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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi with a romantic twist or vice versa?
The Adjustment Bureau is a fun, stylish film that manages to blend a sci-fi premise with a Mad Men-like aesthetic (even including John Slattery of the popular TV series in its cast). Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is miles away from other movies based on the author's work. Unlike Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report (based on...
Published on July 13 2011 by Andre Farant

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 1-trick pony
Disappointing. Whereas I can re-watch Damon's Jason Bourne series time and again, this film is strictly 'one-and-done'. It does feature a fresh approach in telling sci-fi, but lacks the complexity and action of even the most recent Star Trek offerings. If I had seen it at the cheapie theater, I would have been content, but I don't see the value in adding it to a...
Published 5 months ago by Canuck Teach


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi with a romantic twist or vice versa?, July 13 2011
By 
Andre Farant (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Adjustment Bureau (DVD)
The Adjustment Bureau is a fun, stylish film that manages to blend a sci-fi premise with a Mad Men-like aesthetic (even including John Slattery of the popular TV series in its cast). Based on a short story by Philip K Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is miles away from other movies based on the author's work. Unlike Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report (based on Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", "We'll Remember It for You Wholesale", and "The Minority Report" respectively), this film focuses primarily on the relationship between the two main characters rather than action sequences and the fantastic new world in which those sequences take place. In fact, The Adjustment Bureau takes place in a contemporary setting, with only a few sartorial details (like an unusual number of black fedoras) to indicate that things aren't entirely what they seem.

The story is of a young, up-and-coming (or flash in the pan?) politician named David and played by Matt Damon, who meets a young dancer named Elise and played by Emily Blunt. They are attracted to each other, almost despite themselves, but, as they initiate a relationship, mysterious forces in the guise of suited, hat-wearing men in black conspire to keep them apart.

I haven't read the source material, titled "The Adjustment Team", so I can't say if the focus on character rather than premise is present in the original or entirely the work of writer-director George Nolfi. Either way, it is a nice touch. The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is perfect and we find ourselves wanting to spend more time with them, sci-fi premise be damned. It's good that this is the case, not only because it makes the movie a pleasure to watch, but because it is absolutely integral to the plot that we, the audience, believe and agree that these two belong together, even if they've only met a few times and have barely even had a proper date.

Personally, I think it worked, and the more fantastic elements of the movie manage to inject what would be a pleasant but unoriginal love story with a little new blood, turning into what could be viewed as a sort of techno-fairy tale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Destiny calling?, April 7 2014
By 
M Sockel - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Adjustment Bureau (DVD)
Based on the Philip K Dick short story, the film does pose an original an idea. What if we are being guided or influenced all our lives... what if THEY are already among us?

When Matt Damon accidently sees beneath the skin of the world he must fight to save a love that does not yet exist, and maintain his own sanity. There are some great moments in this movie; I love it when the "adjustment team" complain that they are chronically understaffed.

But there are some clunky parts too: everyone seems to assume that the adjustment team are benevolent. Couldn't they equally be devils or aliens working against humanity.

There are some novel ideas in this film (and it is interesting to see it's influence today, particularly in stories like the amazing [[[...]]]) but ultimately they are not explored to their fullest.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 1-trick pony, April 6 2014
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Disappointing. Whereas I can re-watch Damon's Jason Bourne series time and again, this film is strictly 'one-and-done'. It does feature a fresh approach in telling sci-fi, but lacks the complexity and action of even the most recent Star Trek offerings. If I had seen it at the cheapie theater, I would have been content, but I don't see the value in adding it to a home-video library.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Sci-Fi? You Bet!, July 7 2013
By 
Andrew Salmon (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I really enjoyed this movie. The trailers for the film tried to pass it off as either a romantic film or an action jaunt. Well, it's both and I believe it does both genres very well.

The sci-fi element, the Adjustment Bureau, is very well presented and fittingly creepy while also thought provoking as all good sci-fi should be. The key here is that the romance/love interest is not just tacked on to try to lure the female audience in but is essential to the plot. The romance is the plot. And that makes all the difference.

Well acted, well-written, well shot with some very nicely done effects, The Adjustment Bureau does not merely straddle the line between action movie/romance, but, rather, becomes almost a genre unto itself.

The movie is very entertaining. Damon and Blunt give us characters we root for and the end of the film satisfies. Put this one under Lost Gems. A very, very good movie. I recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The special effects are awesome!", Jan. 20 2012
This review is from: Adjustment Bureau (Blu-ray)
Adjustment Bureau [Blu-ray] Blu-ray Edition, A movie of the week club I belong to purchased this movie for us to watch. We so enjoyed it! Make sure you buy this product and you can thank my movie club later.

