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Minority Report (2002)

  Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Jon Cohen, Philip K. Dick, Scott Frank
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow
Links: Minority Report on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 6.50 (4 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 121st of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Minority Report (2002) is also mentioned in mino's review of Vanilla Sky (2001) and andy-j's review of War of the Worlds (2005).

"Spielberg - still the king of blockbusters" - a review by em_fiction

What's the first thing that comes into your head when you hear the name Steven Spielberg? To me, it's big expensive blockbuster films for sure. There is no doubting he is one of the few directors that everyone knows. Pretty much any name in the film industry that doesn't belong to an actor will sound like John Doe to your average movie goer - but not Spielberg. There is no doubting the man. You can walk into a cinema and if you see the name "Spielberg" onscreen, chances are it's a guaranteed payoff.

So what's this Minority Report? Well, it surely is something. Another Philip K. Dick adaptation - think along the lines of the big Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Total Recall (1990) or Blade Runner (1982), one of Harrison Ford's earlier films. Now it's Tom Cruise's turn. Basically, it's the Year 2054, and everywhere, you see cool looking fancy futuristic stuff. A police division called Pre-crime use the minds of these "Pre-cogs" (creepy psychic human beings) to predict murders, stop them before they happen and do justice against the accused person who was gonna do it. Sound simple enough? Well our main man, John Anderton (Cruise), a lead Pre-crime cop, is suddenly accused of a future murder himself. And of course like all accused characters, he reckons he didn't do it (or should I say he reckons he's not going to it). So he flees, and tries to prove his supposed innocence.

You don't have to be a fan of sci-fi to enjoy this thriller. The plot keeps you guessing and it also keeps you watching. Unlike A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), you don't fall asleep throughout half of it, and it actually ends when you expect it to end. It could be argued that the CGI was overused, but nevertheless it still gives the film a very handsome look. Colin Farrell makes an appearance as an FBI agent who Anderton reckons pinned the crime on him (not that anyone cares, but it's worth mentioning).

I found this story, or more of a whodunit mystery, to be quite effective and intense with twists at every corner building up to a satisfying ending. I have to admit some people may feel that the story is a little try-hard, but it's difficult not to enjoy such an interesting concept. I'm not a particular fan of sci-fi, fantasy or big blockbusters, but Spielberg is truly a master of it, and he somehow just makes it easy to enjoy. Quite a treat for fans of Spielberg.

em_fiction gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Sat 1 Nov 2003

"Good premise, good promise. Movie sucks though." - a review by mino

OK. I'm going to make a statement, and it's a contentious one, I know; but I have to get it off my chest. Steven Spielberg is a hack. Spielberg, the man with the reputation for making great film after great film, is not fit to mop the sweat off a real director's brow. OK, maybe he 'had it', once. Now, though? Now? He has long since lost it, believe me.

Sure, Jaws (1975) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and the Indiana Jones movies were good films. No argument there. I don't really think, though, that they were great. I mean, they're no better than the sort of stuff that gets churned out by, say Chris Columbus; but we'll give the bearded one the benefit of the doubt there. Let's skip forward a bit, though, to the present. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997): crap. Saving Private Ryan (1998): utter crap. Could have been good (could have been great), but failed. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001): one of the worst loads of codswallop I've yet been subjected to, cinematically speaking. And now, Minority Report. Total, utter, unmitigated, shit. On film.

Now, what does Spielberg do wrong? Let's have a look at the last two films. Private Ryan: an immensely powerful film, ruined by a sickeningly sweet cloying awful flag-waving sentimentality, particularly at the end. A.I.: an OK movie. A bit sickly-sweet, but OK; OK, that is, until the last 30 minutes, the most tacked-on and totally awful deranged swill I'd seen in a cinema. That is, until I saw Minority Report. Like previous films, MR gets along fine, until the end. Spielberg passes point after point after point where the movie could finish gracefully, if a little disturbingly and bleakly: but no, he soldiers on. And on. And on. Until the viewer (well, this one, at least) is left clawing at the back of the seat trying to escape from the theatre before it gets worse. Then it does get worse, and wraps up in an lot of saccharine nonsense. It's like Spielberg is pathologically incapable of making a movie that doesn't end with sunshine and rainbows and dancing elves and pixies. And it's frankly starting to piss me off.

Like I said, Minority Report starts off well. It's a pretty standard sci-fi story, revolving around the adventures of a 'Pre-Cop' (Tom Cruise), who uses semi-occult methods to find out when murders are going to happen, before they happen. He then proceeds to arrest the perpetrators before the crime is committed. Good story, sure. Pity Speilberg's in charge, though.

