Minority Report (2002)
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The content is amazing - all the little details that put the audience firmly in the middle of the 21st century. Personally I can absolutely believe that technology will have advanced in the kind of ways portrayed in the film within 50 years. Just look back 50 years into the past and you should be able to see why. The lives of everyday people in the film, where they are scanned and advertised 'at' all day every day, apart from an excuse for product placement (and why not?), certainly make you think about a world where 'they' know your every move (a future towards which we are already hurtling with some speed).
The style is amazing - why the wooden balls? Because they're cool is why. I like to think that as we progress as a civilization we will keep a few such elegant idiosyncrasies knocking around. The plastic, chrome and glass sets, objects and architecture all looked clean and functional and the way that they suck the color out of a scene worked well and gave the film a distinctive palette. The cars are the best looking vehicles I have ever seen in a film. I have only one criticism here - why do all the computer displays look like Macs? Surely a touch unrealistic ;)
The story is amazing - complicated, yes, but also engrossing, exciting and scary. There are elements here that are only hinted at, but which give the plot a depth increasingly lacking in modern action flicks. And it asks the kind of questions about morality, justice, exploitation and society that'll keep you thinking for much longer that the film's two and some hours.
The direction and performances are amazing - the pre-visualization on this movie must have been a nightmare and yet all the incredible special effects blend perfectly into a visual style that is completely natural and assured, as might be expected from Spielberg and Michael Kahn. There are, of course, numerous references and homages to the work of Stanley Kubrick, which have given a hint of the edge and flair of 'Clockwork Orange' or '2001'. I hope it will continue to be a big influence on Spielberg.
Cruise delivers a first class performance as usual, but the discovery of this film is Samantha Morton as Agatha. Who saw the film and didn't share her terror and vulnerability? Little touches such as the way she clings to Cruise, almost like a baby's reflex, make her a character you immediately care about, innocent and tragic.
Anyway, if that's not enough to recommend the film, then you'll probably never find another one you like again. But if you need another reason, go to see it just for another fantastic soundtrack from the master, John Williams.
Full marks, five stars, a must see several times and buy the DVD movie.
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 *****
In the year 2054 murders can be predicted and stopped before they happen. If you were about to kill but stopped you are locked. Tom Cruise is one of the agents who stops those murders. Then he discovers the next murder they have to stop will be committed by himself.
I will not reveal more of the plot. The story itself is great. It is intelligent, but also exciting with great action scenes. The visuals are truly beautiful and perfectly support the sci-fi story. If you like action thrillers and you don't mind they are set in the future (with some futuristic gadgets) this is your film. 9/10.
This is obviously a formula for a highly successful action movie, but the thing that really makes Minority Report succeed is that it pays so much amount of attention to things that would occur in this situation in real life. It is explained very early in the film that the invention of Pre-Crime has eradicated premeditated murder, as this is most easily detected by the pre-cogs. The majority of the `business,' then, of the Pre-Crime division in the District of Columbia, are crimes of passion. This not only provides the possibility of a lot more tension in that these crimes leave a lot less time for prevention, but also avoids complicating the plot with the details of premeditated murders. We don't care about a guy who wronged another guy five years ago or drug deals gone bad, all we need to hear about are a guy who comes home to find his wife in bed with another man and loses control.
Given the fact that the movie involves some sort of time-travel (even if information is the only thing traveling through time), it leaves itself open to criticism about plot holes. This is obvious, because plot holes like this even permeated the unparalleled Back to the Future series, which obviously had plenty of plot holes but handled them spectacularly well. Given the amount of movies that I have seen that involve time travel, I have come up with this equation: Time Travel = Plot Holes. This is a universal equation that is never escaped, but it does not mean that any movie that involves time travel will be brought down by the subsequent and unavoidable plot holes. Minority Report did not suffer from its necessary plot holes and neither did the timeless Back to the Future series (which has FINALLY been released as a complete set and which no respectable movie collection could possibly be without).
My esteemed colleague and close friend Christopher Brown (see his brilliant reviews at http://us.imdb.com/CommentsAuthor?625436) points out one of these plot holes in his review of Minority Report, but makes the mistake of suggesting that, given the nature of the precognition and of the crime itself, Anderton's murder should never have been predicted since it did not entail premeditation. Sorry, Chris, but you've missed the boat on this one. The only thing that this does is bring up the fact that it's impossible to tell where precognition starts. It could be argued perfectly well that the pre-cogs played a part in their own precognition. They predicted that Anderton would commit the murder under the circumstances that he would have been watching the thoughts of the pre-cogs and seen that he would commit murder, and then obviously sought to find out for himself how he could have been expected to commit a murder against a person he has never heard of. In this case, if he had called in sick that day, all of this would have been avoided. But he's the best at what he does, he has personal reasons for wanting to stop murder, he does not slack off, he does not call in sick. John Anderton was predicted by the pre-cogs to commit murder because he was at work that day.
