‘The Adjustment Bureau’: The Reviews Are In!

Critics largely praise the Matt Damon-led Philip K. Dick adaptation, with one calling it 'a brisk and affecting slice of sci-fi.'

Emily Blunt the garden gnome squares off against Emily Blunt the ballerina at the box office this weekend. Her toe-tapping dancer in “The Adjustment Bureau,” which opened on Friday (March 4), will handily beat her animated statue from “Gnomeo & Juliet,” a cinematic holdover from last month.

“Adjustment Bureau” stars Matt Damon as a one-time Senate front-runner who falls in love with Blunt’s ballerina on the night he loses the election. One twist of fate later, Damon finds out that there are supernatural forces — slickly dressed “adjusters,” played by the likes of John Slattery and Anthony Mackie — controlling everyone’s lives and conspiring to keep him away from Blunt. That doesn’t sit so well with Damon, who sets about fighting against these forces in an effort to keep his romance alive.

The movie blends sci-fi and romantic drama into a hybrid piece of entertainment that has won over the majority of critics. Check out what everyone has to say about “The Adjustment Bureau.”

The Influences
” ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ an enormously entertaining speculative thriller starring Matt Damon, would earn its kudos for ambition alone. An adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, this is a movie of myriad genres and tonal gradations, including classic science fiction in the tradition of ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Matrix’ and the doomed romance of ‘An Affair to Remember.’ Throw in the conspiratorial intrigue of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ — and a first-time director to keep it all straight — and the singular achievement of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ becomes all the more impressive.’ — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

The Thrills
” ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ is the thriller as glorified philosophical videogame, with David dashing through doors that are like looking-glass passageways, trying to wrench his destiny away from the forces that claim he has no free will. In many ways, this is a dated and rather gimmicky movie. Yet it’s directed (by ‘The Bourne Ultimatum”s co-screenwriter George Nolfi) with a wide-eyed spirit. It taps into your longing for the days when a sci-fi matrix could explain the world without making it a darker place.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The Performances
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, together onscreen, make all sorts of sense; his compact concentration and fire-plug solidity contrast well with her gangly physicality and spirit of mischief, sexual and otherwise. … ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ has the guts to play its central romance for genuine romantic feeling — and in the tasty byplay between Damon and Blunt, who seem to enjoy each other.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The Dissenters
“The plot of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ unfolds without rhyme or reason, with characters who behave in inexplicable ways just because. (Why, exactly, does one of the adjusters, played by Anthony Mackie, suddenly take a sympathetic interest in David’s plight?) Damon and Blunt lack the onscreen chemistry to make you care much about their fate. Damon only seems plugged into the movie when he’s running around and making like Jason Bourne, while Blunt does too good a job of portraying her character’s strong, confident personality in her early scenes, only to retreat into wilting-violet mode in the movie’s second half, as the script requires.” — Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

The Final Word
Possessing great visual style, clever writing and the undeniable star presence of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ is a brisk and affecting slice of sci-fi that allows room for optimism and even God. … [The] movie spins off from what might be a prompt in a philosophy college class, and while it might not get much deeper than that, it’s consistently entertaining and thought-provoking. An attempt at a climactic third-act chase feels forced, especially in contrast to the gentle and almost hushed tone of what came before it, but the film’s earnest emotions and sure sense of itself remain captivating even through the mildly out-there finale.” — Katey Rich, Cinema Blend

Check out everything we’ve got on ” The Adjustment Bureau.”

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