Box art for The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau

action & adventure, drama, romance, sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

An action thriller about a man (Matt Damon) who decides to fight the powerful Adjustment Bureau, risking his political future to be with the only woman he's ever loved (Emily Blunt).

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5

Sci-fi/romance hybrid mixes plot twists, serious themes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this twist romance wrapped up in a sci-fi thriller tackles some complicated themes -- i.e. who controls our fate? -- that might be too overwhelming for tweens and younger. The way the movie addresses them is also pretty tricky to follow, though it's sure to spur some mind-bending questions. Expect some swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k") and a few scenes with drinking, as well as one relatively tame love scene. There are also tense chase sequences, fistfights, and a shocking car accident.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie compares to other thrillers. Is it more or less scary and violent? Which is harder for you to watch -- tense scenes or violent ones? Why?
  • What is the movie saying about people's fate? Do you agree? Do we control our own destinies, or is life mapped out for us?
  • What do you think of the characters' decisions? What would you give up, if necessary, for love?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: You can feel the influence of classic American movies like "North by Northwest" and "The Graduate" here, and while I won't argue that Nolfi matches those examples, his ambition is admirable.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fresh: A smart, stylish thriller that melds science fiction, romance and Hitchcock-ian intrigue with surprising ease.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, March 4, 2011

Fresh: The on-screen pairing of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is so winning that you may be willing to overlook the oddly modulating tone of the story that brings them together and then tries to keep them apart.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

A romantic in the secret of destiny conspiracy. The Adjustment Bureau rises on the strong, believable chemistry of its stars

- fb1019018362, Monday, December 3, 2012

4 stars

With the unique style of this movie, how do you not give it your undivided attention? Matt Damon plays senator David Norris and he finds this girl he really likes. Her name is Elise and she's played by Emily Blunt who is really hot. Damon and Blunt hit it off and they have really good chemistry together. Everything about the relationship seemed really natural and you could tell they liked each other for being who they are and not because of looks or swag or something stupid like that. The only problem with them being together is a team of top secret men who control peoples fates are trying to break them up. Matt Damon's plan for the men is to be President of the United States and Emily Blunt's plan is to be an awesome dance choreographer, but if they get together, it all goes down the drain. The movie actually does have a lot of interesting things to think about. For one, it actually does kinda make you think about whether all the little things happen for a reason or if it's just chance. Another thing is the idea of free will. One of the men in the movie has a monologue about humanity not having free will, but simply the appearance of free will. I liked that part and I think it was really well thought out. The movie also is a very, very subtle action flick. There are chase scenes but they don't have a lot of violence. I liked how they weren't over the top. One scene I had a problem with though is in the middle of the movie. Damon and Blunt are in her apartment and they just finished "getting to know each other" and after that they start to talk about Blunt's ex boyfriend. I don't exactly hate the scene, I just think it's the least interesting part of the movie. Apart from that scene, the movie ended up being really good. I liked the idea, the acting was great, the dialogue was very engaging and I especially liked seeing Damon adapt to the whole situation of being controlled by these men and eventually outsmarting them in a few scenes. But if you're expecting a bunch of action with CGI overload and explosions all over the place, don't bother.

- fb100000716838411, Friday, May 25, 2012

3 stars

Directed (and written) by George Nolfi, Universal Pictures, 2011. Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, and Terrance Stamp. Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller Question: Did you ever get that feeling when you meet someone that the two of you were meant to be together? You can't explain it but once you meet them it all makes sense. It is chance or is it destiny? Who knows? I received The Adjustment Bureau in the mail from Netflix about a month ago and forgot I had it until recently. Finally watched it yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I wasn't expecting to - can't really say why. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are usually in pretty decent films, but something about the previews just sort of turned me off. Nonetheless, me being me (of course) I put it on my queue when it was out in the theatres, forgot about the preview and then had some time to kill yesterday. Look at the genre list above (from IMDb) and really think about it. What a combination of styles to mix together. I sort of wasn't expecting the romance to be such a large part of it. In fact, I would consider this a romance above all; and a really good one. Perhaps it's the romantic in me that nudged me to really enjoy the story. Tales about two people who are supposed to be together, for whatever reason and obstacles keep popping up and pulling them apart; however, they keep finding themselves reconnecting...those stories just get me. Matt Damon plays a young congressman from New York who "happens" to meet a woman (Emily Blunt) in a bathroom; they chat for a few moments and sparks fly immediately. Now I won't say what happens next with the romance part but the Sci-Fi part comes in and takes over the story after that. Here is where you can start a debate on if there is such a thing as destiny or if it is all up to chance. The "couple", let's call them, meet again and apparently they weren't supposed to according to a certain group of individuals. Why are these people so interested in this couple? I am not going to tell you that. However, this group apparently helps "guide" others towards paths that they should be on and when they veer off they come in to put them back on track. However, chance has a way of getting these two together or was it destiny? Who are these people that want to control people's paths? Well, the film-makers tried to explain who they are. You'll see. Of course as the The Adjustment Bureau continues the lovers find themselves in and out of each other lives. When they were together (Matt Damon and Emily Blunt) I found myself smiling watching them. Their relationship was effortless and I feel most people would kill for that these days. So I was big rooter for them to get together and stay together. What obstacles did they have; were they able to overcome them, and did they finally make it? Well, you know my answer to those questions.... One thing I will tell you about this film, I really enjoyed watching Matt Damon's character and his persistence to be with the one he loved. It was truly heartwarming. Yeah, yeah, I am a girl and all it takes is for us to see a guy drop everything for a girl. We fall for that storyline every...single...time. And I fell for it again in The Adjustment Bureau. Why did he fight so hard for her? Well, there is the obvious. He loves her - geesh, come on people. But there was more and I will give you a little hint...he knew about something that she did not. I have a feeling if she did she would have acted the same way...okay, may have just revealed a little too much but I felt like sharing today. Also, I think both male and females movie fans will like this one. The Adjustment Bureau covers both a guy flick and chick flick quite well. Interesting trivia - this movie was based on the short story by Philip K. Dick. He passed away in 1982 but here are a few his other stories that eventually became films: Minority Report, Total Recall and Blade Runner. My favorite thing: Well, I will say it again - Matt Damon's character conviction to be with her. My least favorite: It was a bit predictable, but then again I see A LOT of movies so I will let that one slide. Rating: PG-13 Length: 106 minutes Review: 6 out of 10

- katykern8261, Tuesday, May 22, 2012