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8/10
An all around amazing film
chrismsawin3 March 2011
Considering all the garbage movie critics have to sit through in a year, it's pretty amazing when a film that's smarter than most hits theaters and makes a bit of an impact. Independent films are one thing, but major ones released by bigger studios are even a bigger deal when this occurs. I think that's one of the reasons Inception was so great. Creativity and intelligence are two things that are usually lacking from blockbusters. The Adjustment Bureau is a film that has a bit more to it than you're probably expecting. Based on "The Adjustment Group," a short story by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report), The Adjustment Bureau has probably already caught your attention either because you're a fan of Dick's work and/or the movies that were adapted from it.

The film's charm is definitely in its explanation for things. The way the bureau works and how they function is a wonder in itself. You'll never look at a door or a man wearing a hat the same way again after viewing the film. Perhaps the most interesting is Thompson's explanation of how events in history like The Great Depression and The Holocaust came about. The story is very imaginative and different from the norm, which is always a fantastic change in pace when it comes to film. At the same time though, those who like having absolutely everything explained to them will probably be disappointed. The Adjustment Bureau explains enough to get the wheels in your brain turning and leaves some things open to your interpretation, which could hurt someone's overall opinion of the film depending on the viewer.

I've never been the biggest Matt Damon fan. My favorite memory involving him was the Team America parody that he wasn't even involved with, but I think of that "Matt Damon!" line every time I see him on screen. However, he did have strong showings in both Hereafter and True Grit from last year. He keeps the trend going here. David seems to be a guy who was once fueled by speaking in front of hundreds of people and politics, but has now replaced that void with Elyse. The chemistry he has with Elyse, despite feeling somewhat brief, is one of the driving factors of the film. Anthony Mackie winds up being the most memorable bureau agent mostly because he has an emotional tie to David, but John Slattery and Terence Stamp have some pretty noteworthy performances as well.

I have the impression that a lot of people will write this off as a Men In Black ripoff, but The Adjustment Bureau is a bit more clever than either Men In Black film. The films surely have their similarities, but The Adjustment Bureau deserves to be given a chance. I think it'll surprise a lot of viewers.

The Adjustment Bureau is easily the smartest live-action film to be released in the first few months of 2011. With a solid cast, a hefty helping of creativity, and just an absorbing experiencing overall, The Adjustment Bureau is bound to leave a lasting impression when it comes time to look back on the best films of the year. The film leaves you questioning how much of your life is really left to fate and chance. Films seem to leave an impression that lasts longer if it makes you think or strikes a cord or hits close to home in some capacity. This film does that and then some. It comes highly recommended even if you have your reservations about it.
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7/10
Intelligence mixed with big-budget Hollywood action to form the new science fiction romance genre
napierslogs6 March 2011
I'm starting to like this new genre of science fiction romance that "The Adjustment Bureau" falls into. Hollywood seems to have learned how to add a significant amount thought to their films, just with their usual dumbing-down procedures.

David (Matt Damon) has met Elise (Emily Blunt) and based on one spontaneous kiss and one flirtatious encounter, he's determined that she's the one he's supposed to be with. They have other plans. Oh yes, the indefinable, ambiguous pronoun "they". Just to keep a sense of the intrigue afloat, I'll define "they" as the men of "The Adjustment Bureau". What they want, we don't really know. But David wants the girl—a beautiful girl—but just a girl nonetheless.

For us, questions of free will, fate, soul mates, success and pre-defined destinies abound. All running around an intricate maze of New York architecture. Although intricate might not be the best word because there's nothing here for us to figure out; the film lays everything out well in advance, and over and over again in case you missed it. At least there's intelligence to the story but unfortunately no subtlety.