The action in the film comes from the possibility that the whole prediction of Anderton's murder might be what is called a `minority report,' where the pre-cogs disagree on something that is going to happen. If he can prove that only one of the pre-cogs came up with the vision that he was going to commit a murder, it might cancel out the entire prediction because it is unreliable. On the way to this goal, we are presented with everything from a tremendously dedicated investigator (played brilliantly by Colin Farrell) to some amazingly creepy but strangely accepted identification spiders that scan John's implanted eye in one of the more uncomfortable scenes in the film.
Minority Report is one of the best and most unique thrillers to be released in years. It is the conglomeration of such a dizzying array of films that it is difficult to contemplate them all at once. We see elements of action films, futuristic thrillers, crime films, science fiction, and of course, the influence of Stanley Kubrick is never far off. There is even, especially in the later portion of the film, a heavy influence on the soundtrack by Bernard Herrman, who was the composer for most of Alfred Hitchcock's films, among many others. It's always nice to see such a respectful homage like that, and it is only one of the many things that makes Minority Report yet another addition to Steven Spielberg's extensive list of high-end films (the last of which was the spectacular A.I.). The only thing I can think of that holds Minority Report back from joining Spielberg's list of timeless classics is that it does not have the scope as far as its target audience as such films as E.T. and Jurassic Park. However, despite not having quite as large of a target audience, Minority Report stands as a strong entry in Spielberg's growing list of great films.
The film is a good mixture of action and suspense. Only the one chase scene was overdone with Rambo-like mentality of the good guys not getting hit when they should, and vice- versa.
The subject matter is interesting, too: what would do you (or the police) had very reliable information on crimes that were about to be committed, that you could prevent things from happening before they actually did?
I recognized two people in here who went on shortly thereafter to become recognizable in TV series: Kathryn Morris ("Cold Case") and Neal McDonough ("Boomtown"). Add Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow, Samantha Morton and you have an interesting cast. I am of the opinion that this is one of Spielberg's underrated gems.
Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, the chief of the Pre-Crime unit of the Washington D.C. police department. This unit stops murders before they happen, with the help of the "Pre-Cogs." The "Pre-Cogs" are three psychics who see the murders before they happen, and Cruise is the one who puts their visions together to predict the location, the killer, and the victim of the future crime. So far, the "Pre-Cog" division has been successful, with its six-year span going on with no murder ever happening. Things get complicated for the future of Pre-Crime when Detective Danny Witwer, played by Colin Farrell, is sent to inspect the operation. Anderton is suspicious of him, because he starts to see cracks in the system. When Anderton believes that the cracks are minor, he believes wrong.
Anderton sees another murder happening in the Pre-Cogs' visions and is shocked to see that he is the man committing the murder. Now that he is on the run from his own men, which of course is under the command of Witwer, Anderton must unravel the mystery of why he has to murder a man whom he hasn't even met yet. As time runs out, Anderton finds clues that there is a conspiracy behind it. Can he figure them out in time, or will Pre-Crime see its first murder in six years?
"Minority Report" is a movie with a fantastic storyline, one of the best I've ever heard of. The actors are great, the directing is great, of course, it's Spielberg. Even the effects are great, they are done with ILM. Roger Ebert says that this movie "reminds us why we go to the movies in the first place," and I agree with him.
This idea of Spielberg's ideology is a recurring theme throughout the film. Near the beginning of the film there is an advert to promote the use of the pore-cognatives to encourage the use of pore-crime nationwide. This suggests there will be no more suffering and everything will be right in America. However, there is a false sense of security throughout the film. The scene of the promotional advert leads straight into the complete opposite; of the hero 'John Anderton' running onto a dark alley looking to buy drugs; and buys them from a man who sold his eyeballs for money; which is a common thing to do in future the audience finds out. This is a clear message about the opposing views there may be in the film and not just those of Spielberg. In a way it reflects America in the present also. While many Americans enjoy the good life and are wealthy, just as many live in very poor conditions. These two extremes have been brought out into the open in the film.
