12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This was not at all what I expected, i.e. a thriller about some group that was exerting control to some esoteric purpose. Instead, it is a kind of metaphysical thriller, where a talented young politician doesn't fit with the plan and fights very hard to go his own way. It is a nice twist on a totalitarianism that is adaptable and not all that bad in intent, however messy the details are.
On the positive side, the chemistry between Damon (an absolutely first rate actor) and Emily Blunt is amazingly believable. They are riveting on screen, genuinely moving, at least to me. This is one level of the film, a kind of love story against all odds - how can they make it work when everything conspires against them.
So, without playing the spoiler, Damon discovers that he is being "managed", indeed that he has a destiny. He is a remarkable young politician, somewhat rebellious but committed to changing things. He has always felt a certain emptiness, an emotional hole within himself that he is attempting to fill with the "people's love" as he climbs the political ladder. Then, he has a chance meeting with an extraordinary young woman, and enters an adventure that is as indescribable as it is complex and ultimately impossible to limn. He feels fulfilled, which violates the logic of his destiny. Any means will be employed to correct things.
This is a fun film experience, but I don't want to purchase the film, because once you figure out what is happening, you get and won't want to re-experience it. Recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2014
I have never written a review before but could not believe that someone gave this 3 stars and said there is no story line to it. This is one of the best story lines I have seen in a long while. Love, excitment, science fiction, drama, suspense, the adjectives are too numerous to write here. Don't listen to anyone who says this is not a good film or has no story line, they are quite frankly wrong.....
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Matt Damon (Green Zone) plays Congressman David Norris, a young & rapidly-rising star in the world of politics. His life is pretty mono-directional until he meets Elise (Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada), a girl who he falls completely in love with from the moment he sees her - the feeling is mutual & the two chalk it up to destiny. But when the unpredictable Elise pushes David off-schedule and 'off-plan', David stumbles upon the people behind the scenes responsible for his meteoric rise - The Adjustment Bureau.
The Adjustment Bureau control everyone's fate & destiny - attired like the fast-talkers from the 1930s; the trilby, stetson and pork-pie wearing guardians watch over the population ensuring they all follow 'the plan' but David's desire for Elise is not part of that plan and the folks at the bureau are none-too-happy about their romance and will alter David & Elise's reality to stop them being together. Will David's determination overcome fate, even if someone else is controlling that fate?
The Adjustment Bureau is a thought-provoking science-fiction romance movie. I appreciate that's a hell of a strap line but it's an age-old but great concept that the film wrestles with; are our fates predetermined or do we have the ability to change our destiny? The Bureau are the corporate take on Angels ("We've been called that before") with the foot soldiers doing the bidding of "The Chairman" (God).
Matt Damon plays a convincing New-Yorker who won't take 'no' for an answer whilst Emily Blunt provides an endearing performance of Elise, a ballet-focussed free-spirit. Terrence Stamp (Wanted) has a brilliant role as Thompson, a stern member of the bureau who tries to reason with David, explaining the implications (ripples, knock-on effects) of his off-plan choices but the star of the show here is Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) who plays David's guardian angel, convincingly & with tangible compassion.
All in all, the Adjustment Bureau is novel-concept (based on the short story The Adjustment Team by Phillip K. Dick) that will make you think about fate, free-will and the choices we make. Matt Damon's best performance for a while, definitely worth a watch!
80 of 91 people found the following review helpful
A slow but very well acted, well made, intriguing and original romantic sci fi thriller, and how often do you see one of those? It's based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick, and while it's not in the same league as Blade Runner, it's at least as enjoyable as Total Recall and Minority Report. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are on excellent form as the lovers who weren't supposed to meet and Terrance Stamp is very sinister as part of the mysterious adjustment bureau who make sure that everything happens according to plan. You're never quite sure who the mysterious bureau are and that's part of this movie's appeal. They describe themselves as more than human and possess powers and can use any door to transport themselves anywhere they wish and claim to have been watching over the human race since time began and they report to a mysterious chairman who decides fate all according to a grand plan.