"The Adjustment Bureau" has pretty city-scapes and pretty people playing more profound characters than pretty people usually play. As with most genre-mixing films, there is something for everybody. I got the intelligence that is usually sorely missing from big-budget Hollywood action films although I could have done with a bit more respect.
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8/10
A well made and more thoughtful film that you might be expecting
julian-mumford9 March 2011
What if your own free will was nothing of the sort. Every move you made was in accordance with a master plan, any kinks or imperfections "adjusted" by persons unknown, constantly on hand to ensure you stayed on track.

Many people might assume that their lives are quite the reverse, with all the bad decisions they have made, anything resembling a master plan is unlikely.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a rising New York Congressman with his heart set on becoming a young Senator, everything is going according to plan until he meets the beautiful quirky ballerina, Elise (Emily Blunt) in a mens restroom.

Elise inspires him in ways that he could not have imagined but any longer term relationship is not part of the plan the "Men in Grey" have mapped out. They do not like their careful plans messed with, ever. Although they do get to wear Trilby's, which not only look cool but are also a necessary tool for their profession.

The many scenes between Blunt and Damon are very believable and natural, real chemistry in action and is fun to watch. Blunt is a breath of fresh air in the congressman's driven life, living more in the moment than he possibly ever did before.

Just when you think the film will descend into a smorgasbord of special effects, the story goes into the opposite direction. A thoughtful and character driven piece about choices and the ripple effect each path taken, or not taken, has on your own and other peoples lives.

Terence Stamp, still with one of the best voices in the business, together with Anthony Mackie & John Slattery, do good work as the agents attempting to get everything back on track.

There are some good lines and Damon can play an aspiring politician with ease, no doubt he could be one in real life if he chose to move in that direction.

The central question of defining who we are by the choices we make is explored and it is good to see another movie messing with our heads, if only just a little. If we have no free will are we still the people we thought we were, very deep but don't panic, the film does not get too caught up in this existentialism.

The action is limited, there are no cars exploding and the body count is non existent, a refreshing change from most modern films. A film that could have been made in the 50's from a story point of view, although actually based on a short story by Phillip K Dick of "Do Androids dream of electric sheep" fame, the inspiration for "Blade Runner".

Production values are good, although not of the highest flight. The costumes worn by the adjustment police are rather dodgy and look like guys with spare motorcycle helmets sprayed black. Not what you would expect in a big budget Hollywood movie, a small point but quite noticeable.

Similar to many films of this genre, the movie has to decide how to wrap everything up neatly. The final reel is perhaps a little disappointing but that depends on how you would want the film to end, somehow it feels that the easier option was taken.

Summary

A well made and more thoughtful film than you might be expecting.

Well acted with a believable romance, a light dusting of Sci-Fi and a great story. "Inception" lite perhaps, which is certainly recommendation enough for any film.

http://julesmoviereviews.blogspot.com/
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9/10
We loved it! Imaginative, Romantic, Intriguing
dapplegrey137 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was invited to a free screening with a big group of friends in Atlanta. I thought it might be right up my alley and it definitely WAS. It's similar to "Inception" (one of my very favorites), but simpler.

This fantasy-suspense-action-love story is very intriguing and ROMANTIC. I don't think any of us have seen Matt Damon be this passionate about a woman in film before. THIS is the very best Matt Damon I've ever seen -- he is at his most charming, lovable, and most moving here. And that's coming from a big fan of the Bourne Identity films, The Departed, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Rounders, and many other Damon films.

The Adjustment Bureau has a great supporting cast. Emily Blunt was delightful and mysterious..... There were quite a few laughs as well as some gasps from our audience (a packed house, too.) Most importantly, the STORY is intriguing. Yes, that's what makes the film unforgettable is simply the story. It's imaginative and very well-written.

It's a family-friendly film as best I remember --maybe PG-13 because of some almost-nudity; but no swearing, no gore, no bad scares, and no drugs or alcohol. It's all suspense, charm, intrigue, action, and romance!

