The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Fate is decided by the snazziest dressed men.

A congressman (Matt Damon) who’s a rising star on the political scene finds himself entranced by a beautiful ballerina (Emily Blunt), but mysterious circumstances ensure that their love affair is predestined to be a non-starter.

This is a film that was supposed to be released back in the days of 2009. Somehow, just somehow this has got kicked so far back, and had people worried that this may actually kind of suck. However, it’s not like any of those other films with changing release dates.

My favorite element to this film was the screenplay, and how the tone was pretty crazy. I liked how the film didn’t take itself too seriously and brings a lot of questions about free-will, control, and love. But they bring up all these questions with a smile, and sometimes a little bit of a goofy-like attitude. First-time writer/director George Nolfi does a good job here of also creating suspense, and having us not know what is going to happen next, thus giving us that paranoid feel that the film strives for.

The premise here is actually a very smart one, but it isn’t used to it’s advantage honestly. There are moments here that were amazing and had me totally excited for what was going to happen next, however, the idea they chose next, was kind of lame and I was expecting something at least more. I think with this premise they could have done so much more and had us more involved with this story the only problem is that it doesn’t go that extra-dimension. Also, many questions in this film were left open, and I think for a film like this, people don’t want a mystery, they actually want to know what’s really going on. With a run-time of 99 minutes, I think that they crammed way too much here, and could have made it all better with a little bit more time.

Matt Damon here is once again perfect at playing the every-day man put into a crazy situation. He’s just got that genuine likability to him, and you root for his character the whole time as he’s running away from these dudes in hats. Emily Blunt also does a commendable job fleshing out the character of Elise, and brings a lot of wit and charm to her character. I loved it when these two were on screen together, because they play off each other so well and it reminded me almost of a screw-ball romance from the 1940’s. The humor of this script comes with these two, and you can’t help but love these two together, and hope that they end up together in the end. I thought that when Terence Stamp came into the film as Agent Thompson, he gave a very ominous, menacing performance that took the film in the second act to a very dark, creepy place that I had hope the film would stay on that course. One of my favorites Anthony Mackie is also here as Agent Harry, and his cool, stern performance really shows that given the right material, he could be a box-office sensation. It’s just a shame everybody knows him as the dude from 8 Mile.

Consensus: The tone may be all over-the-place, and the premise doesn’t go the extra mile it could have, but the script is nice, and the overall genuine chemistry between Damon and Blunt has us really involved with this story.



  1. I thought this film was so dull, a great premise which they didn’t have the courage to follow up with a great film.

  2. I didn’t realise the film was supposed to be released in 2009. That usually means it isn’t working in its current cut as you mention in your review. Looks like it’s getting mixed reviews. I will probably check it out though.

  3. I really enjoyed it. In spite of obvious flaws, it was just a fun movie to watch. And the chemistry between Blunt and Damon was magical.

  4. Haven’t seen it yet, but I am looking forward to seeing it. Matt Damon is one of those actors where I will watch a movie if he’s in it. There are a couple of other actors and actresses that make me want to see their movies. Damon is one of them.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with your review. The trailer’s a bit misleading as it got compared to Inception a bit too much prior to release. But it really was just a charming, well-rounded, character-driven little film. Nice take on it, Dan.

  6. Thanks for the read and comment on my blog…
    I think you are right about how they probably could have done even more with the plot if they had made the movie a little longer. I did notice that it was over before I knew it!

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