The Adjustment Bureau (12A)

Film

Thrillers

adjustmentbureauREV

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Mar 1 2011

One suspects that this sleek and diverting directorial debut from George Nolfi will find it tough to escape from the immense shadow of Christopher Nolan’s similarly themed ‘Inception’. Which is a shame, as it shares just as much common interest with such conspiracy-inspired sci-fi as ‘The Dead Zone’, ‘They Live!’ and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’. And as a film that fuels the belief that the political agenda is set by a cadre of shady, back-room types, it has genuine substance.
Based on Philip K Dick’s short story ‘Adjustment Team’, its central concept proposes that there exists a clandestine, male-only sect whose job is to align the life trajectories of certain specially selected humans in order to prevent global catastrophe. Here the simple aim is to prevent New York ‘bad boy’ politician David Norris (Matt Damon) from shacking up with Emily Blunt’s Elise, who happens to be interpretive dance’s answer to Holly Golightly. If that aim is met, he’ll go on to the White House and she’ll blossom into a world-renowned choreographer.

The oddly conspicuous bureau boys all resemble the noirish ‘Mad Men’ version of the Madison Avenue advertising shark, their swish, swipe-card fedoras allowing them to hop around cities using doorways as teleportation portals. As with ‘Inception’, the film’s conceit assumes that the infinite possibilities of human experience can be manipulated to achieve a single purpose, and as such it leaves numerous plot holes in its wake (the largest being the vague reasons why the agents reveal themselves to Damon’s character). Nolfi began his career as a writer, which perhaps explains why he tries to keep the action character-driven: the sweet chemistry between Damon and Blunt does at least make their romantic, potentially existence-threatening bond credible. But it could also explain the extreme lack of ambition in how the concept is presented visually. Nolfi – unlike his hero – shows no willingness to stray from the beaten track.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Mar 4, 2011

Duration:

106 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|30
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martin rosamond

I did not have a clue if the film was going to be good or not but it was fantastic. i did not want it too end. Great.

martin rosamond

I did not have a clue if the film was going to be good or not but it was fantastic. i did not want it too end. Great.

Gort

Huge misfire! The only way this movie could of worked is if they casted homosexual couple because this way you have WASP couple being pursued by bureaucrats because they think their love will destroy the world and nobody knows how. Even the agents who are carrying the old fashioned books where it's said they musn't be together is obvious allusion to the Bible and the way preachers use it to say how it says gay love is wrong. Especially as the movie goes to the end and the way the couple wants to resolve with the 'big guy'. So in return you get a whole movie that looks like that boring scene in one of Matrix sequels where Neo talks to that old fart architect. I mean this movie is the main evidence of entropy of Hollywood which will soon completely collapse because they fail to take charge and do something different and not just follow some 'money recipe'.

Gort

Huge misfire! The only way this movie could of worked is if they casted homosexual couple because this way you have WASP couple being pursued by bureaucrats because they think their love will destroy the world and nobody knows how. Even the agents who are carrying the old fashioned books where it's said they musn't be together is obvious allusion to the Bible and the way preachers use it to say how it says gay love is wrong. Especially as the movie goes to the end and the way the couple wants to resolve with the 'big guy'. So in return you get a whole movie that looks like that boring scene in one of Matrix sequels where Neo talks to that old fart architect. I mean this movie is the main evidence of entropy of Hollywood which will soon completely collapse because they fail to take charge and do something different and not just follow some 'money recipe'.

JivanG

Turgid dull romance lent a modicum of validity with the infusion of pseudo-sci-fi miasma about teleportation and the control of one's destiny mostly being in the hand of destiny 'angels' in Homburg hats sent by an unseen omnipotent Chairman ( aka God??) . Give a it a miss... or wait till it appears on Channel 4 movies in about 6 months!

JivanG

Turgid dull romance lent a modicum of validity with the infusion of pseudo-sci-fi miasma about teleportation and the control of one's destiny mostly being in the hand of destiny 'angels' in Homburg hats sent by an unseen omnipotent Chairman ( aka God??) . Give a it a miss... or wait till it appears on Channel 4 movies in about 6 months!

Andrew

The film is brilliant, silly plot, daft acting, silly pace, but is that the joy of some films, which makes the cinema experience what it is.

Andrew

The film is brilliant, silly plot, daft acting, silly pace, but is that the joy of some films, which makes the cinema experience what it is.

ed

Good chemistry of the leads saved this film from being terrible. The men In Hats offered no real threat though so that kills any suspense. Fate and destiny etc has been tackled better in Blade Runner and even blockbuster schlock like Terminator 2.... Awful ending and many basic plotholes.... No real sense of time passing either, so no sense of the loss he feels when apart from the woman.... Remember BEN AFFLECK's PAYCHECK? This is MATT DAMON's equivalent.... Disappointing because I love so called "intelligent" sci-fi.

ed

Good chemistry of the leads saved this film from being terrible. The men In Hats offered no real threat though so that kills any suspense. Fate and destiny etc has been tackled better in Blade Runner and even blockbuster schlock like Terminator 2.... Awful ending and many basic plotholes.... No real sense of time passing either, so no sense of the loss he feels when apart from the woman.... Remember BEN AFFLECK's PAYCHECK? This is MATT DAMON's equivalent.... Disappointing because I love so called "intelligent" sci-fi.

mel c

This film is utter drivel, can't believe reviews that think otherwise. Adjustment bureau concept badly portrayed, flimsy acting, unbelievable rationale for its existence and just made the whole film feel trivial. Essentially this was a romcom, without the com. chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt was actually good so id rather have seen a twee chick flick with them in than this. Film in one word.....RIDICULOUS!! Xx

mel c

This film is utter drivel, can't believe reviews that think otherwise. Adjustment bureau concept badly portrayed, flimsy acting, unbelievable rationale for its existence and just made the whole film feel trivial. Essentially this was a romcom, without the com. chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt was actually good so id rather have seen a twee chick flick with them in than this. Film in one word.....RIDICULOUS!! Xx

Mrs W

Well I didn't walk out but afterwards I wished I had - the film was dreadful. It started well, but as soon as those men in silly hats arrived it went downhill. The portrayal of the bureau was a joke and the whole plot was so silly that I found that I didn’t care what the outcome was. I did like the doors sequences, and the acting of the main characters was good, but otherwise the film was poor and left me feeling slightly embarrassed on behalf of the cast.