If you are not a fan of The Matrix, Inception, Moon, Memento, or other fantasy type mind-benders, then you may not enjoy this film. We loved it though. We heard rave reviews from other audience members afterward, too.
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5/10
Ministry of Silly Hats
Colin George11 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"The Adjustment Bureau" is preposterous, and before you counter with "Well, duh, it's science fiction," allow me to elaborate. I'm down with the premise that mankind is safeguarded by an invisible shadow organization that dictates the paths we follow and the decisions we make— what baffles me is that they achieve these means through (spoiler alert?) magic hats. I wish I were joking. The single biggest misstep in this bungled Philip K. Dick adaptation is that the mystique of our antagonists is dispelled almost instantaneously. We get to know our aggressors who, as it turns out, are anything but aggressive. To compare genres, there's never been a great thriller where the detective in pursuit of a killer is 'just doing their job.' Passion breeds compelling cinema, and the paper pushers at the heart of "The Adjustment Bureau" are supremely uninteresting.

And despite the fact that they are explicitly "not human," a very human error sets the plot in motion. An Adjustment Bureau agent oversleeps (these guys sleep?), thus congressman and senate hopeful David Norris (Matt Damon) catches an early bus, bumping into a familiar comely Englishwoman (Emily Blunt) whom he was never supposed to see again. The film's saving grace is the pair's believable rapport, but after the forces that be repeatedly pull them apart, with sometimes years lapsing between meetings, it gets harder and harder to believe either is still carrying the other's torch.

Then you get into the contradictions and lapses in logic so heady a concept lends itself to. The law that governs the Adjustment Bureau is foggy at best, and though they evidently think nothing of freezing time to manually alter the opinion of Norris' political adviser, they seem incapable of preventing the divergences Norris himself so frequently propagates. Why not squelch Norris' irksome infatuation through similar tactics? Elsewhere, the Bureau threatens him with a memory wipe, but repeatedly chooses to reason with him rather than to take more effective action. For as much as they make of their supposedly infallible plan—which looks a lot like the animated Marauder's Map from "Harry Potter"—and the omniscience it grants, these celestial shepherds are about as dumb as sheepdogs.

In the belated final act, Norris races toward the mother of all movie climax clichés—the eleventh hour wedding intervention. With his unrequited love set to marry another dude, Norris exploits "The Adjustment Bureau's" two most ridiculous plot devices in order to intervene. First, he scores a magic hat, enabling him to access the subspace network that provides a series of shortcuts throughout New York. Second, he cloaks himself in a rainstorm, which like all water, inexplicably clouds the Bureau's ability to chart movement.

It's a shame that "The Adjustment Bureau" hangs its own proverbial hat on so many ludicrous details. The big questions it poses, while far from new, are well suited for a love story, and the directorial debut of screenwriter George Nolfi shows some promise. Unfortunately it's the writing that's at fault here, and while I can't speak to the source material, Nolfi's adaptation is rife with questionable choices. Potential squandered, "The Adjustment Bureau" is cast adrift in sci-fi no man's land between good intentions and their eye-rolling realization.

"Trust no one with a hat," Norris is melodramatically advised. "A Yankees cap, even a yarmulke." No joke, if you can swallow a line like that—hat's off.
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10/10
Refreshing and Intriguing
Andrew Dawson10 February 2011
I was invited today to see an Advance Screening of this movie by a a friend and was excited to find out it was this movie. I had seen the preview during the commercial break from one of my TV shows that I follow and it seemed promising.

In a movie world today where everything released just seems to be sequel after sequel and remake after remake, I found this movie original and thought provoking. With a combination of elements that included thriller and science fiction themes, and then adding in a spiritual and romance side of things as well, this movie had it all.

I thought Matt Damon was excellent in his role and I was captivated for the whole movie in its concept it was drawing onto between fate and free will.

It is my hope many people will show up to see this movie. I loved it and know that I will definitely buy it when it's released on DVD in the future.