The film may well have been designed to attract the male audience as it is usually men who are drawn in by crime and detective films. However due to the level of action and the originality of the idea teenagers and young adults would find this film enjoyable. This interplay of detective work and action is cleverly placed throughout the film. A general story is introduced about the pore-cognatives and the hero is introduced. This is a detective moment where the pore-cogs foresee a murder. An action scene then follows as Tom Cruise (John Anderton) goes to prevent the murder which involves coming out of a helicopter and busting into a house. This is the action sequence. The whole film is played out like this and I believe this is how Spielberg manages to have more that one target audience.
The film subtly hints that in the future the world will be over run by media and advertising. Where the adverts in the street actually refer to you by name and talk to you. Another idea of this entrapment is the eye recognition machines that track you where ever you are. This gives the implication that there is no freedom for the people of the future and that again like in the police station their lives are heavily influenced by machines and technology. This new idea of entrapment and inescapability adds to the imperfection of the future world which is presented to the audience.
It is only as the film progresses and the hero is forced into the underbelly of city life that this idea of entrapment continues to the next level. He needs to run from the police but due to the inescapable future he cannot hide. Therefore he himself is lead to have his eyes removed and have new ones put in, so that he has a way past the claustrophobic machines and devices. But the future has another trick up it's sleeve. The use of robotic spider like creature which are designed to penetrate any home of place of holding. They then climb up you and scan you retina; which is much like a finger print, in that everyone has their own unique pattern, representing their individuality. So once again the idea of the future being like a prison that you cannot escape is brought around.
In the end the designer of pore-crime Lamar Burgess turns out to be the villain. So the very man who was promoting the perfect-ness of the future turned out to be fake. Which is the final say in the idea that the future is misinterpreted and although appears to be all wonderful with problems is in fact the opposite. A place where poor people or people who have committed crimes, sell their eye balls as a means of escape from the world they live in.
It's 2054. A new method of crime prevention "pre-crime" allows the police to look into the future and see the horrific results of murder and rape as they unfold. After a quick introduction to this process, were straight into the big and bold; main man John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is accused of a future murder- to a man he's never heard of. So he's on the run, from a harsh detective (superbly played by Colin Farrell) as he uncovers some horrible truths and has to go back to the unwelcoming past.
Minority report is very good, but also very disturbing- the fact that this film was a PG-13 or a "12" in England is shocking. Parents, a note: if your child is under 12 at least I would strongly recommend you watch this film first. It's dark, compelling, and disturbing- particularly in a scene where he has to exchange his eyes for protection...
This is a fantastic film however that should be viewed and loved by everyone bold enough to come in its path. Never fail to believe: Spielberg has come up with yet another masterpiece.
Overall: ****/ out of ***** (4 and a half out of 5)
Cruise takes the lead role here as John Anderton, who leads, more or less, the agency of police that prevent all murders on the basis of predictions from three Pre-Cogs (one of them Samantha Morton who has the most important role of the three). The system is presumably perfect, until to the surprise of Anderton, he is seen to commit a murder and so starts his quest to try and find out if there is a flaw in thirty six hours. This could be the basis for average sci-fi fodder (Impostor, a film based on another Philip K. Dick story that came out earlier this year, is an point of that), yet Spielberg elevates a story and creates a unique atmosphere to coexist with his characters; by the time the film is HALF way through you'll be exhausted in entertainment.
Bottom line, this is the type of picture to see twice, first to get the feel and presence, and the second to clear up any misunderstandings in the plot (or maybe to avoid Scooby Doo and Windtalkers), since this is indeed one of the best pictures of the year and one of Spielberg's best recent pictures. Grade: A+ or A
Others have commented on the plot, so I'm not going to; it's good enough. Would have been better without the last 10 minutes, but Blade Runner suffered the same affliction. Suffice to say - for those who prefer to switch off Blade Runner after Gaff turns to say, It's too bad she won't live, but then again, who does? the ending for MR will probably set your teeth grinding too. But this is just one problem.
Firstly, the film is a real cut and paste job. It looks like Gatacca, has the plot twists of Total Recall, has that media-savvy thing from Robocop. All good stuff, all been done. OK, so this is a better film than his mate George Lucas would have made, but this just goes to prove that Spielberg is still more of an engineer than an artist.
And if it is meant to be SF film noir, it's a very white shade of black. Spielberg seems to shy away from anything the least edgy (note the keystone cops chase with the jetpack - "but, yee, we can't have our hero hurt any good guys" and the comedy fight between Anderton and Witwer). Even Peter Stormare is less Hannibal Lecter and more the comedy-Russian he played on Armageddon.
