Complete A-Z list

Adjustment Bureau, The


Stars: Mark Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Jennifer Ehle, Shane McRae

Director: George Holfi

Cheerfully barmy, quite engagingly low-tech modern-dress sci-fi about a group of faceless non-humans who regulate our lives and decree how they should go. But when potential senator David Norris (Damon) falls in love with ballet dancer Elise (Blunt) in the gents' loo, he's determined to buck the trend. Yes, he is.

David's battle to be with Elise goes on for years but, to be fair, the fast-moving film doesn't really seem that long, as men in hats (they need them to go through doors to places where they can thwart the romance) do their best to ensure their version of fate stands solid. David is told that, if he leaves her, Elise will become a famous dancer and choreographer but, if they stay together, she will end up teaching six-year-olds.

Damon and Blunt keep resolutely straight faces through these absurdities, but unsung actor Kelly is excellent as Damon's agent/friend. You'll need a big swallow to suspend disbelief as the bureau's enforcer (Stamp) makes a last-ditch attempt to keep the lovers apart, but at least it's all in the cause of (very light) entertainment.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
106 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 27 Feb 2011