THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (PG-13 for some strong profanity, violence, one brief, unnecessary sex scene): Philip K. Dick, writer of thought-provoking paranoia with a blend of mystery, action & science fiction, is brought to the screen from his 1954 short story, here made into a full-length feature (99 minutes) by writer/director George Nolfi.
The Bureau of the title refers to a band of normally unrecognizable Mad Ave-type men in colorless suits & fedoras, headed by a "chief" (possibly Terrence Stamp) honorably bound to the ultimate tough job of holding the world together according to a predestined plan. Free will, we are told, made a mess of things, so this guiding force with its master plan should establish a more suitable universe.
Caught in this plan are a young budding politician from Brooklyn (Matt Damon at his best here) and a British ballerina (lovely, talented Emily Blunt) now living in Manhattan. Though they were predestined at one time to hook-up, plans were somehow changed so that now, despite the fact that they've fallen madly in love, they must be forced apart forever. The conflict between the couple and the masterminds of the future brings along a lot of on-again, off-again situations, in & out of New York (and sometimes through doors that can take them anywhere), until at final wrap-up (including car chases, shattering glass, and a lot of fast running in & out of places) when - a serious disappointment - there's a cop-out ending. I won't give it away, nor do I have to; you will see it coming from a mile away.
Until that point, the film is remarkably entertaining; the cast is excellent, the pace generally fast, John Toll's wide angle cameras capture both an excitingly new portrait of the Big Apple along with beautifully staged shots of the individuals chasing through it, Kasia Walicka Maimone's choice of costumes (especially those tastefully tailored men), Thomas Newman's highly original music, and Jay Rabinowitz's editing that holds us breathless - all adding up to an exciting, well produced thriller that appears absolutely probable (until thought about more seriously later), and all appearing quite plausible for the moment - until that disappointing conclusion. (Grade: B+)