Then there is the riding off into the sunset ending. Can someone please explain to me what would have been wrong with Cruise ending up in the vault and Max Von Sydow, turning his collar up against the rain, walking out of a bustling pre-crime department to the sound of Schubert's 8th Symphony? Von Sydow's should be the most interesting character in the film and the man worked with Bergman for goodness sake why not use him.
SF films have a reputation for being more "deep" than they really are. A few manage to be thought-provoking though (2001, Bladerunner, Gatacca). One of the key things that sets them apart seems to be a willingness to leave the audience thinking about what the film is trying to say. All the audience is of MR is left with is the feeling that "well, that's alright then."
Enjoyable. 6/10 just.
Speilberg continues in his reborn quest to be an intelligent filmmaker. Once again, he starts with an idea that is remarkably sophisticated. And once again his biggest enemy is himself as he lards on all the junk he is addicted to.
First the intelligent idea. The primary thing an smart filmmaker does is make certain basic decisions about the stance of the narrator and camera. The most sophisticated options are provided by the detective story. In the basic form, the filmmaker and viewer engage in a joint voyage where they both collaborate and compete to invent a world by discovery. But over time, this template has proven amazingly flexible and fertile. For instance the greatest experimenter of the form, Agatha Christie, once wrote a story that revealed at the end that the narrator was the murderer.
`D. O. A.' was a sweet turn on the form. In that film, the murdered man staggers into a police station. With moments to live before the poison finishes him off, he recounts his detective work to discover who killed him. In `Minority Report' we have the obverse: we learn early who the murderer is, and the story is one where he uses his detective powers to determine who and why he will kill. In literary recognition of the trick, the head `precog' is named Agatha. (The other two are also named after mystery writers whose styles salt the story.)
It is a very intelligent device extended in an even more intelligent, cinematic way: the precogs have visions that are `recorded' and sorted out with a futuristic display. The detective in this case mirrors the viewer who is presented with a collection of visual fragments and tries to make sense out of it. The screenwriter played a similar trick in `Dead Again.' So we have Cruise's detective spending lots of time shuffling through the images, looking for patterns and clues. He manipulates the images physically, which is precisely what an actor does as he works on-screen. Some of this ground was seeded by Greenaway in `the Pillow Book,' where the actor literally had the script written on his body -- an idea more commercially exploited with `Memento.' A fragment on this idea is preserved in the sequence where Cruise's eyes are removed and he is left in a room with huge old films projected on the walls.
Add to this the further notion -- dropped in production -- that the entire film may be recalled images from an imprisoned Cruise as he sorts through his own visions plus Agatha's. This trick, used to great effect in `Brazil' and in another form in `Forbidden Planet' was abandoned by Speilberg because it was `too intelligent' and not entirely accessible to a ten year old, his target mental demographic. Along the way, many similar compromises were made in the name of entertainment: certain thriller and science fiction conventions were adopted and the whole project sunk to just a `me too' commercial product. One great compromise was the use of Cruise, who like Speilberg was a promising talent mired in mawkish self-marketing and reliance on technique.
The problem is that if this film is judged as a science fiction thriller alone, it fails. The invented future isn't novel, consistent or even engaging. The chased hero routine lacks control in the pace. The unfolding of the logic is unrewarding -- our iconic doctor of evil inexplicably performed a murder that he is elaborately covering up. When all is revealed, it seems too thin an armature for all the flying sheet metal.
Agatha here is played by a remarkable actress who completely bests Cruise. She had played `Jane Eyre' in a vision of the book much like the original idea of this film: she plays both the author writing and the character written. In `Emma,' she was the character ineptly written upon. Speilberg has her stagger in an actorly manner and pop out of the water for amateurish utterances. But she finds all the emotional spaces he can't see and fills those well. Watch her here and in the future. I predict good things.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
But he's well and truly back now, and I'm happy. I've even learned to welcome it when he makes decisions which infuriate me, so long as he makes them with the right kind of self-assured arrogance. I didn't like the voice-over at the end (we didn't need to be told that stuff; we could have worked it out), or the way he caved in to the modern tendency to be needlessly revolting (at least he don't play his gross-out moments for cheap laughs), or even the style of photography (it's easy to manipulate us into thinking the future is a grim place, if you push-process the film until even the images which in the normal course of events would be luscious and rich, are grimy and desaturated - there are other ways of getting colourless images, as Spielberg well knows, and many of them are better). Yet, in the end, big deal. The story is a knockout, the action is taut, the future rich, dazzling and believable. Spielberg is to be particularly congratulated on how completely he has avoided the unimaginative dystopia of "Blade Runner". The future we see here is a MIX of dream and nightmare, so convincing a mix that we can't always tell them apart.