Oh and the theater I saw it in had a couple of hundred people watching it and they erupted into applause at the end. How often does that happen these days at the end of movies? Hopefully that tells you how great this movie was!
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9/10
How far would you go to be with the love of your life?
xwingz6 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by George Nolfi based on a short story by the name of Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick, is about how much one would be willing to sacrifice in the name of love. Matt Damon plays David Norris, a young, ambitious, idealistic Congressman seeking election for a seat in the Senate. However, upon a short encounter with Elise (Emily Blunt), when they share a brief but meaningful kiss, David realizes his true love lies with Elise, not at the hands of registered voters of New York City. The adjustment bureau quickly notices the spark, and was determined to separate the two lovers because according to "the plan", their love was never meant to be. David, however, refuses to back down, and fights against his fate to be with the one he loves. What makes The Adjustment Bureau a truly great movie is that it sends a powerful message: don't be afraid to go after what you want. Even if it means going against the will of a powerful, if not divine being. The movie makes it no secret that "the chairman" is a symbolism for God, and the people of the adjustment bureau are His angels ("we've been called that (angels)", says Harry Mitchell, a member of the adjustment bureau in one scene). However, in the film, even God is not all powerful, as He only has limited enforcers in the adjustment bureau, so if a nuclear warfare were to break out, even He could not prevent the catastrophe that would follow. The film also makes a strong case that free will does take its toll. As Thomson, another adjustment bureau member reminds us in another scene, that although "the chairman" has blessed us with the gifts of intellect and reason, it was those same gifts that caused the world to be on the brink of destruction during the Cuban missile crisis. To add additional pressure for David to keep away from Elise, Thomson informs David that if he chooses to be with her, not only will it ruin his dream, but will also ruin her dream (she is fated to be a famous dancer, and then a famous choreographer). As if to add insult to injury, Thomson flexes his muscle, causing Elise to sprain her ankle, then telling David that he is the one to blame for her injury. After a few twists and turns, the film reaches its climax with a showdown between David and the Thomson, which was very exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat (as did all other parts of the movie), I have to admit that the resolution was a bit of a cop out (I won't ruin it for you). In fact, if the movie had a resolution that was as epic as the rest of the storyline, I would not hesitate to give it 10/10 stars. Unfortunately, the ending did disappoint me a great deal, so as it stands, I'm giving it a 9/10. As a final note, I would like to say that you were planning on watching this movie at all, you almost certainly should see it in the theater. Director George Nolfi (FYI, this is his first movie as director) incorporates beautiful cinematography, as well as great sound mixing (or is it sound editing? I'm not sure). I especially loved the clicking noise of the dressing shoes of Thomson and his enforcers against the tile floor as they chase down David to set him on his "correct" path. The noise was complimented by their perfect formation, as they all send a clear message: we are the ones in charge, and we WILL hunt you down.
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This dime tour of NYC did not impress or entertain
FatMan-QaTFM23 August 2011
Warning: 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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7/10
Intriguing and Ambiguous Story
Claudio Carvalho17 August 2012
In New York, the prominent politician David Norris (Matt Damon) is disputing the election for the Senate but his past of bad boy makes him lose the election. He meets the stranger Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) hidden in the Waldorf's toilet and she tells that she had crashed a party and the security guards are chasing her. They start a conversation and they immediately fall in love with each other. However the guards find her and David does not see her again. However she inspires him to make a remarkable speech.

One day, David is traveling by bus and he meets Elise again. She gives her phone number to him and David promises to call her. However, strangers wearing hats approach to David and tell that they belong to the Adjustment Bureau and Elise and David must be kept apart. They destroy the piece of paper with her phone number and David is unable to contact Elise. Three years later, David sees Elise walking on the sidewalk. He gets out of the bus to meet her and he learns that she is a dancer. But the strangers use their abilities to keep them apart. What is the reason why David and Elise can not be together?

