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The Adjustment Bureau

 (3,956)IMDb 7.01 h 46 min2011X-RayPG-13
HD. Fate takes a hand in the pre-planned lives of a politician and a ballerina in this intriguing tale starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
Directors
George Nolfi
Starring
Matt DamonEmily BluntAnthony Mackie
Genres
ActionDramaScience FictionRomanceSuspense
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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3,956 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2015
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52 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2019
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9 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Mr. Laurence Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars An Accomplished, Philip K. Dick-Sourced, Sci-Fi Romantic Thriller with Excellent Performances - Great on Blu-ray
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2017
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Accomplished, Philip K. Dick-Sourced, Sci-Fi Romantic Thriller with Excellent Performances - Great on Blu-ray
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2017
Any film based on the work of master sc-fi author Philip K. Dick (the inspiration for 'Blade Runner', 'Total Recall', Minority Report', 'Paycheck' etc and more to come !!!) is likely to get my attention, so getting the 2011 'The Adjustment Bureau' was always going to happen.

Using the basis of the short story 'Adjustment Team', first-time director George Nolfi also wrote the screenplay (after earlier writing contributions for films like 'Ocean's Twelve' and 'The Bourne Ultimatum') and was a producer for this sci-fi romantic thriller.

I enjoyed this film, which features a notable cast, a lot and it is presented very well on Blu-ray; the baffling things is that whilst it made a healthy box-office profit and got decent critical appraisal, it has a relatively low review-count on Amazon....

Unless you like to know beforehand a lot of the intricacies of a film plot, then the Amazon synopsis is best avoided - instead, here's just the (much less revealing) 2nd paragraph of it :

'On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt)—a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. '

The plot is of the slow-reveal type, hence my recommendation to avoid the full Amazon synopsis, and after an appreciable amount time you will probably still only have an initial idea of what is going on; in the meantime, a lot of events occur which serve to either support or confuse the understanding.

However, the major matter which drives the story along is the personalities of the 2 lead characters and, especially, their blossoming relationship/how they interact; I suppose a theme summarisation might be something like 'Love, in the face of adversity' ! With the Philip K. Dick influence, who's work is often on the 'dark' side, quite how sinister outside influences are takes quite a time to be clear.....

The dominance of the 2 lead characters demands good performers, and here we get them with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt really showing the best of their acting (and running about !) capabilities - especially as the love 'theme' is mixed with quite a lot of dynamic action but, above all, a stack load of plot 'theory' argument/discussion/analysis and the like, which is especially in the remit of the notable supporting cast.

The production-values of the film are good but, despite the sci-fi theme, don't expect a wealth special effects - indeed don't expect any at all might be more accurate, save for some complicated graphics displayed on tablet screens ! The lead characters, story-telling, plot revelations and general dialogue are the main effects here - with massive support from a LOT of external settings in New York.

I found the screenplay and story structure particularly accomplished and entirely in keeping with the aim of plot themes and the way things are revealed in stages.

Whilst quite a lot of the action does occur in those outside settings, this film is actually quite dark in general appearance with a subdued colour palette and even more subdued musical soundtrack. Everything is there, it's just not as bright, with the presentational details set at, say, a hypothetical position '7' whereas a lot of sci-fi thrillers have it at '9' or the maximum of '10'.

This also explains why the presentation on Blu-ray might come across as underwhelming, when in fact it is sharp/flawless as one should expect of a modern release but also completely faithful to reality and as good as can be, it's just a tad 'lifeless' in terms of vibrancy as so much is subdued....

I picked this up used in it's 'Triple Play' format for a very good price, now it can be grabbed for an absolute pittance - which makes a nonsense of buying either the solo DVD or Blu-ray.

I've attached a photo of the case back with all the disc info as Amazon omits it.

The disc extras are very decent, with a commentary and extras with a running-time approaching 1hr. I've only perused the commentary, which was OK - but is a little too full of compliments to production members and I was initially confused as George Nolfi is the only contributor, but only presents himself as the writer - omitting to mention that he also directed the film !!!

So, this film is really an accomplished sci-fi romance, with thriller and dramatic elements intermingled which means that, along with the subdued presentation/musical soundtrack and often dark surroundings, the overall impression can lead towards the underwhelming end of the spectrum - but that is, with hindsight a rash impression to form and very unfair. Similarly subdued aspects for the Blu-ray presentation are also possible, but again after things progress it should be realised that everything is as good as it should be.

However, it is the excellent lead performances that make this film so successful; this is, after all, a love story about these 2 people so if those characters aren't played to their fullest, to reflect the significant themes of the plot, then all would be lost - but Matt Damon and Emily Blunt ensure everything is entirely effective and, ultimately, thoroughly believable.
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J. McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars The Adjustment Bureau.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2020
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F. Finch
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing lost nothing gained.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2020
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F. V. L. Buliciri
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware Big Brother is watching you!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2018
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MR LEIGH ATKINS
5.0 out of 5 stars Who the Numpty who siad there was no storyline
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 5, 2014
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25 people found this helpful
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