Here's a measure of how good the movie is: in an interview, Spielberg revealed that he completely misunderstood the issues which drive the stories - and there's simply no way of telling this from the finished product. Unless Spielberg was just opportunistically latching on to the hook forced on him by a dim-witted journalist, he THOUGHT the movie was about how much freedom we are willing to give up in exchange for safety (in order to prevent terrorist attacks, for instance). This is interpretation is strained. Three people (the precogs) do indeed give up their freedom in order that millions of other people may be safer, and yes, there is an issue here. When one of the Crime Prevention officer says, "It's best not to think of them as human", I was surprised to find myself nodding in agreement. The benefits of the system are so great that OF COURSE I'd rather not look too closely into the burden that must be borne by three - just three - individuals. Aside from the three unfortunate precogs, nobody is asked to give up any freedom at all. (Except, of course, the freedom to commit murder. But under the law we are already unfree to commit murder, and a good thing too.)
The interesting issues that DO fall naturally out of the story concern the futility of revenge. After people who would otherwise have committed murder are prevented from doing so, they're sent to prison anyway, presumably on the grounds that that's what they deserve - and no doubt it IS what they deserve. But it's clear enough that locking these people up, however much it may be in the interests of justice, serves no purpose. It's exacting revenge on criminals for the sake of exacting revenge - which is exactly what the U.S. justice system is committed to doing at the moment, which is why the future is a realistic one. (Apart from the precognition, that is.) Anderton's mistake is to believe in the value of revenge, and he's never more admirable than when he realises his mistake. (THAT was a great scene; it's a pity I can't tell you exactly why. Suffice it to say that when we think we know where the story's going, we may indeed know where the story's going - but Spielberg is only allowing us to see so much of what's coming up in order to obscure the rest of it.)
The final sign that Spielberg is again at his peak lies in the performances. They're all good. Tom Cruise's weakness as an actor is that he is only ever as good as his director, and the fact that he's so good here means that "Minority Report" was directed by the real Spielberg, the old Spielberg, the Spielberg with the same ability Charles Dickens had to make even his most grotesque creations, and even his LEAST grotesque, come to life.
First of all, you can't judge a movie "based on a short story" without considering and comparing the movie to the book itself. We always hear 'the book was better.' Well, not only is the book better...it's also very different. I have no idea where Spielberg gets the notion that he can completely destroy the work of Philip K Dick by making this nonsense.
Let's start with the title: Minority Report. The Minority Report is a VERY IMPORTANT item in the short story. It's critical to the plot. However, in the movie, there is no Minority Report. There's a mention of it ("where's the minority report?") but it is dismissed quickly and absolutely ("there is no minority report") That's it. A critical element of the story, and the TITLE OF THE DARN MOVIE is...non existant.
I won't explain the role of the minority report...just visit a bookstore, grab the collection of short stories, and you can read the whole Minority Report "book" in about 30 minutes.
Another conflict is: In the book, Anderston ABSOLUTELY and above all else loves and defends Precrime. At the end of the book, he decides to go ahead and kill the guy just to "prove" that precrime "works." However, in the movie, he fails to do this. Further, he works at the end to bring it down by confronting his nemesis, remarrying his wife, having another kid and living happily after.
What else isn't in the book? Anderton getting new eyes, Anderton getting divorced, Anderton losing his son, Anderton getting setup by his own boss, Anderton running around town with a precog, Anderton having a drug problem, doctors who burned their patients, jetpacks, spiders....you name it. Anderton in the novel is no Tom Cruise, but a 300 pound slob, but why mix some book facts with a bad movie? This movie resembles the original short story as much as it resembles The Wizard Of Oz.
For those that say "well, I didn't read the book and the movie looks great," I can only say: this is one of the most ill thought out, poorly constructed movies with entirely too many plotholes.
One example that comes to mind is Anderton's eyeballs: they could track Anderton in his car and reroute the car, yet, even after he was being pursued, he still used his eyeballs to easily enter the precog room. How? Don't you think they would have turned off his access? Hell, laid off employees get their card access turned off...surely, access to the most important room in the PreCrime building would have been turned off?!? Funnier still, even after he is IN JAIL, his wife uses his eyeball to gain access to the prison...with a gun...to free prisoners. You figure it out.
What about the movie saying "precogs can only see murders" yet Agatha the roaming precog can see rain coming, balloons needed, etc?
What about the movie saying all the precogs must be "connected" in order for it to work, yet with Agatha running around solo she is seeing the aforementioned umbrella, balloons, etc?
