Cristi (Dragos Bucur) is a patient and disciplined plainclothes policeman in the Romanian village of Vaslui who has been assigned by his superior to an underground sting operation. He watches the movements of a teenage pothead and those who meet with him. At one point, Cristi searches on the ground for bread crumbs (butted-out joints). At home, he eats soup late at night and is irritated by his wife's loud music. At the office, Cristi writes up lengthy reports on his surveillance activities. He comes to the conclusion that the case is going nowhere fast and that there are more important things for him to do.

But the Captain (Vlad Ivanov) has other ideas. After making Cristi wait a long time for a meeting, he is miffed by the young policeman's use of the word conscience in reference to the boy. Cristi doesn't want to have to deal with the guilt over arresting a kid for smoking some pot and ruining his whole life. The domineering captain believes in a rigorous interpretation of the law and tried-and-true police procedures. He patronizes Cristi and takes him through dictionary definitions of conscience and other words in order to hammer home his perspective.

Police, Adjective moves very slowly, and its skillful and engaging treatment of conscience is worth considering. There probably has never ever been a film made that offers such a contrast to he violence, speed, and vulgarity of Hollywood's movies about cops!