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The Adjustment Bureau More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

No adjustment necessary...

Author: neopol313 from Manchester, England
10 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it just me, or is Matt Damon just getting better and better? He is developing into a well-rounded actor, with a definite ability to draw in his audience and deliver some great performances. In this, Damon is a would-be Senator who meets a falls in love with Emily Blunt, a modern ballet dancer.

Meanwhile it quickly becomes clear that the world is being organised by a group of shady men in 50's suits and hats, don't forget the hats, who 'Adjust' Peoples life paths to adhere to the grand plan. Unfortunately for the star-crossed lovers, they are not meant to be together and the they must ultimately challenge them to pursue their own fate.

Philip K. Dick is a strange and often wonderful sci-fi novelist, whose work has often been adapted for the screen, with the likes of Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report and more recently, and I believe more faithfully In A Scanner Darkly.

The cinematography, art direction and ultimately the direction as a whole was very stylised without becoming uncomfortable or otherworldly, which I think was quite an achievement.

This has been referred to by other critics as 'Inception light', and though I can recognise a vague comparison, I wouldn't like to compare them myself. This was an interesting science fiction story, dealing with deep ideas in a lighter and ultimately more palatable way. Damon and Blunt were both enjoyable to watch as their romance blossomed, though be it in small vignettes, and the shady men themselves were often amusing if not outright funny.

There is nothing particularly new for fans of the genre, and though it is not as deep or intense as Bladerunner, this is certainly a nice addition to the Philip K. Dick movie cannon and it's always great to see a decent Sci-Fi film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I Just Felt My Brain-Cells Move . . .

Author: inspectors71 from Fly-Over Country
26 February 2014

and for that I am grateful. So many movies are just plain stupid that when I get a chance to see a sci-fi/fantasy with moral underpinnings, engaging performers, and enough actual thought to allow me to forgive the flabby third reel, I say thank you, Hollywood.

Even nasty, perverse, and unpatriotic Hollyweird gets it right occasionally.

What I liked about The Adjustment Bureau is that its characters were interesting. I found myself rooting for the good guys and wishing the baddies to just go away. I realized that Matt Damon is really good at what he does, that the chemistry between his character and that of Emily Blunt worked (in a movie sort of way), and that the adjusters were nothing more than practitioners of a Skinnerian form of tough love.

More than anything else, this was a fun movie to watch; to allow myself to suspend disbelief and let the flick envelop me was refreshing. When I was through watching it on the SyFy channel, I was glad I put up with the fragmentation grenade of advertisements.

Sure, The Adjustment Bureau won't be hailed as a landmark film 20 years from now, but it will, hopefully, sit on a display shelf for future viewers to sample.

I found it worth both my time and my investment of emotion and intellect (all seven brain cells), not something I can often say.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Awful, even offensive.

Author: revertive-531-560288 from Netherlands
17 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a pseudo-philosophical take on the question of whether or not god really has planned everything or whether we have (or should have) free will.


Answers: yes he does, and no we shouldn't. Unless we're in love. Then it's OK. Cos this is Hollywood.

I'm not even going to bother critiquing the plot. It's completely transparent from the first five minutes - from the premise even.

Insultingly, the 'adjustment bureau' (read: angels) gave humans free will once or twice in history, but we 'chose the dark ages' (sure, that period defined by fundamentalist Christianity) and the holocaust. But when they planned everything for us, we ended up with the enlightenment (and, incidentally, the humanist movement and evolutionary theory). Go figure!

But when the main protagonists actually do decide to defy the plan and make their own choices, God just re-writes it so that they can be together. How kind of him. What the heck is AIDS all about then?

Incidentally, half a line (I'm not kidding) is given over to the whole 'if-god-plans-this,-why-is-the-world-such-a-mess' thing. The answer? "We (the angels) only see part of the plan". Oh. My. Word. And people are telling me this film is "brave" and "intelligent"? Give me a break.

