The Adjustment Bureau

Critics Consensus

First-time writer/director George Nolfi struggles to maintain a consistent tone, but The Adjustment Bureau rises on the strong, believable chemistry of its stars.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 261

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 104,696

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Movie Info

Just as he is on the brink of winning a Senate seat, politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina named Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). Though David is instantly smitten, mysterious men conspire to keep him away from the beautiful dancer. David learns that he is facing the powerful agents of Fate itself, and glimpsing the future laid out for him, must either accept a predetermined path that does not include Elise or else defy Fate to be with her.

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Critic Reviews for The Adjustment Bureau

All Critics (261) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (186) | Rotten (75)

  • Accomplished filmmaking that features two highly attractive, talented leads, a healthy dose of sentiment, an intelligent script, and which takes you away for two hours from the quotidian worries and banalities of your regular life.

    October 7, 2011 | Full Review…

    Leah Rozen

    TheWrap
    Top Critic
  • Nolfi and his colleagues make especially good use of New York, filming everywhere from the Brooklyn waterfront to the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art. It's a fresh look at a familiar city. But Nolfi drops the ball in the home stretch, and that's...

    June 23, 2011 | Rating: 2.1/2
  • This mind-meld of sci-fi thriller, morality play and passionate romance is worth seeing, mostly for the palpable chemistry between the lead actors.

    April 4, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Claudia Puig

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • As artistic endeavour this gives free will a bad name.

    April 4, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Damon and Blunt give such terrific performances you might almost forgive the movie's dopey ending.

    March 19, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Rafer Guzman

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • The on-screen pairing of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is so winning that you may be willing to overlook the oddly modulating tone of the story that brings them together and then tries to keep them apart.

    March 9, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Adjustment Bureau

  • Mar 09, 2016
    A very different movie that makes you wonder about this thing called fate a little bit more, Obviously it's quite preposterous but the idea is pretty fresh and original, With good chemistry between it's two staring roles this film hits most spots, Maybe drags in places where it had chance to create more tension it didn't take advantage and the problem with these smart thinking films the ending feels rushed and forced and this was no different, Deserved more recognition as it's new ideas end up a nice change from the usual films we have today.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2013
    The Adjustment Bureau is an interesting love-drama that is powered by the chemistry of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. The script is alternative and may not be fully comprehensive to most audiences. But the film is solid and interesting to see. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2013
    Star-crossed lovers are kept apart by an omniscient bureau because their perfect, fulfilling love will dampen all other desires, including their respective ambitions to attain professional success in politics and DANCE. I don't particularly buy that thesis, nor that the universe wouldn't have better things to do than keep Matt Damon and Emily Blunt apart, but the light chase movie is kinda fun, cutesy, and dangerous but not so dangerous that a happy ending isn't ensured.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 11, 2013
    The entire fate of mankind! The fate of mankind, man! (anguished, tortured voice like Charleton Heston as Taylor at the end of Planet Of The Apes) THE FATE OF ALL MANKIND! (falling to knees and choking on own blood) <B>THE FATE OF MANKIND !!!!!!!!</B> (clutches heart, unintelligible gurgling and convulsing) OK, the fate of all mankind aside, The Adjustment Bureau is kind of corny, emotionally manipulative, has an uber-predictable moral, and is more romance than sci-fi. But despite this I enjoyed letting myself be sucked into it anyway, and so will anyone who spends a lot of time caring about love and relationships, and who likes an imaginative albeit very basic story. I still would have liked a much darker take on the concept. In real life, any entity with this kind of power would be conducting their manipulations strictly out of greed ala They Live (1985). And here's why: I don't care how advanced a civilization is, it's just intuitive that what we call "human nature" is going to be sadly ubiquitous based on required evolutionary programing for survival run amok, and nature being unable to let people ever fully rise above it -i.e.the bad traits misguided lust, jealousy, self-defeating stupidity, belief in a higher power, war, looking out for number 1, avarice, and greed, etc. Man's idiocy goes hand in hand with his intellect and I bet high stakes this unfortunate phenomenon is universal throughout the cosmos. So an actual "adjustment bureau" wouldn't be magnanimous. Nope. Sorry. They'd just be the stooges of intergalactic Republicans. Kind of like our CIA. But I digress as usual. To sum up: could have been deliciously dark, convoluted and cynical; still good entertainment, cute movie.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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