Senate David Norris faces a surprise defeat. As he tries to compose his thoughts in the gents he is interrupted by a mysterious woman, before he gets chance to learn who she is he has to go. He doesn't expect to see her again but some time later he bumps into her on a New York bus, this time he gets her name (Elise) and number. He doesn't get chance to call her though as things suddenly get very strange for him; he gets to work and finds everybody frozen and strange men capture him and explain that it is their job to make sure that everything that is meant to happen does happen… and he was not meant to meet Elise! They take her number but he is determined to find her and one day three years later he does, their problems are only just beginning however as The Adjustment Bureau haven't given up their plans to keep them apart.

I really enjoyed this; Matt Damon but in a fine performance as David Norris and Emily Blunt was suitably beguiling as Elise. Other notable performances include Anthony Mackie as the Bureau man responsible for Norris and Terrance Stamp for played one of his superiors. There was enough excitement without having the action swamp the plot and character development. It also made a nice change for there to be no real bad guys in a film like this… The Bureau may have been against the protagonist's plans but their motivation was never sinister. I also liked that no attempt was made to explain how things worked; we were told the Bureau men's hats enabled then to use doors to travel across the city but no time was wasted giving reasons; it just had to be accepted. Over all it was a lot of fun; I'd certainly recommend it.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I cannot / will not recommend this film

2/10
Author: jaxbubba from THE FARIS REEL on Facebook
12 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Movie Review: "The Adjustment Bureau" – A wannabe sci-fi film with a very interesting premise, only to turn into a lame love story!!!!! Matt Damon stars as David Norris, an up and coming politician. After failing to secure a seat in the NY Senate seat in his first attempt, David has a fate encounter with a mysterious ballerina in the restroom of the Waldorf Astoria. This incident triggers a set of pre-determined events which will enable the continued success of all mankind. To ensure that this master plan is followed, the "chairman" has dispatched "case workers" or some may call "angels" to nudge or direct key people in order to guarantee that these predestined happenings occur. When the master plan gets derailed or goes off-course, a special group of individuals (men in hats) called "The Adjustment Bureau" is called upon to correct the timeline. In the scenario of this film, it's a "second chance" meeting of Norris and the ballerina. The Master Plan has it preordained that these two individuals should never come in contact again. However, no matter how hard the "Adjustment Bureau" tries to redirect, hinder, or disrupt these two from coming in contact…. An even larger force or entity seems determined to bring the two back together. AND THIS IS WHERE THIS MOVIE GOES TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET!!! Instead of this force or entity being some sort of "anti-chairman", bent on the destruction of mankind… it's the power of LOVE that cannot be stopped…. OMG, PLEASEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! So when the Norris character (Damon) is given the option of never seeing the ballerina again, or it could mean the end of civilization as we know it; he opts for being with the girl!!! And that my friends, is where the film spirals into mediocrity!!! What occurs next is a ridiculous chase through a series of "magical doors" in which only "men with hats" can manipulate; and if this sounds ludicrous, IT'S BECAUSE IT IS!!!! How a movie with so much potential, could turn into such a pile of drivel, I will never know…. I cannot / will not recommend this film, and would avoid at all cost!!!

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