Actually, this film was pretty offensive.

And a lot of the acting is really hammy. And my dancer friend says the dancing is pants.

I wish I could give it minus stars.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Zero to one star rubbish movie

Author: mika-varis-1 from Finland
15 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Truly one of the worst and most ridiculous film ever made. Just really really bad. Stupid hats, stupid "plan maps" stupid doors. Stupid running around.

E. Blunt's charisma is negative. Matt Damon seems to be interesting for awhile but one just has to ponder how stupid he must have felt - his lines in the second half of the film are just so so so bad. Every plotpoint feels to be in a wrong place. Turn the handles in the right direction. Remember to keep your hat on! The rain and other surprises are done to make it little more difficult for you and everybody. But if you run fast enough through some stupid doors, they will be disoriented. We will reset your brain so beware! Thompson is the hammer who works out every situation. Chairman is in every one of us. Oh, c'mon! Please.

Absolutely horrible movie. What a disgrace. So unneeded movie. What a waste of money. Nobody should waste time with this one.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

God has lots of plot holes

Author: scootmandutoo from Long Island, New York
4 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a disappointment this movie was.

It was bad enough that both blu-ray rentals we got were defective, but I could not get over the ludicrous plot.

There were just so many ridiculous things wrong with the premise of the movie. As just one example, falling in love would stop someone from wanting to be president...but God was considering wiping that person's brain clean so that they would not fall in love, yet the personality that would cause them to become president would be gone, too. There were just so many nonsensical moments that we lost count.

I will say this, if there really is an adjustment bureau it would account for how many people actually gave this film high marks. Fortunately, I am posting my '3' before they get to me.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Can I watch it again?

Author: brett2520 from Orlando, FL
11 January 2012

This movie has it all. It has a perfect blend of unfamiliar and popular (Matt Damon) faces. Every actor is perfectly suited for their part and it was over the top writing. The Adjustment Bureau is like a book that you cannot put down. It gets ten stars because at this moment I just watched it and want to tell everyone to watch it right now. The chemistry between the main characters is on top with all of the modern classics that we think of. I believe that this movie will be considered one of the greats. This movie truly hits the ball out of the park. It has emotion, excitement, and intrigue and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Then the cherry on top is that it pulls on the heart about what every single person thinks about at least once in life: "What if?"

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Why you should and shouldn't see The Adjustment Bureau

Author: glenjordanspangler from United States
3 October 2011

What I Think Nolfi uses Philip K. Dick's clever premise to its best advantage, with an effective script, directed well. The principal roles couldn't have been better cast, the suit and hat attire of the Bureau members is just right, and the effects, such as the doors that open into random locations across the city, are seamlessly executed.

It's possible that some viewers, depending upon their religious views, might take offense at The Adjustment Bureau, because its conflict could be interpreted as not only fate versus free will, but faith versus free will. Sometimes a little offense is a good thing, though, because it can lead to thinking.

Putting myself in David's place (as a moviegoer should), I wanted to ask Richardson and his cohorts more questions, and more pointed ones, sooner than the protagonist did. You've asked me to trust you, now tell me why I should. You might want to start by telling me exactly who and what you are. Has anyone even tried to come up with a plan that gets us from A to Z without (bad thing)? If you want my cooperation, you'll explain why there's no other way. Come on, sell me on it, walk me through it. I have a right to that much. It's a compliment to the filmmakers, I think, that I cared enough to want answers before they were provided.

I don't find the film's treatment of Fate as a mystical force to be quite as profound as it's probably intended to be, probably because I'm not big on mystical forces. However as an action-adventure, an intricate romantic fantasy and even as a diverting philosophical exercise, The Adjustment Bureau succeeds.

Why you should see it: You like it when Matt Damon runs around and Emily Blunt has emotions at people. You enjoy mislabeling fantasy as science fiction. You can pretend this is a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, in which Blunt's character has given up the fashion world for ballet and magically teleports onto the field at Yankee Stadium with Jason Bourne, Senate candidate.