"The Adjustment Bureau" is a romantic and suspenseful sci-fi based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, the writer of "Blade Runner", "Total Recall", "Impostor", "Minority Report", "Paycheck", "A Scanner Darkly" and "Next", among other sci-fi films. The intriguing story is ambiguous; the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is wonderful; and it is always great to see Terence Stamp. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Os Agentes do Destino" ("The Agents of Destiny")
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7/10
Sparkling chemistry between Damon and Blunt
changmoh1 March 2011
Fate, coincidence and free will come at odds with one another in this sci-fi romance re-imagined by George Nolfi from the short story, "Adjustment Team", by sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick. Nolfi's plot can go from interesting and intriguing to downright silly at times but the main attraction is not the narrative. It is the pulsating chemistry between lead stars Matt Damon and the sensually beguiling Emily Blunt set in all the famous spots of Manhattan and NYC.

Having been to New York City recently, I find the sets nostalgic, and I am defenseless to the charms of Emily Blunt.

Young Senate candidate for New York City, David Norris (Damon), is rehearsing his speech in the men's restroom when a beautiful stranger (Blunt, right, with Damon) emerges from one of the stalls and starts chatting with him. Before she leaves - in quite a hurry - they have an impulsive, passionate kiss, and he is smitten. Their next encounter in a city bus has to be by chance - and he learns that her name is Elise. He is determined to call her. To court her...

And then David comes across a bunch of Men in Black suits and hats, led by a Mr Richardson (John Slattery), who says bluntly: "We are the people who make sure things go according to plan." David's relationship with the free-spirited Elise is NOT part of their plan and he must not see her again - for both his and her own good! The rest of the movie is, of course, the tussle between Love and Fate for David. After being charmed by Elise, a rising star ballerina, we can understand why David is bent on seeing her. We can also understand how their relationship would possibly wreck their careers - and why David would want to take a chance on that. David and Elise seem so perfect for each other that we root for them.

It is good that Nolfi has written such a romantic angle into this Dick tale instead of turning it into another action flick like "Total Recall", "Paycheck" and "Screamers". He could have polished up a bit more on the second half to keep it from becoming childish, though. Still, the notion of Fates personified could not be taken too seriously - and it would be better to just go along with the flow of the love story so charmingly portrayed by Damon and Blunt - and supported by a sympathetic Anthony Mackie and menacing Terence Stamp as members of the Adjustment Bureau. Emily Blunt has such captivating eyes that look into your soul and make you weep.
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1/10
it's a shocker
lawrence smith15 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
stupid, stupid movie, we have a group of people that include the Chairman (God)and the men (no women here) who make thing go according to plan (the angels). The single purpose of this group is to keep two people apart. To assist them in their undertaking they have their godlike supernatural abilities whereas the two people are just ordinary Americans. Amazingly enough we find that God and his angels are no match for two Americans and so the two people cannot be kept apart. Now it seems that God doesn't care to be thwarted so he or she decides to change the plan so that it is no longer necessary to keep them apart thus ensuring that everything still goes according to plan (the new plan). This change of heart seems to have something to do with a lower level angel although we are not sure how this comes about. This plot is quite ridiculous and an insult to peoples intelligence. It's even worse than the Bourne movies. I guess Mr Damon will do anything for a buck.
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5/10
More wasted potential when the concept was great but the treatment...
lekgolah5 March 2011
Those who have seen the trailer will think that this is a cool, exciting action film about men who control the destinies of others and the man who says, "I will not stand for this!" but sadly that is not the story of the film. The concept is great and there are moments where I thought the film was going to get better because the story sounds interesting.

I'll start with the good. As I have mentioned before the film sounds interesting and as these mysterious men enter the film, you are interested to see what they can do. Anthony Mackie and John Slattery were well cast and Matt Damon's performance while not perfect (because of the script) is good and keeps the film together.

Apart from the above I can't think of anything else because the script is dull and the characters feel one-dimensional. Emily Blunt has little to do in the film and Terrence Stamp is completely misused. We hear how his character is cold and will do anything to get the job done but the film never shows this.

