The Adjustment Bureau [2011]

An alluring blend of sci-fi, action and romance, The Adjustment Bureau is based on the short story by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner). Expertly written and directed by George Nolfi, Bureau is a refined, often funny breath of fresh air among all the formulaic actioners. Our hero, David Norris (Matt Damon) is actually a smart, charismatic man who we can’t help but root for. We want him to get the girl (Emily Blunt), a well-rounded character; a savvier, sassier variation on the damsel-in-distress type.  Blunt finally gets a role of the magnitude she deserves, after mostly supporting turns in mild comedies. The chemistry between her and Damon is almost palpable. You start to wonder why no one came up with the idea of pairing them before this film. The titular “bureau” is a stylish posse of sharply-dressed, fedora-wearing  agents/angels/aliens, led fantastically by Mad Men’s John Slattery. The visual aspect of the film is just as good as the cast and the script (maybe even better). John Toll makes apparently meaningless shots memorable and works real magic from behind the lens. Definitely, the best film of 2011 (so far).