Steven Spielberg is the director, of course, you can tell by the awesome cinematography. I would like to start off by saying, that although the movie starts off as mildly disturbing and works it way to being utterly disgusting (note: it is not for the faint hearted, small children, those prone to heart attacks, and the disturbed.) If you stay up late at night thinking about movies, this isn't for you. The blood, gore, and out right sick sexual innuendo is not suitable for children, despite its pg-13 rating, but, like most if not all of Spielberg's work, it doesn't seem over done, fake, or glorified. It seems like the…not natural; but factual, realistic way things in life happen.

Over all, the acting was superb, the plot totally magnificent. Hands down Great plot. Cinematography was up to Spielberg standards, which is in my opinion fabulous. The special effects, lighting, clothing, and over all mood were somewhat depressing, but, it fit the story line well. And the music was haunting, exactly how it should be. =)

I give it 3 and a half stars out of five. I docked it for some of the sexual stuff that didn't need to be in there. And maybe the violence thing could have been taken down a notch, but still good *family* fun.

Brief Plot: A future-istic movie with really cool cars, and this eye-scan system that beats all else. But, movie is about three children who are the product of drug addicted parents, and subsequently they are 'handicapped' for lack of a better word. Two people made it their life's goal to help these children, but many of them died by the age of 12. In the night when these children close their eyes to sleep, they dream of murder. Not any other crimes, but simply murder, because it is destructive enough to the metaphysical whatever that 'holds us together' to be seen by these gifted precog's. Three of these children were strung together to form a precognitive unit that would stop murderers before they had a chance to kill their victims. The Precrime unit was a six-year experiment in the city of Washington D.C. Tom Cruise plays a cop who lost his son, and in-turn helped start the Precrime Unit to help other families. The movie twists when 'John' played by Tom Cruise, is predicted to commit a premeditated murder on a man he doesn't even known in less than 36 hours. Was he set up, or does he actually kill the man? Does he elude the cops? Who killed his son? Does the Precrime Unit go national? What happens to Agatha, Arthur, and Dashiell; the three "precog's"? Why does Agatha keep bring up that Jane Doe women who came up missing? "Do you see?"

What to Learn: Learn to be observant. Learn not to premeditate your murders =). Learn how to beat the system, and to look for flaws. Learn that treating handicapped people as less than human can always alter the way you should see them. Learn to take control of your future. Learn to love. And lastly, learn how to keep your eyeball in your head.

If you aren't looking for an overly happy movie, and you want something that isn't mindless this summer. You want a unexpected jump out of your seat thrill, and want to come away blown out of your mind; this is a good movie for you.

Promise me you won't take your children to see it; Please! For the love of all that is good, they will have nightmares about murder for a week!

Thinking back on it, the movie might not have been that sexual. But you also have to remember, I don't watch TV, and I am overly sensitive to blood and sex in movies. =) thank you.

Minority Report (2002) - Weasello Rating: {>>>-} (Bow-chickey)
Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

Opening: In reference to Nocte's writup above, this movie is not, IMHO, as evil as nocte makes it to be. I can only think of three "sexual" scenes:
  • A random old lady kisses Tom Cruise for no reason whatsoever! (Thanks, Raspy)
  • A couple is seen, for about 5 seconds, under some sheets and groaning.
  • There are "holo rooms" where a few people appear to be having sex, but only sillhouette holograms can be seen.
Hyperi0n informs me of two more sexual scenes:
  • Tom Cruise (supposedly) ogles a (supposed) woman (supposedly) off-screen (The woman is supposedly off screen, not Tom Cruise).
  • The technician taking care of the precogs nearly kisses a precog, but fails.
In fact, I can't think of any nudity in the movie at all.

As for violence and nightmares, for the faint of heart and all that; I do admit that I jumped twice... But that was merely out of suprise, not out of horror. I would recommend people near the brink of heart failure to stay away, but your stomach will not get queasy. There is tiny amount of blood in the film (a blood stained shirt and maybe a shot-glass-sized splatter) and all of the violence is punching without any physical damage appearing. There are a few shots fired but nothing I would ever, ever consider gore. I recommend that Nocte watch some of the Jason series.

Perhaps the most "gross" scene was a CG shot where a guy had no eyeballs and just two gaping holes in his head; however, the effect was rather poorly done and did nothing in the "horror" department of my brain. I moreso rolled my eyes, which is kind of ironic, given the situation.

Body count: Though an action movie, the body count is approximately 2. There are other on-screen deaths (up to about 5 to 8) but they are un-done by the Time Cops.

Plot Outline: John is a cop in the year 2054. He is a Time Cop(tm). Three people have the natural ability to see future murders; they have machinery built around them to record and stow this data, to be analyzed by an test-run police force.