The slow pace may put off some, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with a very enjoyable film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This movie deals with a lot of philosophical questions that mankind have been asking for centuries. Including the idea of fate, chance and a higher power. Could there be a grand puppet master sitting somewhere with a big book mapping out everyone's lives? Well according to this movie, there is. I think what makes this a successful sci-fi romance is that the plot largely revolves around the idea of lovers fighting fate and striving to be together no matter what. It is a story of true love and never giving up, risking everything to be with the one you love.
As this film stars Matt Damon, I was expecting something very Bourne-esque, but boy was I wrong as there is an element of romance to it too. I was quite suprised to find that science-fiction also played a major role in this movie. Normally sci-fi and romance don't gel too well together, I mean, it has been done, but not always successfully. 'The Adjustment Bureau' bonds the two differing genres perfectly, so much so that you probably won't even be aware that you're watching a sci-fi movie. Perhaps we could call this genre sci-fi for girls.
I didn't that Matt Damon would be very good at playing a romantic figure because when I look at him, quite frankly I just think guns and action. Again, I was wrong. Damon and Blunt seem to have quite a good on-screen chemistry going on which is essential to any romantic movie.
I highly recommend this movie because it is not your usual sappy romance; it is highly interesting, a fast-paced movie with lots of action, which for once actually enhances the romance instead of detracting from it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
Science Fiction; the way some people treat it you would think it was a rancid piece of meat on its way into a McSlurry Burger. Some film makers will do everything in their power to describe their obvious science fiction flick as something else; existential romance, "it's about people". This is how the studio sold `The Adjustment Bureau', as a heightened romance, rather than science fiction. Where I come from a film that contains mysterious men who shape people's fates and doors that lead anywhere is pure science fiction; but less about `Dark City' and `The Lost Room' and more about `The Adjustment Bureau'.
Matt Damon plays David, a man fated to be President if he keeps away from contemporary dancer Elise (Emily Blunt). A group of shadowy, hat wearing men are assigned the job of keeping them apart, but will love find a way? `Bureau' is a romance film at its core, with Damon and Blunt trying their hardest to be attractive to one another, although I found both a little offbeat. Would Damon's character really become all powerful? I doubt it. Whilst the romance is key to the film, there is no denying the fact that the science fiction is also key. The entire conceit of the film is that supernatural beings are forcing these lovers apart - and they have magic hats. Director George Nolfi plays the mumbo jumbo elements of the film as low key as possible, but they are there. My favourite science fiction is often the type that is almost true to life, but throws in a few fantastic curve balls.
Although `Bureau' has a number of these curve balls it failed to strike me out. I was entertained and the film looked good - the city was fantastic in HD. However, Damon is a little bland and the chemistry is there, but never ignites. Like in so many romance films, the core couple are the key and here they are only adequate. With its concentration on the relationship part of the story `Bureau' will probably be appreciated more by romance film fans than genre fans.
The BluRay transfer is an excellent one and improves the various city based vistas in the film. There are also several making of documentaries on the disc and a funky interactive map that allows to explore locations from the film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2011
What a cliché: handsome career man meets quirky bohemian beauty, and even though they've only known each other for a few seconds, it's obvious that they've found The One. After that, there's nothing for a romance film to do but throw a few contrived obstacles at the made-for-each-other twosome to keep them apart 'til the happy ending.
Except The Adjustment Bureau isn't a straight-up romance, it's a sci-fi too; and the obstacles that beset Matt Damon and Emily Blunt go way beyond an awkward ex or a few comical misunderstandings. It's based on a Philip K Dick story, which means that this film wants to turn your brain inside out and leave you gaping mistrustfully at the fundamentals of existence. It's an ambitious set-up, and one that The Adjustment Bureau doesn't quite pull off, although it comes close just often enough to keep on the side of enjoyable diverting. Just often enough to make you frustratingly aware of what it could have been, too.
Damon stars as David Norris, a former rising star of politics whose career has stalled. While preparing for a pat public appearance, Elise (Blunt) tumbles out of a stall in the men's bathroom and into his life - but the girl slips away. If you know your romance tropes, you also know it's not supposed to be this way.