Mrs W

Well I didn't walk out but afterwards I wished I had - the film was dreadful. It started well, but as soon as those men in silly hats arrived it went downhill. The portrayal of the bureau was a joke and the whole plot was so silly that I found that I didn’t care what the outcome was. I did like the doors sequences, and the acting of the main characters was good, but otherwise the film was poor and left me feeling slightly embarrassed on behalf of the cast.

DV

I knew very little about the plot but was pleasantly surprised - it's very rare that fans of particular novels and short stories are satisfied with film adaptations. What the film did well was make me root for the main two characters, and if you have an ounce of romance in you, you will too - great chemistry, and Emily Blunt sparkled.

DV

I knew very little about the plot but was pleasantly surprised - it's very rare that fans of particular novels and short stories are satisfied with film adaptations. What the film did well was make me root for the main two characters, and if you have an ounce of romance in you, you will too - great chemistry, and Emily Blunt sparkled.

Michael

I enjoyed the film. More holes in the plot than my colander, but still worth watching because it's fun.

Michael

I enjoyed the film. More holes in the plot than my colander, but still worth watching because it's fun.

scrumpyjack

Mike, sorry to pick on you again (as with True Grit) but your reviews are a cut above most on here so I find it really quitedisappointing you have started using the lazy "PEOPLE WALKED OUT!!!" tactic. Every film ever made has had people walking out. It proves nothing. When I worked at a cinema people walked out of DEAD POETS....so is that film crap? Goodfellas had a fair old exit early rate...so Scorsese messed that one up, eh? Get the gist. I only saw it today and quite enjoyed it though not as much as I thought I would. And no one walked out either! (MUST be a classic then!)

scrumpyjack

Mike, sorry to pick on you again (as with True Grit) but your reviews are a cut above most on here so I find it really quitedisappointing you have started using the lazy "PEOPLE WALKED OUT!!!" tactic. Every film ever made has had people walking out. It proves nothing. When I worked at a cinema people walked out of DEAD POETS....so is that film crap? Goodfellas had a fair old exit early rate...so Scorsese messed that one up, eh? Get the gist. I only saw it today and quite enjoyed it though not as much as I thought I would. And no one walked out either! (MUST be a classic then!)

Iain

Really enjoyed this film. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt were excellent.

Iain

Really enjoyed this film. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt were excellent.

Mike

All through this film I kept thinking how great the idea of the film was, but how terribly it was executed. Blunt and Damon make a good on screen couple, but the moment the men from the "bureau" appear, the plot and script descend in to free-fall crap. It becomes absolute rubbish. And Terence Stamp is particularly badly cast as some kind of "bureau" boss. . Around about half way, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon develop fixed looks of embarrassment - it took me a few minutes to realise this had nothing to do with the predicament in which they found themselves in the film, but the dawning realisation of just how terrible the film was in which they found themselves. If you still intend to insult your brain cells with this film, bear in mind the timing of this movie - it's been released the week after Oscars, i.e. it stood no chance of being nominated for the Oscars just gone, and with a little luck everyone will have forgotten about this appalling wreck of a film by the time the next Oscars come round. George Nolfi has committed the ultimate movie crime - trying to be all things to one movie: writer, director, and producer. Out of an audience of about 40 people (on the opening evening), 3 people walked out within 30 minutes - says it all. One (generous) star - for Blunt and Damon's perseverance.

Mike

All through this film I kept thinking how great the idea of the film was, but how terribly it was executed. Blunt and Damon make a good on screen couple, but the moment the men from the "bureau" appear, the plot and script descend in to free-fall crap. It becomes absolute rubbish. And Terence Stamp is particularly badly cast as some kind of "bureau" boss. . Around about half way, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon develop fixed looks of embarrassment - it took me a few minutes to realise this had nothing to do with the predicament in which they found themselves in the film, but the dawning realisation of just how terrible the film was in which they found themselves. If you still intend to insult your brain cells with this film, bear in mind the timing of this movie - it's been released the week after Oscars, i.e. it stood no chance of being nominated for the Oscars just gone, and with a little luck everyone will have forgotten about this appalling wreck of a film by the time the next Oscars come round. George Nolfi has committed the ultimate movie crime - trying to be all things to one movie: writer, director, and producer. Out of an audience of about 40 people (on the opening evening), 3 people walked out within 30 minutes - says it all. One (generous) star - for Blunt and Damon's perseverance.

johngault22

I'm not going to say much about the film because it is best to go in fairly cold, though I will say if you liked the TV series Dead Like Me, then I think you will like this film. I'll also say that the time out review misses the point in various places, this film isn't sci-fi or fantasy in the conventional sense, it is more like Lost than Enemy Of The State. I loved it!! btw.

johngault22

I'm not going to say much about the film because it is best to go in fairly cold, though I will say if you liked the TV series Dead Like Me, then I think you will like this film. I'll also say that the time out review misses the point in various places, this film isn't sci-fi or fantasy in the conventional sense, it is more like Lost than Enemy Of The State. I loved it!! btw.