Why didn't the precogs see the Witwer murder since that was premeditated?
Spielberg has said that he added in extra twists and turns as the book didn't have enough...that's bogus. Anderton suspected even his 'loving' wife of possibly framing him in the book, or was it Witwer, or was it... plenty of twists. Anderton electing, at the very end of the book, to go through with the actual killing, was also very interesting.
I feel bad for Spielberg. He's washed up. He hasn't made a decent flick since the 90's. I just hope he doesn't ruin any more of my favorite books or short stories.
1- The set up is this, in the future a police force uses 3 "mediums" to foresee murders before they happen. Then the cops drop by and arrest you just as you are about to kill someone, caught in the act before the murder is committed. It is understood through other characters that if you make the choice NOT to kill etc, you'll be ok. Tom Cruise (a cop) is set up so that the mediums see him killing a guy in 36 hours. Tom Cruise runs away and succeeds in getting outside the medium's reach. 24 hours to go. What would YOU do?!!! NO-He goes back to the city (`I've been set-up, I need to find out who's that stranger I'm supposed to kill!'). No more explanation than that ONE sentence... He could have waited 24hrs, be innocent THEN use ALL the police's resources in finding that stranger (whose name he was told on top of it!) 2- Everywhere you go (billboards, stores, even newspapers) continuously scan your eyes to discover who you are and talk to you (EX: Tom Cruise enters a GAP store, a holographic sales clerk appears `Hi Mr. whatever, nice to see you!'). When he escape, he has a surgeon removing his eyes and replacing them with new ones (a MAJOR plot idea that, as it turns out, serves no real purpose in the unfolding of the plot other than to have that useless "spider" sequence). He brings his OLD eyes with him in a zip-lock bag. The REASON is that as soon as ANYTHING (even a newspaper) scans his eyes, the police would be alerted. Well he gets to the POLICE HEADQUARTERS, walks up to the door, pulls his old eyes out of the Zip Lock and scans them. The Security door opens up ` Hello, agent Anderton!'... YOU'D THINK THAT IF THE NEWSPAPERS AND BILLBOARDS WERE
ALERTED, SO WOULD POLICE HEADQUARTERS BE!!! 3- BAD CLICHÉ. You know when in movies you have a guy that we know did something bad, he's with someone who doesn't know and we're waiting for THEM to discover it? You know when the guilty person says one thing he's NOT supposed to know (that only the murderer would know)? `I'd check to see if a girl was drowned, what was that name you said?' `Mrs. Marsh, but I never told you she'd been drowned!' 4-Scriptwriting 101- When you study scriptwriting, they teach you the 3 basic mistakes made by bad writers A-DEUS EX MACHINA (When the character is in such a bad
predicament to invoke a God to save him, such as the T-Rex appearing out of nowhere inside a building at the end of Jurassic Park that no one felt coming) B- Not tying up loose ends and C-When a story is so convoluted that at the end you need a long speech to explain it (like Harrison Ford does at the end of The Fugitive). At the end Tom Cruise calls the bad guy, and TELLS HIM for like 10 minutes ALL HE did, and WHY he did it etc so that WE, the audience, may finally understand this mess!
If Spielberg wasn't the money-hungry hack he's now become he would have asked for a re-write.
Spielberg & Co. attempt to tell a story in which we are asked to accept that law enforcement in the near future has the ability to foresee murders before they actually happen. Fair enough -- we accept this impossible premise in order for the story to unfold, but if the story is to be believable, we should expect no further impositions on our credibility.
Other reviewers have commented on various plot problems, which, though valid, are not fundamentally impossible. There is, however, a major plot element involving the `murder' that Anderton is supposed to commit that is impossible. SPOILER FOLLOWS:
We see the pre-cog vision of the shooting multiple times as we approach the actual confrontation. In this vision, the victim, Leo Crow, has been shot at a distance (one image), and Anderton is seen holding his pistol with arm outstretched, pointing at Crow who is falling away (second image). The second image would be perfectly consistent with someone firing a gun at someone standing a few feet away. However, in the actual event, Anderton doesn't deliberately shoot Crow he starts to read him his rights (a very well done piece of acting by Cruise). Crow then begs Anderton to kill him, revealing the planned frame-up. In desperation, Crow rushes forward, grabs Anderton's gun hand, pulls Anderton and the gun to his chest, and is able to make the gun discharge. We then get a short (probably less than a second) repeat of the second pre-cog image, now supposedly real, of Crow falling away with Anderton in exactly the same position, body turned sideways, arm outstretch with the pistol aimed at Crow as though he had just shot him. Impossible!!! This would require that after Crow was shot, Anderton would straighten his arm, turn sideways, and point the pistol at Crow. Aside from there being no time to assume that position, no one having just inadvertently shot someone would behave in such a fashion.