The world of the future presented here is an interesting one: most of the technology advances seem to be in the field of marketing, with animated breakfast cereal boxes and personalised ads. This seems a bit stupid, until you realise that that's exactly what most technology probably will be used for first. It's a fine line between making fun of big brands, though, and accepting enormous wodges of cash from big brands to show them on screen, even if it is making fun of them, because they don't much give a toss if you're making fun of them as longs as they get screen time, which leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Anyway, needless to say, there are the usual twists and turns (many of which, unfortunately, can be seen coming at you from a good fifteen minutes away, without the use of powerful futuristic spectacles or anything); friends turn into enemies, and vice-versa; you know the drill. And good though the story is (and I'll admit, it is a great yarn), it's ruined by the ending. I'd love to give this movie a high score; but, I'm sorry, I just can't. Unless I watch it again, and stop the movie half an hour early.

Oh, and one of the main characters, at one point, actually mispronounces her own name. Now that's just dumb.

mino gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Sun 18 Aug 2002

"Doesn't live up to its potential" - a review by andy-j

It's funny... I watch a movie and I have a certain impression of it, but give me a few days to think about it and my thoughts sometimes change. I came out of this movie thinking "that was quite a good film" but then after a little reflection, I realised that this movie really did have a few very weak points which really let it down.

It certainly has some great things going for it - the main story starts off very well and is very engaging. The setting and premise are brilliantly structured and thought out, and make for a potentially very engrossing film. Because this movie is set in the future, there is a lot of dreamt-up technology, and for once, it seems to actually have a useful and meaningful place and purpose. Rather than being shown-off just to further establish the whole "this is the future" setting (and seem tacky and overdone), the technology forms part of the story and doesn't seem at all unrealistic, over the top or out-of-place. Very impressive in fact. There were some other nice touches such as these, throughout the movie. The special effects were great, but I guess that's no surprise really.

The film moves towards a big build-up that certainly seemed to be very promising. But instead, it flakes out and the movie continues on for another 45 minutes, never really regaining my interest or attention (a few small surprises here and there were just not enough). Fair enough, the "mock" ending was just to fool the audience (a "setup") but when the setup is far more intriguing than the real ending, I have to ask what the point of it is. I was excited by the potential I was being shown, but was then let down. It completely lost its focus, changed direction and seemed to try to become a different sort of film altogether. Sitting in the cinema, I thought this movie would end in the way that 12 Monkeys (1995) (which it reminded me of in parts) or even The Sixth Sense (1999) did (where the ending totally turns the rest of the movie on its head and you have to - and want to - see it again to really appreciate it). But it wasn't to be. Oh well.

Despite all of this, I can't discount my first impressions, and the large list of things that this movie had going for it. I'm glad I saw it, and hell, I'd probably see it again. Just not for a while.

andy-j gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 11 Jul 2002

"Interesting, but emphases in the wrong places" - a review by pearly

It's 2054. Scientists have discovered that the offspring of women who were taking a particular drug during pregnancy are able, if they live beyond infancy, to foresee murder in their dreams. The "pre-crime" initiative has been in operation for 6 years. And according to Detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise), "the system is perfect". So, on a regular morning, Anderton turns up to work and starts to figure out whom he will be arresting today - and his own face shows up as the killer.

Ahhhhh Steven Spielberg, Mr Spielberg, Steve. What are you doing to us? First, you give us A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and now this. Let me say, right up front, that Minority Report is about six million times better than A.I. - but do I see a theme? Did someone get you a copy of Brave New World for your birthday, and you just thought "Hey! This stuff about the future, and science and whatnot is really cool. From now on, all my films will be about this!". And, while they were at it, did they also tell you that the longer the movie, the better? It wasn't true with A.I., and you really should have learned your lesson. Both these films have about six decent places where the film could have feasibly ended, but they just keep going. Ahem. Sorry. I appear to have been taking Rant-Like-Paul-Cowan™ drugs.

Minority Report has some cool futuristic special effects. When trying to figure out whodunnit, Anderton uses some whacky clear screen / hologram thingy where he uses his hands to move things across the screen (I've managed to make it sound extraordinarily boring, but it actually looks pretty cool, if somewhat wanky on screen). In fact, these concepts reminded me of Strange Days (1995) and eXistenZ (1999), which have very similar devices and themes running through them.

Thankfully, Minority Report isn't effect-filled and plot-poor. There are ethical questions brought up, and emotions to be examined (there is one bit where Spielberg lets it go a little too far, and nearly turns the film into a sop-fest, but he pulls back from the brink). The acting is adequate, but no particular performances stood out for me. Unfortunately, the film ultimately suffers, because the script tries too hard to conform to the scripts-must-have-numerous-twists-and-turns convention.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 8 Jul 2002

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 4
Average rating: 6.50
Lowest rating: 4 (by mino)
Highest rating: 9 (by em_fiction)
 
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Reader comments

  1. Y0 n1Gg4Z, d1S m0\/13 bE h4rD<0r3

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Ki114Z- 1 bE 1337 (http://www.tubgirl.com) on Sun 14 Mar 2004 21:52 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.00 (1 rating)

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