The Adjustment Bureau

I’ll offer the below review in three sections:  non-spoiler (won’t ruin anything), spoiler lite (will reveal something of the plot, but if you go and see you’ll still be surprised), and full spoiler (only read if you have seen it or have no intention on seeing it!).  🙂

[Non-Spoiler Section]

Lesley and I actually got a “date night” last night and were able to go see “The Adjustment Bureau.”  Despite the fact that I understood that it was about a couple whom forces unknown were trying to keep apart, I was genuinely surprised by the more involved plot you find when you watch the film. It is a captivating story with adventure, good cinematography, and a rousing soundtrack.  It’s well worth the watch and should have you and whomever you watch it with talking about it long after you leave the theater.

[Spoiler Lite]

When is the last time you remember that Hollywood put out a major, non-religious movie, where God not only has a central role but maintains that God, and his “agents”, are intricately involved in what is going on in this world and in many of our lives?  It is not the common paradigm of writers today – of movies, tv shows, or novels.

The Adjustment Bureau is a love story.  But the problem is that the couple the story revolves around wants to be together but that it is not a part of “the plan” (read God’s plan).  Supposedly God has big plans for both of them but if they stay together they will not follow their planned destinies.  So, God’s agents are constantly trying to re-adjust their paths to get them apart.  And the couple, is determined to stay together “come what may” (to steal a line from Moulan Rouge).

What do you think of the premise? Does God intend for couples to be together? What about the ones who divorce?  Did God not intend that relationship or only intend it for awhile?  Would God change the course of other people’s lives in order to keep you “on course”?  Do you have a destiny?  Or does God give you one of many destinies from which to choose?  Are agents (angels) actively in our world today (as they are in the Biblical world but we kind of dismiss today)?


What did you think of all the agents being male?  Matt’s character was not always fully open with Emily’s.  Do you think he should have been? If God had intended for us to exist, then God had to intend for our parents to get married.   Have you ever thought of God being as involved in our lives as he is in this movie?  And is it fair to say that God is more involved in future president, and great dancer’s lives, than in those working in the donut shop?  Jesus didn’t seem to focus on the powerful and successful whereas the movie surely seems to have that emphasis.  And do you think God gives humanity more and less control at times?  Do you think God would stop a nuclear armegeddon   (as the movie maintains)?

Overall, as you probably surmise, I really enjoy a movie which asks lots of questions.  And good movies are ones you wake up still thinking about as I am with this one.

Tell me your thoughts.

Until next time,



2 thoughts on “The Adjustment Bureau

  1. I talked about this one in my sermon last week — it was a “day off date movie” for us, too. I was preaching on the Genesis story of Adam and Eve making the unfortunate choice to eat the fruit, and I talked about the “choices” in this movie. But I noted that the movie never says “the Chairman” is God and in fact goes out of its way to be coy about it. The sermon is posted on Vimeo and I wish I could give you the link…. maybe on another comment.

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