Saturday, 5 March 2011


Writer/Director: George Nolfi
Running time: 105 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

Genre: Drama/Sci-Fi
UK Release date: 4th March 2011

Watched at the Cinema Saturday 5th March 2011.


Based on a short story called ‘The Adjustment Team’ by Philip K. Dick, the ideas behind this film intrigued me from the moment I first heard about it. Imagine a world where your fates are determined for you and if you stray from your prescribed path, an adjustment is made to put you back on it. The ‘people’ responsible for making the adjustments are, of course, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’. Now you know that, I can write a brief summary (summary haters and those that don’t wish to know anything about the plot please try on some stylish hats while I write the next paragraph).

David Norris is a young ambitious politician; he is running for the Senate, representing New York, when his campaign is de-railed by a scandal from his past. Resigned to defeat, he retires to the men’s washroom to practice his speech. There he meets dancer Elise Sellas who he instantly falls in love with. She gives him the confidence to give a brilliant speech that galvanises the public enough to call for him to stand for election at a later date… but that’s in the future. He is so enamoured with Elise that, when he meets her again the very next day, he asks for her number, which she gives him. Now, the path that has been prescribed for David Norris does not include a relationship with Elise Sellas. In steps the Adjustment Bureau in the guise of a group of agents led by a character known as Richardson. They do all they can to keep the couple apart and even reveal themselves to David in an effort to make him see sense. Unfortunately for them, he is determined to be with her and eventually the case is sent up to the next level and Thompson takes charge. He gives David a choice, either continue on this path and ruin both of their lives, or take the path prescribed for him. It’s a tough decision, but David has an ally in Harry Mitchell, who has been following him for a long time. And it’s here I’ll leave my summary… don’t want to give too much away.

This is a very well made film with some great special effects, but it is the story that drives the action and not the other way around. It is very much a love story, but a love story with a rather cunning twist and one that I very much enjoyed. All of the leading cast are excellent; Matt Damon as David Norris, Emily Blunt as Elise Sellas, John Slattery as Richardson, Michael Kelly as Charlie Traynor, Anthony Mackie as Harry Mitchell and Terence Stamp as Thompson.

I love the premise of this film and, although I enjoyed it very much, I felt there was a little too much focus on the love story and not enough on the bureau. Maybe it’s just me, but I never really felt there was enough chemistry between the two lovers to warrant the effort put in by the David Norris character. In the end though, it’s a perfectly watchable entertaining film, without being particularly mind-bending or spectacular. Better than average and recommended.

My score: 7.2/10

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