As the nation prepares to vote on mass-producing this system and making it available to the entire country, some disturbing truths about the "system" become apparant. Through a not-so-long yet convoluted plot, it is determined that two of the three precogs are sometimes wrong on their predictions, and the last (and sometimes true) prediction is tossed out - missing data. This prediction is known as the Minority Report and, if known to the general public, would tear the system apart.

Why? Well, the system is perfect - with hundreds.. nay, thousands of people locked up for future crimes, how would you react if you found out that you "may" not have killed the person you didn't quite kill yet? (this could get confusing)

In any case, John's number is up and he is hunted down for the future murder of some random guy. But it turns out to be a setup, and in a unprecedented predictable way, it turns out to be a setup with a standard badguy-is-good, goodguy-is-bad villain-swap-plot.

Opinion: Though this movie had amazing special effects and some talented editing and general screen work, it left a little to be desired in the plot section. There were many possibilities to play with, but this movie turned out to lose it's plot halfway through and turn into an action movie.

I would compare this movie to The Matrix minus the "all-new" bullet-time that made it so wildly popular. Both movies have great sci-fi plots, and both movies were superbly done, but the plot was abandoned for the more favorable action movie crowd.

I would recommend this movie as a rental - I do regret paying full price to see the movie at the theatre on opening night.

Note: I have not read the book (yet) so I can't offer an opinion of comparison. I do, however, agree with hotei; the movie would be much better if the system wasn't shut down at the end. As it stands, we all walk away from the theatre with a happy smile on our face, all conflicts resolved; the movie would have a much bigger impact if the system went on chugging in a dark, sombre, make-you-think style. Then again, I'm a Kubrick fan and I loved A.I., so YMMV.

Interesting Notes:
  • Matt Damon was originally up for the Colin Farrell role.
  • Like many spielberg movies, the music was done by the amazing John Williams. Very well done.
  • This movie is based on a short story by the name of "The Minority Report."
  • ABC News released an article on opening day, an interview with Steven Spielberg. "‘Big Brother Is Watching Us Now’ — And It Will Get Worse, Director Says" is what I'm seeing on my computer monitor right now. In this article Spielberg speaks of his fears of The Man slowly taking over our privacies and etcetera etcetera.
Glaring Errors that Detracted from Viewing Quality(tm):
  • Signs advertise an election to be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2054. 22 April 2054 will be a Wednesday. (Who sits down and figures this out?! WHO!?!)
Lead roles (Now with the stars and not the extras!): Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Writing credits: Philip K. Dick (short story), Scott Frank (I) (screenplay)

Tagline: What would you do if you were accused of a murder, you had not committed... yet?
Sources: The oh-so-wonderful IMDB, my head, and the theatre.
-- WARNING: I might ruin the movie for you. But that's okay, the movie sucked, anyway. --

Okay, I'm sorry. I'm going to have to be the dissenting voice here. To play on the node title, story title, and movie title, I'll have to submit the minority report. I'll put all the movie's little, struggling, contrived plot nonsenses away for this. Anyone who saw what was done to A.I. will understand just how bad movie plots can go when you don't want to be "depressing."

If you are a sci-fi fan, than I would expect you to have at least heard Phillip K. Dick's name. He wrote the novel that Bladerunner was based on. He wrote the short story that Total Recall was based on. As a side note, he was crazy: he thought an advanced alien information system (called VALIS (he wrote a novel about it)) was contacting him on a regular basis. But anyway. Dick's work is mostly dark and scary. He wrote about manipulation of the masses through mass media. He wrote about large, oppressive systems propogating themselves, causing the masses to suffer either physically or by making them non-people.

His short story "Minority Report" follows in Dick's dark, depressing style, but you wouldn't know it from watching Spielberg's piece of crap movie. Okay, that's not totally true. Spielberg did to a good job of keeping the atmosphere dark. In fact, he did a great job. The apartment Anderton visits to have his eyes changed is creepy as hell and those little spider things made my skin crawl. BUT...

...The movie completely removes the two parts of the story that make it a really, really good one. First off, the movie removes the intended conflict. In the movie, it is one man, who is a part of the pre-crime system, against another man, who is also a part of the pre-crime system. One wants control, the other just wants justice. The story, however, pits the system against the people (pre-crime versus a rebel alliance completely left out of the movie). The movie shows an ego versus a hero. The story shows the system versus the people; the powerful versus the inspired.

Second, the movie removes the power of the warning Dick was screaming. Here's where I ruin it. In the short story Dick wrote, the system wins and lives. In the movie, it doesn't. In the story, the main character comes to terms with his desire to keep the system he has helped create-- which is doing a damn good job of stopping murder-- alive. In the story, the main character takes the steps necessary to keep the system alive after finally understanding how much he wants to do so. In the movie his desires are completely opposite.

