The Adjustment Bureau
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt,
Terence Stamp, John Slattery,
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 106 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures/Comcast
Director: George Nolfi
Executive Producer: Isa Dick Hackett
Producer: Bill Carraro, Michael Hackett,
Chris Moore, George Nolfi,
Writer: George Nolfi
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
Stephen Burke, President/CEO, NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO, Universal Studios
Adam Fogelson, Chairman, Universal Pictures
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
That night, David meets Elise, a supremely talented ballet dancer with whom he feels an instant love connection, but who is chased away from him by mysterious men in hats. David runs into Elise again a while later and develops an even stronger connection, only to again be separated from her in mysterious fashion.
This time, though, David stumbles across the mystery men – revealed to be angels – as they are erasing the memories of his colleagues in his law firm. The men explain to him they work for “The Chairman” – an obvious reference to God – and help keep certain important people’s lives running according to a strictly written plan. The Chairman’s plan is supposed to prevent David and Elise from falling in love, because each is meant to have a separate profound impact on the world.
David is haunted by his knowledge and for years can’t move on to other relationships. When he sees Elise on the street five years later, he risks everything to tell her about the angels and the Chairman. Eventually, the two decide to fight against all odds to preserve their love and break the hold God’s plan has on their lives. Will their true love convince the Chairman to alter His plan?
Based on a short story by the late, imaginative writer Philip K. Dick, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU offers surprising food for thought for viewers, but especially faith-filled ones. In fact, Universal Pictures has a specific marketing outreach designed to win believers over to seeing it. Issues of free will and predestination abound, but are relayed in an easily digestible fashion, while the alternate-universe New York City that the angels chase the lead couple through is composed of astonishing special effects and never-ending inventiveness.
The movie offers arguments both for and against free will versus predestination that the movie seems to be saying at times BOTH/AND, in a way that seems to support a compatibilist view of Free Will and Destiny. In a compatibilist view, free will is defined in such a way that allows it to co-exist with ideas of predestination, including God’s Absolute Sovereignty. Needless to say, this is a heavy topic that philosophers and theologians have been debating in various ways for centuries.
In discussing these topics, the movie avoids discussing the differences between a Christian worldview of God versus a Non-Christian worldview. Thus, many issues such as the identity of God, God’s Moral Law, the Bible, and the need for salvation or redemption are not mentioned. This neglect may bother some viewers more than others.
Regrettably, however, the movie does include a line of dialogue that gives a JOAN OF ARCADIA spin to the concept of God. In contrast to this, the orthodox, biblical view is that every epiphany or appearance of God is Jesus Christ, although God acts in and through people, and we become His hands, feet and voice as His church. When he appears in the flesh, however, He is always Jesus Christ. Instead of this, the movie suggests God can appear to people in other, less obvious, less specifically Christian ways. The movie also doesn’t deal with many questions of morality, such as what God asks of us ethically.
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU contains some strong foul language. There’s also a premarital sex scene between the romantic leads. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.
All in all, however, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is a suspenseful, thought-provoking movie that does say there is a God who has a plan for human beings. That message is a good starting point for Christians to get into the specific teachings of the Bible, which is the Word of God.
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is very suspenseful. It also offers deeper food for thought. For example, the movie discusses free will and predestination in ways that may please and inspire people on many sides of the issue. It mostly avoids questions about God’s identity, His moral will and Christian salvation, however. There is also some strong foul language, a bedroom scene and a couple false pieces of dialogue. Strong caution is therefore advised. Please visit Movieguide.org for the full review.