What could have saved the film would have been some kind of emotional pull if we felt that the two leads were meant to be together because that would have kept the film interesting. Instead there is little reason to care what happens by the end.

Themes including free will and pre-destination are mentioned and are interesting when they are brought up but the script doesn't do anything with it. Without spoiling anything, Matt Damon does make a discovery halfway through the film and it could have been a major plot point but the way film deals with it feels unnatural and out-of-character.

The film also lacks a sense of energy but maybe that is due to my initial expectations as the film is completely miss-marketed as an action thriller. However the film could have played up the villains in the film (if you can call them that) because you learn what they have done and what they are capable of doing.

In the hands of another director, this would have been an enjoyable film to watch. The idea is there but something went wrong along the way and this is the result. This isn't essential viewing but if you are interested, rent it.
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To pay or not to pay
dontcaretoshare-651212 January 2011
Jan 11: I was invited to see and rate this movie at a free audience screening. While biting the hand that feeds you is incredibly bad form, this film is not worth paying a full price admission. DO see it on the big screen, but go to the matinée instead.

Caveat, I'm not the target audience, (and hadn't read the short story source first) so for you to calibrate: I rated Jumper at 7; Avatar at 6 bumped up to an 8 for CGI; and Last Airbender at 3.

This film has all the individual elements for a great time: The opening draws you into the story; Blunt is engaging and sensual; Stamp is villainous; Damon/Blunt have fabulous chemistry including a great meet; initial mystery, sophisticated humor, snappy repartee, wonderful score, and superb scenery. The supporting characters are well cast and acted. However, the thin plot doesn't sustain the whole movie, and it takes too long for the minimal plot to unfold, even though there are myriad chase scenes to divert you at first.

The movie was seemingly created for chase scenes, with a poorly contrived reason for the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl but continues to search for her storyline", tossed in to justify all the chasing. In attempting to make everything mysterious, the audience is kept as ignorant as the characters to the point where it became "THATS the reason he's been chasing after her? How DISAPPOINTING!" when the cause for separation is unveiled. The secret meetings which presumably either advance or reveal the mystery were annoying instead. Finally, in the last portion of the movie, the opening doors and running become so repetitive, you can feel like the Blunt character, who has her hands over her head and is screaming. The ending is abrupt, contrived and disappointing, a veritable deus ex machina version.

Conversely, my companion who loves everything sci-fi or sci-fantasy, and reads Phillip K Dick (including the short story on which this was based) rated the movie "excellent" as opposed to my "ok". Even though the movie diverges from the short story, he suffered no confusion or disappointment with the story line, big reveals, or ending. He also thought the cast, romance, and humor were great.

We both agree--do see the movie on the big screen as it certainly enhances the suspense and startling moments (political crowd scene, adjustment scene, car crashes, action scenes and finale) and shows off the great NYC locations. He says go ahead and pay full price,the movie is worth it…
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An intelligent romantic film with a sci-fi twist
Gordon-1122 June 2011
This film is about a successful politician who has to choose between the woman of his dreams and his career, when he meets a team of messengers who control fate.

"The Adjustment Bureau" is certainly a different romantic film. The plot is an engaging and refreshing mix of romance and science fiction. The thrill and excitement of the science fiction part is well maintained throughout the film, while the romance part melts viewers hearts. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are so convincing together, making their romance very believable. Once again, Emily Blunt puts on a particularly stellar performance, showing her impressive range of acting skills and on screen charm.

"The Adjustment Bureau" is a good film as it is a refreshing departure from mundane and formulaic romantic comedies. It deserves 100 minutes of your time.
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1/10
Terrible cliché religious propaganda
dysperen27 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film with my family and we all agreed at the end, that we should have left when we first thought of it only 15 minutes into it.

This is, by far, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. All of the characters are shallow, cliché and the acting is near awful. The plot is terrible. This is a really bad romantic drama, which premise is off the charts of ridicule. It is, seriously, hard for me to describe the worst parts, as there are endless amounts.

