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Film Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Mar 05, 2011 12:05PM ● By Wendy Sipple

The Adjustment Bureau is much more a theological debate than a political thriller as the commercials seem to suggest.

The movie centers around a romance based on fate and succeeds largely on the shoulders of the strong performances of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.

The premise of the The Adjustment Bureau is about a young up-and-coming senator (Matt Damon) who falls for what appears to be his soul mate (Emily Blunt) on a chance meeting. However, the forces of fate have determined that the two cannot be a pair. Of course the couple fights against fate to be together despite the warning of dire consequences.

There is a lot to like about the The Adjustment Bureau. The chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is excellent, and their ability to make the romance believable supports the film. The supporting cast is also strong. The story is interesting and sets forth an interesting dilemma about the role of fate vs. free will without coming across too preachy. 

However, I did have some problems with The Adjustment Bureau. These problems are difficult to discuss in detail without giving away twists in the film, which I won’t do here. But I will say I felt that the film gave the audience too much information too quickly, losing the element of mystery in the movie too soon.

At the same time, some elements in The Adjustment Bureau are never fully explained so certain parts come across as too convenient for plot purposes. My biggest complaint is that they never explain why these characters are so important to keep apart. And if these characters are so important why do they keep threatening to wipe away their existence? 

Overall I thought that The Adjustment Bureau was an entertaining movie. I like the fact that the movie dares you to think about philosophical matters which few movies attempt to do. It’s a good movie, but I can’t help thinking had they fixed some of its flaws it had a great chance at being an excellent film.

FILMS LIKE THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU:  Contact, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind and Time Traveler’s Wife

Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.