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42 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

You still have a choice...

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
21 June 2002

Steven Spielberg is one of the few directors around today who can still manipulate an audience in one sense while dazzling and daring that same audience with storytelling and character skills fused with ingenious visual effects. Minority Report is a shining example of that, which also has the grace of having an intelligent concept to start with, which so many sci-fi films lack much less summer sci-fi films (look at MIB2 to see what I mean), and also better than average acting.

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

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34 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

An addition to the compendium of Spielberg might-have-beens - SPOILERS

Author: j30bell ( from London, England
20 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is worth watching for lots of reasons. The best is Philip K. Dick's dystopian vision. And the acting is good too: Cruise as the high priest of pre-crime, catching murderers before they commit their offences using the mysterious power of the "pre-cognitives"; Max Von Sydow adding his usual air of gravitas (how can Hollywood justify treating him so badly?) The look of the film is somewhere between Total Recall and the leeched colours and retro chic of Gatacca.

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.

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29 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre - read the book instead

Author: davidhudson888 from england
4 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not much left of Dick's superb short story in this film apart from the central idea. It's glossy and gimmicky and laced with pointless action sequences and the usual Spielberg happy ending syndrome. The Dick story ties up elegantly, the film's ending is messy and over-complicated. Plenty of dumb moments: on the run Cruise getting back into the police HQ through a 'back door', the computer system quite happily to admit him. Cruise disappearing down a plug hole with the psychic woman which somehow allows them to escape from the building - how? And so on. Spielberg had a great opportunity here to produce a dark, intelligent and classy piece of work. But what we get is forgettable fluff.

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32 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

HORRIBLE movie, skip it

Author: brian from Philadelphia, PA
25 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** This is an absolutely horrible movie and a travesty to both film and to the short story it was based on. SPOILERS...

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'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, 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 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.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A critical analysis of the film

Author: smoky_air from United Kingdom
4 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The beginning of Minority Report engages the audience with mise en scene to establish a genre. The audience can easily see that the film is set in the future due to the bright lighting and a blue overlay colour. This implies cleanliness and a utopia. However due to the atmosphere created by the dark shadows and low saturation of the colours an implication is created that this futuristic world may not be a utopia but a dystopia. It gives a sense that without colour in the world there is no emotion and people actions are now based on what a machine says rather that acting on human instinct. In detective films in the present, the police station is often seen as a messy but friendly place with coffee mugs and paper everywhere. But in Minority Report the police station is empty; even the lights seem to dark and have no impact of the white surfaces. This may reflect Spielberg's views towards the future. That in fact the future may appear to be perfect but is actually the opposite.

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.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

The Ghost of Christie

Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
27 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

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.

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34 out of 61 people found the following review useful:


Author: ubi-guy
30 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Minority Reports, MAJOR FLAWS in scriptwriting:

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.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Sci-Fi/Thriller, that really leaves you thinking, with an outstanding story and an incredible performance from Tom Cruise!

Author: callanvass
13 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a brilliant Sci-Fi/Thriller, that really leaves you thinking, with an outstanding story and an incredible performance from Tom Cruise!. All the characters are wonderful and very likable, and it keeps you guessing throughout, plus Tom Cruise is simply incredible in this!. This is a movie that requires a lot of concentration, because it's one of those films you have to pay strict attention too, and the plot is seriously awesome, plus one of my favorite moments in the film is when Cruise chases his own eyeballs!. This is up there with one of Spielberg's best films and believe me he has done a lot of brilliant movies, and This is one of Cruise's finest performances,plus it's full of awesome twists and turns so don't blink!. It's extremely well made and written, and for once I agree with Roger Ebert's review!, plus you will really root for Cruise's character throughout. I loved those little mechanical spiders, and I thought that ending was just wicked! plus while i'm not a huge fan of Colin Farrell he did a fantastic job here and really impressed me!.

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

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Good acting, effects -- insultingly bad plot [SPOILERS]

Author: Paul Hager ( from Bloomington, Indiana
4 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For a work of speculative or science fiction to be credible, it must limit the number of demands it makes upon viewers/readers to suspend disbelief. For example, a top-notch, space-based science fiction story may allow for faster-than-light travel, but it generally has to stick to plausible science after that. If a work is pure fantasy, then it is possible to demand more of viewers/readers, but even it must remain internally consistent to whatever set of rules it creates.

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.

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24 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

* * * * out of 4.

Author: Brandon L. Sites ( from USA
8 August 2002

The best film to date so far this year as of 8/02! This film is about a John (Tom Cruise) who is haunted by the disappearance of his young son many years ago. To cope with the grief he works at a crime pervanetion network founded by Lamar Burgess (Max Von Sydow) that can predict murders and stop them before they occur. However, one day while at work Tom Cruise is shocked to discover that it is saying he will be the next person to try and commit murder. John thinks that an agent named Danny (Colin Farrell) who is investigating the the unit is trying to set him up. To add to the problems, the person John is accused of trying to murder is a person he does not even know and it says John will kill him in 48 hours.

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.

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