What I've learned from this movie is: - Don't run for president if you want love - God is a prick and hates love - God is not a prick, he/she just make crappy plans which need fixing and remodeling all time - God is maybe a prick, but is definitely incompetent - Humans easily outsmart God and a great bunch of angels - Don't do what God wants you to do, unless you really want to and then God is alright with it - Everything is a test. God just loves to play around and bruise your ankles, if necessary to test your love; he/she will even make a car crash happen and bruise innocent people just to test your love. Or maybe is it not god who did that, maybe it was the incompetent angels. Well, then you can conclude that god has some serious administration issues and a 'bureau' running wild.

Basically this is one terrible movie. It is a cliché 'romantic drama' which tells you to follow your instinct on love no matter what. If you do so, the woman of your life will automatically love you only after being with you 4 times over a period of 4 years. She will dump her fiancée just for you, because you made her laugh a few times and told her 'deep' stories about your dead father, who was a great man (or so we were told, as he is not introduced nor 'treated' in the movie at all, only spoken about).

This is religious propaganda, a terrible movie with a terrible plot, which wasted millions of dollars on something which should have never been produced.

I advice you to watch this movie, as it is a textbook example of how not to produce a movie and to laugh at religious clichés. It is not boring... Its just really bad.
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3/10
At Last, A Movie For People With ADD!
BKTrayner6 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There are many movies with impossible plots that are entertaining because you are carried along by the story. You don't notice the holes in the plot until the next day. In this case, the plot is not merely preposterous, it is transparent. As such, it is impossible to enjoy the movie because you are sitting in the theatre analyzing its faults. Let's begin with the idea that Matt Damon looks for his true love for 3 years after their chance meeting. O.K., so I didn't realize until the next day that his true love had crashed a wedding and that she was last seen being chased by security people much faster than she was. Matt could simply have checked back at the hotel to learn her identity. But even while I was watching the movie it was obvious that he plays a well-known public figure. So why didn't she just call him up? Once you realize this is all she would have to do, the premise of the movie collapses. In addition, as other reviewers have noted, the human hero is outwitting God. How believable is that? The angels suggest that God just doesn't have the resources to monitor everybody, so He focuses on "important" people. That's simply annoying. This is a God who (rather than knowing when any sparrow falls) apparently only knows when a condor falls. And then you have the angel who violates God's orders to help our hero find his true love by loaning him his cheesy hat. I could only think of the Red Hat Ladies. Where do they end up when they go though a door? I've never read (or heard of) the scifi novel from the 50's that this is based on, but I recognized the genre when it was postulated that all the large events of Western Civilization could be explained by times that God intervened and times when God took a hands-off approach: God was on-duty up to the Fall of Rome, but took the day off during the Dark Ages, etc. Other reviewers quibble that this ignores other cultures, but 1950's scifi was into sweeping concepts like this. Frankly, it is kinda neat, and as a teenager I would have been intrigued. But the problem here is that Hollywood has taken what was probably a pretty good idea from the 50's and trashed it. I'd bet that the author made a much more credible case for his premise and tied up the loose ends in a way that was internally consistent. Not so here. I give three stars because of the scenes of New York and because smoking was not prominently featured. Even Big Tobacco passed on this turkey.
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2/10
Interesting premise sacrificed to silly clichéd love story
benzing18 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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1/10
Waste of an afternoon
falting452 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have been a "warmish' Matt Damon fan. Some of his work hasn't been too bad. But this shocker- what was he thinking? When the first incident through the magic door took place I thought we were in for a bit of thuggery -a.k.a- "thriller' even though the protagonists were wearing overcoats, scarves and 1960 hats. But no, just some odd looking people in motor bike helmets who pushed our hero David back into a chair and that was it. The plot was so thin I half expected to see a smoke machine adding a bit of mystery. And the script... words fail me. I must say the collision gave me a jolt, and by the reaction in the cinema I wasn't the only one drifting off with boredom. The movie looked like an adult take on Narnia and the trip through the wardrobe. At least in that movie the costumes and scenery made it worth watching.
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4/10
Great Title - Poor Plot
Carson Serrani17 March 2011
Warning: 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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3/10
Load of TRIFLE!
samhooch11 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see The Adjustment Bureau due to the advertised 'Bourne meets Inception' line and the 7.3 rating on IMDb. I had low expectations after hearing reviews from friends and they were completely fulfilled.

