No one should envy a single person who drew the short straw and was stuck working on the marketing campaign for 'The Adjustment Bureau,' a movie so defiant of the Hollywood norms we're used to that it's impossible to market it accurately.

The trailers would have you believe that George Nolfi's directorial debut is a thriller about Matt Damon discovering that a secret, time-stopping agency comprised of very fashionable men controls the destiny of all mankind. Even the posters, which are all staged as a though they're frozen snapshots of a man on the run, pitch it as a thriller. And of course Nolfi's script is itself an adaptation of 'Adjustment Team,' a short story from the same man who gave Hollywood 'Total Recall,' 'Blade Runner' and 'Minority Report,' so it's certainly understandable to assume it's straight sci-fi.

But 'The Adjustment Bureau' is not wholly sci-fi, nor is it wholly a thriller. It has hints of both, yes, but it's ultimately such a unique romance of genres and sentiments that its essence simply can't be distilled in a two-minute trailer or a single image. Which is precisely why Universal's marketing campaign for it has been so off target. It's hard to blame them, funnily enough. When a genuinely original film like 'The Adjustment Bureau' makes it through the Hollywood system and comes out the other side (mostly) intact, it must be downright alien to them.
The Adjustment Bureau Movie Poster
The Adjustment Bureau
Based on 41 critics

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