This story was based on a story by Philip K. Dick. "The Adjustment Bureau" exposes those (both) human and nonhuman who are controlling fate, that is until David Norris and Emily Blunt fall for each other time and again messing up the best laid plans of the Chairman the entity in charge of the Adjustment Bureau.

The movie is fast-pace, exciting, and far from the 'same old,' 'same old,' of the films out today in this genre. I, for one, enjoy most any movie with Matt Damon. He's alwsys plays such believe characters and the storylines he chooses to play in seem so realistic. He is a wonderful actor.

The special effects in "The Litigators" are awesome! This is one flick that I happily give 2 thumbs up!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars what if there was a predetermined plan mapped out for your life?, May 19 2011
By 
falcon "disdressed12" (canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
i enjoyed this film based on the short story by Philip K. Dick.the premise is that we are not in control of our destiny,that their is a plan for our lives.if we deviate from that plan,there is a small group of men who are sent to get us back on track,and following the predetermined plan.if we refuse to accept the plan and continue to deviate,the consequences can be dire both on an individual level and on a larger scale.This is what happens to David Norris(Matt Damon)who wants more than what fate has planed for him,and so he gets a visit from The Adjustment Bureau.i won't go any further into the plot.you'll have to watch the film to find out more.suffice to say,the movie is entertaining,thought provoking and compelling.for me,The Adjustment Bureau is a 4/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unconventional love story; not an action movie, Aug. 4 2011
By 
Steven Aldersley (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Adjustment Bureau (Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller)
Directed by George Nolfi
Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Anthony Mackie

Universal Studios | 2011 | 106 min | Rated PG-13 | Released Jun 21, 2011

Video:
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS 5.1

Subtitles:
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs:
50GB Blu-ray Disc
DVD copy
Digital copy (on disc)

The Film 4/5

I almost went to see The Adjustment Bureau at the theater, but generally negative reviews made me decide to wait for the Blu-ray release. The same was true of Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, also starring Matt Damon. I'm going to have to trust my instincts more because I found both movies entertaining.

So why the negative reviews?

What do you expect from a Matt Damon movie? His biggest role was as Jason Bourne in the hugely successful trilogy and I think he's expected to be an action hero in every role he plays. That's simply not the case. The man can act and he has a lot more to offer than some give him credit for. The marketing for The Adjustment Bureau is selling it as an action movie, but it's actually a love story with a science fiction element. The front cover shows Damon and Blunt running. They do run in the movie, but that's not the point of the story.

This is not an action movie.

David Norris (Damon) is running for Senate and he's losing. He meets Elise (Blunt) in a bathroom and they kiss. A brief conversation influences his concession speech and he decides to be completely honest with the assembled crowd. This is not typical behavior for a politician. The entire meeting was arranged without his knowledge just for the purpose of influencing his speech.

We are introduced to four men in suits and hats. They look like the Men in Black. What is their origin and why and how are they trying to influence events? One has an assignment to delay Norris by making him spill coffee on his shirt, but he fails to intervene in time. As a result, Norris walks into his office and sees the men altering the memories of his colleagues. He runs, but is quickly caught. They make him promise to keep their secret. They also demand that he drops any interest in Elise as the two aren't supposed to be together.

Norris isn't ready to give up on Elise and feels strongly attracted to her. He searches for years and eventually tracks her down. The Adjustment Bureau fails to anticipate his resourcefulness and level of determination. In order to prevent the relationship, other methods are tried to tear the two apart. Norris is given some strong reasons to walk away from Elise. Will they be enough, or will his attraction toward her prove to be too strong?

Philip K. Dick wrote the short story on which the movie is based. He was also responsible for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which resulted in Blade Runner being made. I'm not saying that the Adjustment Bureau is on the same level, but it's certainly a thought-provoking story worthy of your time.

Think about fate and predestination for a moment. Do you live your life thinking that every step has been mapped out? If that were the case, why bother to do anything? Do you think that your overall destination has been decided, but it's up to you how you get there? That would at least give your actions some meaning. Or do you think that everything is random and there's no reason or purpose behind anything we do? The Adjustment Bureau raises similar questions. You might be able to predict how the movie ends, but the fun is experiencing the journey.

Emily Blunt has good chemistry with Damon and the casting was spot on. She had to learn how to look like a ballet dancer for the part and she was utterly convincing in the role.