What i saw at the pictures was the wettest film Damon has starred in since Hereafter. This wetter than wetter dialogue and ghastly plot left me thumbing myself through boredom during the last hour of the film. I wouldn't get oot of bed for this crock! I haven't seen acting this wooden since Nicholas Cage was outperformed by the titular character in the Wicker Man.

The worst thing about this film was the ridiculous premise that wearing a hat is a key through a secret door. If this is the case then Damon should pull a flat cap on, walk out his front door and hope to god he ends up in a decent film.
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8/10
Call me a sap, but it worked for me
rzajac7 March 2011
Warning: 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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10/10
In case you are not aware of it, this makes Phillip K. Dick officially one of the most influential storytellers in the last 50 years.
Frederick Smith10 June 2012
In case you are not aware of it, this makes Phillip K. Dick officially one of the most influential storytellers in the last 50 years. His books have inspired such Sci Fi classics as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and now, the Adjustment Bureau. At least 19 films and television episodes have been created from his works.

The story is an interesting take on the notion there is a God in the universe who is carefully directing the actions and happenings on the planet. Here, of course, the element of 'faith' is removed and instead the Chairman makes plans and has the Adjustment Bureau to make sure the plans are kept on track. These 'agents' merely interfere when they need to, making suggestions that set actions in place. Theology is not in the plan, just a pattern to prevent mankind from becoming extinct by their own hand.

This is a different type of Sci Fi film, and it would take an actor with the flexibility of Matt Damon to play David Norris. His confident yet humble portrayal of the politician is riveting and interesting throughout. Emily Blunt portrays the blossoming ballerina with verve and appeal, sort of a cross between the focused artist and the determined woman who puts her career ahead of herself. Anthony Mackie and John Slattery work well as the adjustment agents sent to sidetrack Norris from reaching Elise.

Overall, the film moves well, offers some interesting twists, and allows us the interesting perspective of predestination without the burden of deity. Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality, and a few brief scenes of violence, I personally can't think of a single scene that would be too intense for a ten year old. Collectible is a little early to say, but certainly a film you will want to see again.
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8/10
A thriller with no 'baddies'
Tweekums29 December 2011
Warning: 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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1/10
Cheesier than the tummy of a mouse.
manbok11 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
To explain the plot of this movie, you take a genetic manipulated monkey with the IQ of Sara Palin, give it a few good high percentage bananas, bump his head approximately 24.6 times at the radiator, and let it write about something original, something that hasn't been there before...like two individuals that fall in love with each other, while the whole world is against their love.

Oh, right, that is actually not original much. I excuse myself, the originality is, that there is no reason why the whole world is against them, because our great monkey is already sucking its thumb in foetus position. And you will be surprised with the ending, because you will find yourself looking at your friend next to you with straws in his nostrils, just to see something more unexpected and entertaining, yes and because you know your friend as well as a million love clichés...the expected ending of this sentence just underlines, what I'm trying to bring across.

Along the way, somewhere stuck in limbo, you just hope for something interesting to happen...that feeling stays, till you see the credits and try to think, how you could make up this time loss of your precious life. That and making sure you don't wear a hat on your way to the exit doors.

Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes even I like love clichés, if the movie had some kind of character depth, for example.
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8/10
And now something completely different... (of Philip K. Dick)
saul-cepeda8 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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