Why you shouldn't see it: You're afraid you'll accidentally use the word "Chairman" in church.

--from my review at

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I don't know what I really should have expected...

Author: Black Frog from United States
16 August 2011

So I started watching this movie thinking that it was going to be some kind of cool new Bourne Identity type flick (mostly because of the Matt Damon aspect) and ended up getting some kind of weird romance/thriller/Christian allegory instead. My girlfriend got bored and stole my phone to play bejeweled about 10 minutes in. I wish I would have had the idea first, as to not have to wade through the sea of awful corniness and cringe moments that appeared in front of me. Nothing is really explained the entire film. The time references between scenes (3 years, 11 months) make no sense and add nothing to the story. The movie isn't exactly bad, just kind of stupid. Hence the 5 star rating. Don't see this movie if you have anything better to do.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent idea, not so good plot.

Author: Rohit Sharma from Redwood City, CA, United States
7 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, the movie is based on a short story by the name 'Adjustment Team' . I didn't read it but from the movie it appeared that the writer definitely had an excellent idea to unveil (concept of an 'Adjustment Team' comprising of members who have the power to dictate the path an individual follows in his career, profession, personal life et al. They go by their books, keep an eye on people like us and change or modify their lives in case they think it is deviating from the intended direction). Sounds interesting isn't it?.. somewhat on the lines of Matrix ). BUT, the problem is the movie's plot-line - very simplistic and trivial..and this is where it failed to deliver. You could watch it and enjoy until 3/4th of the movie.The last 1/4th is totally anticlimax, and at the end you'll feel disappointed.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

More successful in the romantic department than the sci-fi

Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
29 July 2011

On the night of a failed senatorial bid by David Norris (Matt Damon), he meets the mischievous and beautiful Elise (Emily Blunt) in a bathroom whilst rehearsing his losing speech. They instantly share a connection before kissing, and Norris leaves her feeling inspired, and makes a landmark speech that will put him into pole position for the next election. The two happen to meet again on a bus, and again the spark is re-ignited. Yet Norris is being tracked by mysterious men in hats who seem to be controlling fate and keeping everything in line with 'the plan' of the big man upstairs, and the couple being together seems to go against this plan. Determined not to lose who he thinks is his true love, Norris defies the suited men, and finds himself watched and chased at every turn.

Adapted from a short story by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is a pretty solid idea that is confidently played out, but seems thinly spread out over the course of a feature-length running time. The idea that our fate is being tampered with to keep things 'on course', and that our fate is out of our own hands is something that was done much better in 1999's The Matrix. This film, however, focuses less on the sci-fi aspects and more on the idea of 'true love', as Damon's David Norris is convinced that if something feels so comfortable and right, then it simply must be how things should be. John Slattery and Terence Stamp's suited agents are compelled to feel otherwise, although they don't know why.

If the romantic angle seems all a bit soppy, it's actually more convincingly done than the science fiction. Damon, although not the greatest actor in the world, is certainly likable as always, but it is Emily Blunt that comes out of the film most impressively. Her sweetness and laid-back quirks combined with her natural beauty makes for a love interest worth caring for, and you can understand the lengths that David goes to be with her. The magic hats, doors leading to anywhere, time freezing and fate maps are certainly quite interesting, but are so casually executed that often just seem silly, although these shady characters are played well by The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie, the ever-reliable Terence Stamp, and John Slattery, who I'm a big fan of from TV's Mad Men.

After 90 minutes of romance and the odd foot chase, I was expecting a thrilling climax that would perhaps throw in the odd surprise or two as well. But what I experienced was a half-arsed effort that rarely got the pulse racing, and a final scene that could be easily described as cop- out. It almost rendered everything I had seen prior to it pointless. However, this is still an enjoyable film with likable performances all round, and an intriguing idea at its heart, but very far from the best Dick adaptation.

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