The Adjustment Bureau | Chicago Reader

The Adjustment Bureau

Philip K. Dick's early story "Adjustment Team" (1954) was a little paranoid masterpiece about an office drone who discovers that cosmic secret agents police the planet, minutely altering everyday events so as to keep world history on track. Turning the story into a Matt Damon thriller isn't something I would have recommended, but the idea works pretty well for a while. Now the hero is a charismatic New York politician (Damon) headed for the U.S. Senate, and the rub comes when a squad of gray gentlemen in fedoras (led by white-maned John Slattery of Mad Men) arrive to tell him his chance encounter with the woman of his dreams (Emily Blunt) needs to be wiped off the books. Making his debut as writer-director, screenwriter George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum) contributes a fair amount of wit and intelligence; the initial encounter between Damon and Blunt crackles like a Howard Hawks movie. But as in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, the premise is so mind-boggling and fraught with implications that it tends to obviate the action mechanics of the last couple reels.



  • George Nolfi


  • Matt Damon
  • Emily Blunt
  • Anthony Mackie
  • John Slattery
  • Michael Kelly
  • Terence Stamp
  • Gregory Lay
  • Lauren Hodges
  • Anthony Ruivivar
  • Fabrizio Brienza
  • Jessica Keller
  • Jon Stewart
  • Chuck Scarborough
  • James Carville
  • Mary Matalin


  • Bill Carraro
  • Michael Hackett
  • Chris Moore
  • George Nolfi
  • Isa Hackett
  • Jonathan Gordon

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