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Everyone should run from this film.

  • Jun 19, 2002
  • by
Pros: Good premise.

Cons: Dull, uninspired action and Cruise does little to help.

The Bottom Line: Another good premise wasted.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

The threat of violent crime has sadly become a reality for far too many in our society. Compounding this issue is the fact that the nations capitol, Washington D.C., has a homicide rate that has grown steadily over the last few years despite all efforts to curb the problem. In the new film “Minority Report”, director Steven Speilberg has adapted the Philip K. Dick short story into a new star vehicle for Tom Cruise that is set in the homicide free Washington D.C. of 2054.

Cruise plays Detective John Anderton who is the head of the citys Pre-Crime division. Anderton is a solid cop who hides the loss of his son and the breakup of his marriage by using drugs and immersing himself in his work. He prides himself in the infallibility of the system and that there has not been a murder in the city in over 6 years. This has been accomplished by the use of three Pre-Cogs (psychics) who receive visions of the future and are able to alert the police to violent crimes before they happen allowing Anderton and his team to stop murders before they are about to happen.

With a major vote pending that will take Pre-Crime nation wide, the Attorney Generals office has dispatched an agent to monitor the Pre-Crime unit as there is an ethical debate about convicting people before they have actually committed a crime, and if the system is foolproof. The system is thrown into question when Anderton is listed as killing a man in less than 36 hours and has to flee from his team in order to discover if the foolproof system he has devoted his life to can indeed be wrong. Tracked by his own team, Anderton has to race against the clock in order to discover the truth behind the system as well as discover evidence to free him from a crime he has yet to commit.

What should have been a gripping and intense action-thriller instead unspools as a rather run of the mill drama, as there is little suspense in the film and the action scenes are less than spectacular. The story unfolded in a very matter of fact way, and there was little tension or drama as the film leads to its predictable and I thought, obvious conclusion. Cruise shows very little emotion in this film other than high, deadpan, pained, and agitated, and is easily the worst performance he has given in years, which I thought would be difficult after the dismal “Vanilla Sky”. There is nothing about Anderton that makes the audience care about him, as he has no charisma or personality. He is a bitter man who is blindly loyal to a system that has turned on him, and only when he is in danger of being caught, does he begin to question the nature of the system. What could have been a gripping moment where Anderton has to battle his inner demons as well as the fact that he may very well have incarcerated innocent people in a futuristic stasis prison is glossed over, losing the potential dramatic impact. Worse yet are the action scenes which come across as very unspectacular and poorly staged, if you have seen the trailers for the film, then you have seen all of the best special effects in the film, as well as the majority of the action scenes. Cruise has shown in past films such as “Born on the 4th of July” and “Jerry Maguire” that he can give gripping and emotional performances and is a gifted and compelling actor with the right part. Sadly he is wasted in the film along with the talented Max Von Sydow who gives a strong performance in a supporting and albeit far to small role.

The film would have been better served with an increase in the action content as well as a deeper mystery as I was able to figure out the who’s and whys of the plot very early and the conclusion was very obvious to me. The color scheme of the film was also bad in many places as there was a very blue tint to many of the areas and only when indoors did the colors return to a more natural look, as this hampered the visual impact of the film which I found highly under whelming as did the costuming as aside from the cars and billboards, the clothing, shops, housing, and weapons of the future seemed better suited for today then for the high-tech future. Dick’s work is ambitious and can be very difficult to bring to the screen, lest me forget that “Blade Runner” was widely panned during its initial release before getting a second chance on video and being seen as the masterpiece that it is. Sadly, Spielberg seems to have burned out his futuristic visuals and ideas on “A.I”, leaving “Minority Report” as bland and lifeless as any film in recent memory.

2 stars out of 5.

Gareth Von Kallenbach




Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Minority Report reviews
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Ugh.... Same as Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds, just read the short story. If you want some good Phillip K. Dick adaptations watch Blade Runner and Total Recall. (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, respectively)
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
A good movie, that leaves you thinking. The futuristic elements were cool. I think there's a bit of a paradox in the movie though regarding the pre-cogs vision about Anderton killing Crowe. And there were some unintentionally funny moments which made me laugh...although I don't know if they were meant to...
review by . December 01, 2009
When police chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) of the Washington DC "pre crime" unit discovers that he will murder someone within 36 hours, he must run, and find out the truth.      Minority Report is a must see futuristic action movie that is also one of The Top 10 Tom Cruise Movies.      Minority Report was directed by Steven Speilberg, and based off of the short story that was written by Philip K. Dick.  Minority Report was nominated for an …
review by . July 06, 2009
Minority Report, I would say, is one of the best science fiction films to be released over the past twenty-five years, and that is certainly no small feat given some of the competing films released over that time-span. Minority Report obviously had a lot of effort put into it by both the filmmakers and its actors and the result is a brilliant thriller. In the past decade I would call it Spielberg's best, ranking among his other great thrillers, `Raiders of the Lost Ark', and `Jaws'.     The …
review by . May 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Ok, so since everyone and their grandma has seen this movie, and I haven't my boyfriend made me watch it; once more he gets a plus and everyone who likes it is correct for I can now see what all the hoopla is about. Since this has over six hundred review and since it seems than everyone has seen it I won't repeat the plot too much.    The movie starts with a bag; a crime is about to be committed and its being foreseen by three "Pre-Cogs," psychic beings ( human) whose visions …
review by . January 28, 2003
I can't believe some of the bad reviews for this film. Yes, just about any film that explores time, time travel, the future, etc. is going to have flaws in logic. It is impossible to travel through time, change the future, etc. If you think about it too much, you can always come up with a flaw. If the flaws require deep thought and don't just leap at you as obvious, I have no problem suspending my disbelief and going with where the storyteller wants to take me.Spielberg tells a great story here. …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #112
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Minority Report is a 2002 science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg and loosely based on the short story "The Minority Report" byPhilip K. Dick. It is set primarily in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia in the year 2054, where "Precrime", a specialized police department, apprehends criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics called "precogs". The cast includes Tom Cruise as Precrime officer John Anderton, Colin Farrell as Department of Justice agent Danny Witwer, Samantha Morton as the senior precog Agatha, and Max von Sydow as Anderton's superior Lamar Burgess. The film has a distinctive look, featuring high contrast for dark colors and shadows, resembling film noir.

Minority Report was one of the best reviewed films of 2002, and was nominated for and won several awards. These included an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing, and four Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film and Best Direction. Produced on a budget of $102 million, the film was also a commercial success, earning more than three times that in worldwide box office returns and selling four million DVDs in its first few months of release. 
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