The Adjustment Bureau Movie Review

Although not particularly impactful as The Matrix, this movie does share similar elements and similar plot (in context of the entire Matrix trilogy).  Both question fate and free-will, and both have a larger governor in the mechanism of existence.  This movie is much more philosophical in its approach whereas the Wachovski Brothers inundated the trilogy with science-fiction mayhem.  Overall, it was a solid movie but lacked that certain punch that other movies with similar themes had.  Lastly, it is loosely based on science fiction author Philip K. Dick‘s short story “The Adjustment Team.”


The main cast includes Matt Damon stars as New York Congressman David Norris.  Emily Blunt plays the ballerina Elise Sellas, David Norris’ love interest throughout this entire movie. Michael Kelly is David Norris’ campaign manager.

The Adjustment Bureau consists of scveral notable people.  John Slattery is Richardson, one of the top agents of the Adjustment Bureau.  Anthony Mackie stars as Harry Mitchell, the Agent who is seemingly always by David Norris’ side and his confidant.  Terence Stamp plays as Thompson, otherwise known as “The Hammer.”  He is the Enforcer of the Adjustment Bureau.  There are many other agents in the Adjustment Bureau, but these should suffice through this movie.

Plot Synopsis

New York Congressmen David Norris meets Elise Sellas in the man’s restrooms as he is preparing his speech.  As they enjoy their conversation together, they kiss and Norris delivers a momentous speech.  They meet each other again on the bus that he travels daily, but the Adjustment Bureau intervenes and tells him that their relationship is not part of the Plan, or the grand scheme of their existence.  With Harry Mitchell by his side, they both eventually fight the Plan, designed by the Chairman.  As Richardson and other agents attempt to separate the Congressmen and the ballerina, they keep on being pulled back together.  Eventually, enough becomes enough for David Norris and Harry Mitchell, and they and Elise battle the pursuing Agents to change the Plan.

Verdict (Out of 10)

Although this movie does have some science fiction elements, it is actually more of a philosophy/romance in my frank opinion.  Upon discovery of the Adjustment Bureau, the movie draws heavily on the narrative of the Agents to explain what is going on, rather than show it.  This is unlike The Matrix where explanations of fate, free-will and existence are more easily spread throughout the trilogy.  This movie would be perfect for Philosophy or Religion courses in college as the narrative of the Agents could lend to a fruitful class discussion.  My emphasis on the narrative is that it generally slowed the pace of the movie tremendously.  However, Terence Stamp’s monologue was tremendous.  Overall, the movie is about a 7 out of 10.  It lacked that certain panache to become a really great movie and a really great science fiction movie.

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