It gets worse. A contact pistol wound is very distinct so much so that even the average layperson would be able to distinguish it from a wound made from several feet away. We therefore must assume that no one would notice the obvious discrepancy between the pre-cog vision of the bullet hit from several feet away (image one) and the reality - seriously undermining the supposed perfection of future crime detection. This problem in elementary forensics is one that was going to exist once the writers decided on how events would plausibly unfold. Maybe one could overlook this problem by saying that police organizations didn't do forensics anymore, and no one involved ever looked closely at the body of Leo Crow. Like the absurdities with the eyes that miraculously didn't deteriorate to unusability after a few minutes (let alone hours), it would be one more block in the pyramid of improbabilities (noted by other reviewers) needed to keep the plot advancing.
Spielberg & Co. clearly wanted to explore the idea of determinism versus free will. They also wanted to examine whether a perfect crime detection system that saved hundreds of lives every year could be balanced against the exploitation of the 3 people who made it possible - a classic moral question of, do the needs of the many (to paraphrase Mr. Spock) outweigh the needs of the few? But there really is no moral question at all since the system is not perfect. Pre-cog image one is wrong and free will triumphs over determinism. Spielberg & Co. obviously decided that it wouldn't do to have all of the exposition required to explore the morality of utilitarianism go down the tubes when Leo Crow is shot, so viewers were tricked by false, impossible image two into concluding that this particular (very gifted) pre-cog's visions were perfect but incomplete. This is sloppy script writing and arrogant (or lazy) film direction. It is the final insult, for this viewer at least.
I'd sum up the movie this way: good acting, good sfx and cgi. Message movie ultimately subverted by very badly written plot.
Max Von Sydow was also excellent, and the special effects are simply stunning, plus the chase sequences are awesome as well!. I saw this a couple years ago and was unimpressed, however after upon 2nd viewing, I must say It deserves it's praise, so if you didn't care for it the 1st time, give it a second viewing, you may change your opinion.This should honestly be in the top 250 in my opinion, and there are some fantastic creepy moment as well, plus I loved the depressing atmosphere it had at times, and This is almost like The Fugitive except it's set in the future, plus It also has some very funny scenes in it as well. Cruise had excellent chemistry with Samantha Morton, and I especially loved the dialog, plus some scenes really had me on the edge of my seat!. This is a brilliant Sci-Fi/thriller that really leaves you thinking, with an outstanding story and an incredible performance from Tom Cruise, and if you haven't seen it, Do so immediately, you shouldn't regret it.
The Direction is spectacular!. Steven Spielberg does a spectacular job here with amazing camera work, fantastic angles, awesome use of blue,excellent lighting,great slow mo shots, and plenty of other uncanny shots as well, plus he kept the film at an extremely engrossing pace.
The Acting is incredible!. Tom Cruise is amazing as always and is incredible here, he gives one of his finest performances, is extremely likable , blew me away in his emotional scenes, had great chemistry with Samantha Morton,as always had lots of charisma, and has really matured as an actor, and if you don't think he can act watch this movie! (Cruise Rules!!!!!!!). Max Von Sydow is excellent here in his role, he brought tons of class, was especially good at the end, and had some awesome scenes with Cruise!, I loved him. Colin Farrell is fantastic here, I am not a big fan, but he certainly was good here, he held his own against Cruise, and really gave a good show I liked him a lot. Samantha Morton is awesome as the creepy psychic chick, she gave a great show, and had very good chemistry with Cruise. Lois Smith is good in her scene as The Doc I liked her. Neal McDonough is good as Fletch I just wished they gave him more to do. Kathryn Morris is good as Cruise's wife I really liked her. Rest of the cast do fine.
Overall Go see it immediately!. ***** out of 5
Fast paced, exciting and deeply moving & thought provoking film. Tom Crusie does good work here. Colin turns in a deliciously nasty performance. However the film belongs to Max Von Sydow who is absolutely genius here. Director Speilberg treats the audience to some highly original and creative visual effects and has presented us with a fun story that covers all the bases. The ending is especially good.
Rated PG-13; Violence and Profanity.
First of all, there's no point reading this if you've not seen the film unless you trust me entirely. I'm reviewing this to broadcast my opinion to those who may not realise its two critical errors.
