First Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Directed and Written by George Nolfi and Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt

The adjustment bureau movie poster

Image by neeravbhatt via Flickr


Romance, Sci-fi, Thriller


Matt Damon plays David Norris, a Senate Candidate about to be voted into congress for the state of New York.  Norris had once been the youngest Representative ever voted into office, but his immaturity has him kicked out his first day for a bar-fight.  He is a man who keeps failing right before the victory and is desperately trying to find his place.

The beginning of the movie takes place on election night where Norris is down by good number of points to his competitor. His defeat is confirmed and he feels awful.  Election into office and the people’s respect had been the only factors driving him ever since he was young. He goes into he bathroom to be alone and practice his concession speech. Shockingly, a woman, Played by Emily Blunt, emerges from one of the stalls behind him. They have a long conversation talking about, Norris’ loss, why the heck she was in bathroom, and whether Norris would run again. There is an immediate connection between them. They end up kissing and right, at the height of the moment, Norris’ best friend walks in, surprised by what he sees, and tells Norris he has to get cleaned up and that his speech is on in just a few minutes. The woman ends up leaving with Norris never getting her name. He is so confused, and yet excited, about what had just happened that he ends up delivering  a phenomenal and rousing concession speech.

Little does Norris know that an agent has been following him for a long time. The agent, played by Anthony Mackie, carries a mysterious book that allows him to follow David. This agent was given the duty to keep David Norris from ever seeing the strange woman he met, again. He fails and Norris ends up sitting next to the woman on the bus. She gives him her number and tells him her name is Elise.

Norris ends up getting captured by this agency that has been following him. They tell him that  they are an agency that is designed to keep people from straying away from their fate. It is obvious that this agency is some sort of higher power that governs the fate of all the people in the world.  This fate is written in the strange book and is called the persons “Plan”. Surprisingly, they also tell him that he would never be able to see Elise again. He is very confused about this and persistently asks questions about why he can’t be with her. They wont give him any straight answers. The agents also make sure he knows that if he tells anybody about their agency, that they would erase all of his memory the person he was would be destroyed.  Norris says he will not accept his fate and tells the agency that he would do anything to be with her.

The rest of the movie spans over several years that shows Norris’ determination to stay with the woman he loves and his denial of his supposedly, inevitable fate.The Verdict:

What is the most important element of a romantic movie? I personally believe it is chemistry between the two leads. Damon and Blunt work so well with each other, that the movie is hard to watch when they aren’t together. This is precisely the point of the movie, to understand how badly both of them need and want to be with each other and that they would over come any obstacle to be together.

The movie handles the philosophical themes and science fiction pretty well until the unambiguous and almost silly ending but the movie’s gears still operate very well. The film leaves the viewer thinking about the question of free will or fate, and what their plan in life might be.


a good but not great movie




10 thoughts on “First Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

  1. Pingback: The Adjustment Bureau | Reviews – The St Thomas Blog

  2. mls

    What do you think about Warner studios renting movies via facebook? Because of the smaller screen, will this change how movies are designed? Great reviews you’ve given, I haven’t seen of these!

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