I love the Bourne movies, but I'm a fan of Damon's acting in general. It dates back to Good Will Hunting and Rounders. In fact, I've rarely seen Damon disappoint. Hereafter and The Adjustment Bureau will stay in my collection and I'm happy to own them. If you give The Adjustment Bureau a try without expecting an action movie, you might end up enjoying it as much as I did.

Video Quality 4/5
While most recent releases use the MPEG-4 AVC codec, The Adjustment Bureau uses VC-1. The result isn't bad, but I've seen more striking presentations. Grain is moderately thick and detail is average. Many of the scenes have an intentional blue tint, but colors are otherwise accurate. I wouldn't complain about the picture quality, but it's far from exceptional.

Audio Quality 4/5
The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix does a good job for the most part. Dialogue is clear, apart from in noisy settings when it's not supposed to be. When Norris is talking to the crowds of people, the atmosphere seems realistic and sounds are separated well. There are no gunshots or explosions, but the sound quality is good throughout.

Special Features 2.5/5

Audio Commentary by Writer/Director George Nolfi.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (6:54)

Labyrinth of Doors - A Google Map allowing you to explore various parts of New York. Each door offers a small feature; normally under a minute long. It's a lot of work to navigate through everything and the reward doesn't seem worth it.

Leaping Through New York (7:36) - Showing the wide range of locations used during the shoot.

Destined to Be (4:51) - Damon and Blunt talk about the casting process and their characters.

Becoming Elise (7:08) - How Blunt learned how to become a dancer for the role. Acting can be hard!

The Adjustment Bureau asks some interesting questions. It's well-acted and kept my interest for the 106-minute duration. The mystery element and slow exposition have the effect of placing the viewer in the same situation as David Norris, and it works effectively. If you go in with the right expectations (not anticipating explosions and constant action), the story has a lot to offer.

Overall score 4/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly original, Aug. 4 2011
By 
W. H. Boudreau "SpecSpiFan" (Halifax, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Adjustment Bureau (DVD)
When the previews appeared for this film, I was uncertain what to make of it..sci-fi is often improperly handled in our present time...where Transformer-esque films are prevalent. Complexity often obtains no reward save in DVD sales with hardcore fans of such a genre..in this case...the Philip K. Dick story is extrapolated into a truly relatable film with likeable characters...both Matt Damon's David and Emily Blunt's Elise have unquestionable chemistry which is a definite must for a film on free will vs. choice re: romance and lifelong love. The film is tightly shot, the cinematography allows New York to become as much a part of the film as the actors... The story as a simple story of consequences of daily actions toward our eventual aspirations/goals is strong enough to keep the viewers attention; be it David's burgeoning political career or Elise's meteoric rise as a world class dancer...the addition of these mysterious figures known as the Adjustment Bureau take this film to a new level, making it a creative sci-fi opus rather than a straightforward romance/drama...the action is taut, the tale gripping and overall a great yarn worthy of the viewers time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To be Blunt it is just fun to experience, July 24 2011
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Adjustment Bureau (Blu-ray)
Based on a short story "Adjustment Team" by Philip K. Dick and adjusted for the big screen by George Nolfi, this is one fun chase scene after another. If you look further into the story you can find layers of deeper meaning which are thinly veiled from the viewer. However the superficial story of lovers destined to be together and assisted by friends from another reality is quite enough to carry this movie.

Looking closely at this film you'll notice that many of the people are not really actors there actually politicians and other famous people. However the filmmakers selected just the right actors to play the characters and the actors do not overwhelm the characters they are playing; so you to imagine yourself as part of the story and find yourself kibitzing.

I missed this at the theater but did pick it up on Blu-ray and the particular DVD that I watched had a few interesting extras such as:
Deleted and extended scenes
The labyrinth of doors: interactive map of New York
Leaping through New York
Destined to be
Becoming a Elide
Feature Commentary with/Director George Nolfi

Also included extras or things like:
My scenes
D-box

I have to confess that only took advantage of the commentaries. There are no new insights but it is nice to know what Nolfi was thinking.

Best Science Fiction Stories Collection of Philip K. Dick (Adjustment Team, The Skull, The Defenders, Second Variety, and many more)

Wings of Desire: The Criterion Collection
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short stories., Sept. 7 2011
By 
Andrew in Calgary - See all my reviews
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Start with an amazing concept, then add a great romance and a major dilemma. Then get a great cast and fine director who is also an excellent screenwriter. The result is a wonderful movie, and you'll notice that the timing and delivery of lines by every actor is amazing.

John Slattery as Richardson is probably my favorite, but everybody performs well.
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Adjustment Bureau
Adjustment Bureau by Matt Damon (Blu-ray)
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