The Adjustment Bureau

Universal Pictures Released 2011




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Movie Summary

George Nolfi
The Adjustment Bureau is the 2011 science fiction romance that marks the directorial debut of respected screenwriter George Nolfi. The film begins with David Norris (Matt Damon), a campaigning politician in New York State crashing out of the race for a Senate seat after some bad publicity. He then meets professional ballet dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) and sparks fly. Love is in the air. However, this is where the Adjustment Bureau steps in. They're humanoid angels who ensure that everything runs smoothly on Earth and they only answer to The Man Upstairs. Apparently, the plan for David is to be a future President, whilst Elise is to be a world famous dancer. The downside being that none of this can happen if they stay together. The film then hurtles around New York City and some sort of parallel universe with the Adjustment Bureau trying to stop David and Elise being together. All of this builds up to another huge Matt Damon chase scene and a big emotional climax.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    One reason filmmakers like Mr. Nolfi seem attracted to Philip K. Dick's work, beyond the brilliance of its ideas, is that his unembellished writing style leaves them room to make t...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    What results, against some odds, is an intriguing entertainment. Adjustment Bureau's central concept is certainly ingenious, but the details are a little wonky and don't stand up t...

  • 60

    Variety Justin Chang

    Its fun first hour soon gives way to a leaden, expository approach that unwisely favors emotional stakes over speculative-fiction smarts.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Harry Mitchell: Most people live life on the path we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along who knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize freewill is a gift that you'll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that's the chairman's real plan. That maybe one day, we won't write the plan, you will.

    • Richardson: Very few humans have seen what you've seen today. And we're determined to keep it that way. So, if you ever reveal our existence, we'll erase your brain. The intervention team will be sent, your emotions, your memories, your entire personality, will be expunged. Your friends and family will think you've gone crazy. You, well, you won't think anything...

    • David Norris: What ever happened to Free Will?
      Thompson: We actually tried Free Will before. After taking you from hunting and gathering to the height of the Roman Empire we stepped back to see how you'd do on your own. You gave us the Dark Ages for five centuries... until finally we decided we should come back in. The Chairman thought maybe we just needed to do a better job of teaching you how to ride a bike before taking the training wheels off again. So we gave you the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution. For six hundred years we taught you to control your impulses with reason, then in 1910 we stepped back. Within fifty years, you'd brought us World War I, the Depression, Fascism, the Holocaust and capped it off by bringing the entire planet to the brink of destruction in the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that point a decision was taken to step back in again before you did something that even we couldn't fix. You don't have free will, David. You have the appearance of free will.

    • Elise Sellas: You're that guy running for Senate, aren't you?
      David Norris: I am that guy... yeah. Are you a registered New York voter?
      Elise Sellas: Do I sound like I am?

  • NOTES (2)


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Thrillers, Love & Romance