FIRSTLY. John Anderton discovers, with the help of the precogs, that he will kill Leo Crow (a man he does not even know). This is the ONLY THING that causes Anderton to go looking for his victim. In other words the precogs led HIM to the discovery of the man he is supposed to murder. Without the aid of the precogs, Anderton would not have gone looking for Crow and would therefore have committed no murder. So why was one predicted?
SECONDLY. At the end, when Lamarr Burgess is face to face with Anderton, Anderton gives Burgess a lecture in how he can change his future if he wants to, saying "No doubt the precogs have already seen this". But how would Burgess know he was supposed to kill Anderton? Did he see the pre-vision? Did Anderton see it? No. Therefore neither of them knew for sure that Burgess would kill Anderton. In the end, Burgess turns the gun on himself. Which means that he was never destined to kill Anderton. The precogs could have refrained from making the prediction and it would have made no difference. So, again, why was this murder predicted?
This isn't even taking into account other, smaller, yet silly flaws, such as: why was the missing person's case of Anne Lively never pursued? Or why didn't anyone else in Pre-crime remove Anderton's security clearance (he was still able to get through the doors by the use of his eyes)?
Poor, poor film. Probably the worst I've ever seen in terms of storyline.
1. If the Pre-Cogs can only see murders, how can Agatha tell about the umbrella, the homeless man, and the balloon man in the scene where the cops chase them through the mall?
2. If Anderton is a murder suspect, wouldn't they take his retina ID off the register to get into the Temple?
3. Early on in the movie we see the balls are released early in the sequence of events. If this is true, then wouldn't the balls with `Lamar Burgess' written on them drop in the fake echo?
4. How can Lamar fake a cerebral output with such detail about who would be in the room and at what time?
5. In a world where people are ID'd wherever they go and everything is on computers, why couldn't the PreCrime have made it to Leo Crow's hotel room in time when his name was on a computerized registry? They know the location of all the merry go rounds, yet they can't find Crow's name in a registry?
The concept was fascinating and interesting; the acting was on point; the cinematography looking amazing; and the sound design perfect. What really got me and made me mad and have issues was the old Shtick - trusted friend is the bad guy. It was further completed with the bad guys exposure at his own award banquet. This has been done time and time again and has become so well know that it is not a plot twist anymore. It was really to bad because I do feel with more originality, and less exploitative, this could have been a compelling, interesting thoughtful provoking movie.
Like A.I. and War of the Worlds, Minority Report is superb science-fiction with a tone-deaf epilogue. It's hard to put my frustration about this movie into words. How many brilliantly crafted, intelligent sci-fi flicks do we get today? Very few. And when one finally arrives, it ends with a whimper.
But I should have seen it coming. Spielberg is a peerless visual storyteller, but he is an odd choice to direct a movie based on a story by Philip K. Dick, the great pessimist. It's like a Lovecraft adaptation by Frank Capra.
Minority Report takes place in a future where three "Pre-Cogs" can predict murders, so the Pre-Crime Unit led by John Anderton (Tom Cruise) can stop assassins before they actually kill their victims. When Pre-Cogs see Anderton shooting a man he doesn't even know, he is soon on the run, trying to figure out what's happening.
Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow and Samantha Norton give solid performances. For most of its running time the movie is clever, thrilling, fun. Spielberg stretches his directorial muscles: the vision of the first murder and Anderton's fight against time to prevent it is a gem, and so is the sequence with Anderton and Agatha escaping fromthe Pre-Crime.
Alas, during its last part Minority Report collapses: it reaches several potentially interesting endings and ignores them all, choosing a sappy cop-out.
Still, what precedes it is good enough to recommend the movie - if only to ponder what could have been.
In fifty years times,a crime division called "Pre Crime"is set up.The aim is to use a group of "Pre Cogs"that can see into the future stops murders before they happen.Everything is going well,till long-serving cop John Anderton (played really well by Tom"Born on the forth of July"Cruise)finds out he is meant to murder a man who he has never met!While Anderton is trying to hide,he finds out the the "perfect"system that he has worked for is no where near as perfect as it seems. View on the film:
I have to say i feel this is one of the most important stories that has been put to screen!The screenplay by Scott"The Dead Zone"Frank,shows that while we are getting better machines,are living standers/personality are getting destroyed.Spielberg also shows the use of adverts can show a "safe" thing for people(the use of happy children)that is doing more damages then good.While the ending is changed from the short story:(Anderton does the murder cause he "can not let the system get destroyed".)It also questions if we would give up all our rights to a system that says it can keep us completely safe?(something that is more important now due to 9/11 and 7/7.) Final view on the film:
One of the most important,and realistically terrifying view of our future.