But when she reappears a few months later and he finally gets her number, she's rapidly followed by some sinister men in hats. These are the agents of the Adjustment Bureau, and they're very insistent that David and Elise aren't meant for each other at all. It's not in the plan, they explain. Whose plan? The Chairman's - a near-omniscient authority with very particular intentions for humanity, and an army of meddlers who can play with space, time and individual brains to make things happen the way he wants them.
These middle-management angels are one of the movie's best bits, even if their powers and motivations don't completely make sense. And the climactic chase through distorted doorways is so good, you feel downright cheated by all the sitting around talking adorably that Blunt and Damon have been doing. Couldn't there have been a bit more running? The Adjustment Bureau shoots high by bringing together cold concepts with heartstring-tugging melodrama. If it had taken a few more chances, it could have been a real success - as it is, the film sticks too close to the plan, even when its main characters are supposed to be breaking it.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2011
Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is an entertaining sci-fi romantic thriller. It examines the lengths that someone will go to in order to determine the course of their life when fate seemingly dictates otherwise.
Matt Damon plays a New York congressman in the process of contesting an election to become a senator. His plans are thrown off course when he meets a beautiful dancer, played by Emily Blunt. However, while he is keen to embrace his new-found happiness, there are others who are not so elated at this state of affairs. The eponymous Bureau is omnipresent and will stop at nothing to ensure that everything stays tickety-boo.
All the little things that annoy you - the spilled drink, the missed phone call, the lost key - may seem to be minor inconveniences but they are all part of a wider picture, keeping you 'on track'. In fact, anything in life that makes your blood pressure soar is actually there to get you to stop, chill out and go through your daily routine in a spirit of blithe contentment. It's all part of the plan so just accept that there's nothing you can do to change it. Or is there?
In a case of reality imitating art, writer-director George Nolfi's screenplay is a text-book example. The running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes contains a taut three acts that keep the narrative moving at a brisk pace, ensuring everything happens when it should. The film never outstays its welcome and by the end, definitely gives you something to think about. Matt Damon has quietly become a dependable leading man, ably assisted here not just by Emily Blunt but also Mad Men's John Slattery and the ever-watchable Terence Stamp providing the conflict.
For those who need to know, the Blu-ray contains alternate Latin American Spanish and Canadian French soundtracks and subtitles. The bonus features are brief but do include deleted scenes and a commentary by George Nolfi.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2012
This is a very interesting film. It was not as I expected, and I think that is why it has not got very good reviews. It looks like most people were expecting it to be more bourne identity but it ended up being more made in heaven. If you are going to watch it, throw away any ideas that it is an action film and look at it as more of a romance / love story. Overall I really enjoyed it and found it very thought provoking. If you anjoy films that make you think, give it a go.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Adjustment Bureau is a fairly standard, mildly entertaining chase film. It has a central conceit which is interesting but it is never really expanded upon. The thought that your life is on a set path and that all your actions are being decided by someone else is a clever and interesting idea which could form the basis of a mind twisting sci-fi extravaganza. What we get here is a plodding, fitfully entertaining chase movie which always feels like it wants to break free and burst in to life.
Matt Damon plays a politician whose life is turned upside down when he meets a girl at one of his conferences. The story then spends a small amount of time making you wonder if he was meant to meet her or if this was pure chance. This thread is quickly dispensed of when he walks in on his colleagues all frozen in time whilst a group of suited men appear to be messing around with their minds. The chase then begins and this pretty much sums up the rest of the film.
The film itself is entertaining but could have been a lot more. There were so many points touched upon but never really explored. For example who exactly are the bureau? The film suggests they are an alien race. They certainly say several times they are not human, so what are they? There are suggestions of religious connotations throughout and at one point are asked if they are angels. Who is their boss and why is it such a secret as to the identity?
The film could have really twisted things and presented something you could walk away from and chew over for some time, but it opted for a straight forward chase, conspiracy thriller. Entertaining but not fulfilling at all.