A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.
In the year 2054 A.D. crime is virtually eliminated from Washington D.C. thanks to an elite law enforcing squad "Precrime". They use three gifted humans (called "Pre-Cogs") with special powers to see into the future and predict crimes beforehand. John Anderton heads Precrime and believes the system's flawlessness steadfastly. However one day the Pre-Cogs predict that Anderton will commit a murder himself in the next 36 hours. Worse, Anderton doesn't even know the victim. He decides to get to the mystery's core by finding out the 'minority report' which means the prediction of the female Pre-Cog Agatha that "might" tell a different story and prove Anderton innocent. Written by
Elements from the original short story that the screenplay is based on included more details about the Pre-Crime Unit. The data was double-checked by the military to ensure that the Pre-Crime officers would not be bribed by any future murderer to conceal the evidence. The Pre-Cogs worked on different time levels which accounted for any minor discrepancies that their premonitions had. They mumbled and their incoherent words were deciphered in audio tapes. Their data could be fabricated and in the story this is exactly what happens since the first vision is revealed to be a fake one. The screenplay however omits all these details in favor of a visual display of the precognitions. See more »
In the advertisement supporting the Precog program, the narrator states that within a month of starting the program, the murder rate in Washington DC came down 90%. Later in the same ad, however, a clips is shown of Director Burgess stating that in the 6 months the Precog program has been running, there hasn't been a single murder in DC. If this was the case, the murder rate would have been down 100% after the first month, not 90%. See more »
One of the best/most complex science fiction films
Steven Spielberg sets Minority Report in the near future of 2054, in which the technology is advanced, but not far-fetched. Cars can drive themselves and ride up elevators, computers come with holograms as a user interface, and stores recognize you from your eyeball scan. As all science fiction fans know, however, the genre is not about technology but about ideas. The big idea for Minority Report is based on a short story by the venerable Philip K. Dick. In this future, there is a "pre-crime" unit in the police force, which revolves around three psychics who are able to see violent crimes before they occur. These visions are projected in a flat screen panel and manipulated by detectives with the grace of a symphony conductor. Equipped with futuristic stun guns, jet packs, and search robots, these cops then arrest and intern the criminals before the crimes are committed.
We learn all this in the first ten minutes of the movie. After this introduction, the plot really starts when Detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise) finds out that the precogs saw him kill someone, someone that he has never met. He finds himself in a race. With the forced recruitment of a precog, Agatha (Samantha Morton), he must clear his name before the predetermined murder. All the while, his old buddies, now helped with a special agent from the FBI (Colin Farrell), are trying to track him down.
Spielberg, with Janusz Kaminski, his cinematographer for many films, have crafted a visually stunning movie. The special effects are seamlessly incorporated of the world they created. The muted blues echo the style of black & white film noirs. John Anderton is similar to noir's morally ambiguous characters--a good cop with an illegal habit that is forced (by circumstances and desire) to betray the very things he loves.
But this is not just a special effects or mystery movie. The characters, all well drawn, are supremely acted by the cast. Tom Cruise is a good physical actor and he shows it here. By the way he sits or walks, we can intuit the grief and confusion that's going through him. Samantha Morton does a good job of portraying a haunted young lady who has seen too much. Colin Farrell skillfully balances the ambitious and professional sides of his character. As always, Max von Sydow authoritatively plays the respected father figure.
This is one of my favorite Science Fiction films. I would also recommend the following films. These (I think) influenced Minority Report.
"The Maltese Falcon" ~ film noir "A Clockwork Orange" ~ science fiction "Blade Runner" ~ science fiction (also based on a Dick story)
***** out of *****
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