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I think some people just write reviews for sites like this because they like
to complain. I actually find myself wondering if all the gripers here have
actually seen Minority Report, as I just have, because I have to say that is
one of the most gripping and involving movies I have seen in quite a while.
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.
I read a lot of previous posts about this movie. This is one of the best films of the year, and of recent years. This is a perfect blend of action, suspense, thrills and film-noir. The plot is intelligent and fresh. People saying it is not original must have slept through the movie. Tom Cruise is fantastic, Colin Farrell is amazing, as well as Samantha Morton. Spielberg again proves that he is the master of cinema. A truly great director. I'll agree, the ending was a little too happy, but not worth complaining about. This film is not about product placement as previously suggested, it is simply a entertaining and yet realistic glimpse of what our future may look like, as advertising becomes more advanced and intrusive. The film creates many moral questions and issues, and should leave you thinking. Is being arrested for doing something you actually havn't commited yet fair? It is worth seeing again and again. As a film lover and critic, i can say it is one amazing movie.
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 *****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The future, we are told, are what we make of it. Philip K. Dick did not want to take that chance, so he wrote many many many short stories about the future of man and where we, as a society, were headed. Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Screamers, and Minority Report are all short stories written by Dick about the future that have been turned into a movie, and most have a less than enthusiastic view of where we are headed. In Minority Report, we see the effects of predicting the future to the point of crimes are prevented by arresting murderers before they kill. If that does not appear logical, there is a quick little scene early in the movie that addresses those concerns, and on the surface makes sense. Tom Cruise plays the Washington, DC pre-crime chief, John Anderton, who runs the investigators who rely on 3 scientifically engineered beings who can see murders before they happen. The system, of course, raises civil liberty issues, but seems to work perfectly, that is until Anderton is fingered for a murder. The rest of the movie, Anderton tries to not only prove that he is innocent, but also that he was set up, possibly by an oily Department of Justice figure who is investigating Precrime before it goes national after an election, played by Colin Farrell. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Minority Report plays as both a "Whodunnit?" and a futuristic exercise of science fiction. Much time was spent on designing the Washington, DC of the 2050s, including cars that run on magnets, virtual reality stations, and much more throughout the film. The most interesting design is of the "sick sticks" used by cops to bring down criminals. The blueish tint given to the film also gives us a cold feeling, a future that is not as loving or as hospitable as the time we live in, another trait of a Dick story. A wonderful movie the works for both the crime buff and the science fiction fan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is spoken in Minority Report by a drug-dealer on the streets with no
eyes at all, so I suppose its free advice for John Anderton, our hero, or a
bit of wise-sounding advice meant to get across to the audience but with no
other good place for it to fit in the film. This is fine with me, too,
because Minority Report is such a taut futuristic thriller that an
incongruous little bit of wisdom like this is not to have any negative
impact on the film as a whole. John Anderton, played with precision by the
great Tom Cruise (oh shut up, the man's awesome), is the chief of the
Pre-Crime department in the District of Columbia, which has successfully
eradicated murder entirely for the last six years. He works with a group of
`pre-cogs' that, together, dream of murders that have not yet taken place
and project enough information for Anderton and his team to watch the video
emanating from their heads to determine where and when the murders are to
take place and to get to those locations and stop the murders from happening
before they happen.
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.
This gets high marks for being an involving film that, despite a long
length of almost two- and-a-half hours, keeps ones interest all the
way. Being a Stephen Spielberg-directed film, it's no surprise that the
photography is first-rate. This is nice-looking movie. Tom Cruise also
was very good in here, not the obnoxious character he sometimes
portrays (or did more often in his younger days.).
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.
May be this film has some flaws but while watching it I wasn't too
distracted by that. Here we have one of the greatest directors alive (Steven
Spielberg), a very big star (Tom Cruise) with a great ensemble (Max von
Sydow, Colin Farrell, Peter Stormare, Samantha Morton, Tim Blake Nelson)
around him, a good cinematography (Janusz Kaminski) and a nice score by John
Williams all packed in a great story (based on the novel by Philip K. Dick)
with perfect visual effects.
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 review may contain spoilers ***
Steven Spielberg is at his directorial best with this action, adventure.
Tom Cruise is at his acting best as a futuristic cop on the run. I was
pleased to see one of the best directors team up with one of the best
to make a brilliant movie.
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.
It's an open secret: the Oscar is jinxed. Spielberg's triumph with
"Schindler's List" was followed by the longest hiatus of his career, which
was broken with ... "Jurassic Park II", a lifeless sequel of the kind you'd
once have sworn he'd never make - the single worst and most anonymous movie
he's ever directed ("Hook" had its moments). His next two films were
improvements (there was nowhere to go but up): the first anonymous but not
bad ("Amistad"), the second bad but not anonymous ("Saving Private Ryan"),
but they were both pompous gestures which appear to have been designed to
win still more awards; and it wasn't until eight years after "Schindler's
List" that the skilled director of old times re-appeared (with "A.I." in
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Steven Spielberg is a genius. So many great films he has directed. The
Man who created "Jaws" "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindlers List" is
back for more. In one of his best pictures yet.
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)
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