In the end, I could deal with most of Spielberg's little plot changes. I thought Anderton losing his son was interesting. I thought Anderton being divorced was interesting. I even found the kidnapping of the pre-cog interesting, although it was poorly done in the film. (I couldn't stop laughing during most of the scenes during this part. My friend commented that he wasn't aware the movie was a comedy.) BUT, I could not deal with the reversal of the ending, the removal of the intended conflict, and the hackneyed way Spielberg tried to throw lots of interesting ideas together.

I'm sorry, but Minority Report will not be a classic of the sci-fi genre, and it is not one of Spielberg's better movies. Hell, it's not even a good movie.

Go watch Bladerunner.

A minority report is a secondary report, produced by a minority.

If a committee of (say) eight people were researching something, and three people settled on one conclusion that was substantially different to the other five people's conclusion, the committee could publish a standard report and a minority report. The minority report would present a different opinion to the main one, to record the dissent of those involved.

Some mild spoiling in the following writeup!

I agree with hotei that movie adaptations of Dick stories/novels tend to sanitise them to the point of removing the meaning the original story had. I think I was un-disappointed by Minority Report mainly because I had visions of the sentimental kind of crap that Steven Spielberg is best-known for (E.T., A.I. come to mind). It was, at least, not that. It did retain much of the sense of a Phil Dick story even if it did, ultimately, sell him out.

What makes Dick such an interesting writer is that he presents challenging ideas, questioning human power structures, or, as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the novel Blade Runner was based on), questioning the nature of humanity itself. It would seem that these issues are perceived as being too challenging for Hollywood audiences. I thought Blade Runner was a great movie, but there was no real reason to base it on a Phil Dick novel. Any hack science fiction writer could have come up with the idea of a bunch of androids that look just like people and a guy who has to shoot them. What Dick did was to use this premise as a means to explore the character Rick Deckard's own humanity, and to explore what it might mean to be human. Similarly, in Minority Report, Dick's impetus was subversive, whereas naturally, Spielberg had to change that into an acceptable Hollywood story (one in which everyone lives happily ever after as soon as the One Bad Guy is taken care of).

There have been almost no Hollywood movies with subversive premises. I find that the general structure of movies that *seem* subversive is as follows: First, the system is revealed to be evil. The audience grows excited. The layers of the onion are peeled. Can it be...? Next, it becomes clear that it's actually just an evil faction within the system (e.g. the CIA), usually led by one demagogue, usually the old guy who you were supposed to think all along was a Good Guy! Yawn... Bad Guy taken care of, "we'll have to be extra vigilant in the future," hero gets back together with the ex-wife and commences breeding. All is recuperated. The hero's life, the system, etc. Audience's pulse goes down again. The Matrix is one of the very few exceptions to this pattern.

All that said, I did enjoy Minority Report quite a bit. I thought it could have been far more sold-out than it was. For example: (lots of spoiling follows now! stop reading if you haven't seen the movie yet!)

When Anderton catches up with the pedophile, my heart sank. Oh, JESUS, I thought, please don't let this movie work its way around to showing us that, yes, after all, we do need the Panopticon "for the children"! Thankfully, this was not the way it went.

I thought it was clear Spielberg's a fan of Blade Runner. There were some very clear resonances in Minority Report, and some of the same shortcomings. For instance, Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard was, like MR’s John Anderton, a broken man who is haunted by his past and drinks too much. (Anderton is “on the whiff,” an addict of some super-futuristic shiny plastic inhaler drug.) My complaint about this character, a mainstay of Hollywood cinema generally, is that all his demons are external. This in opposition to Philip K. Dick characters, whose demons are inside as well. How much more interesting Blade Runner would have been had Deckard suspected he wasn’t a good human, or considered the possibility that he wasn’t even human. (What human could kill as cold-bloodedly as he could?) Ditto Anderton. He’s not a very interesting character because he is so self-assured throughout. We never doubt that he is motivated only by the “good cop” desire to make the world right. His failings are only as a result of his grief.

The product placement in Minority Report was beyond anything else I've seen to date. I'm quite sick of the cross-marketing endemic in commercial cinema lately. It seems every movie is simultaneously a chance to market a pop song (whose video then is also a chance to market the movie), a soft drink, etc. Minority Report was an extreme example of this. The most annoying thing is that it’s not enough any more to have brands appear incidentally in scenes. In Minority Report, the movie virtually pauses for a Gap commercial. Use of brand-name products is sensible, it lends realism as we are ourselves surrounded by brand names, but I wish they’d leave it at that, rather than interrupting the flow of the story just to make sure we don’t miss it. Of course, this is all done with a sly wink, and a relaxing moment for the audience to have a little chuckle. It does stretch credibility a bit that in 2054 all the brand names and logos seem to be the same as they are now. Curious, that. Apparently the cars in the movie were designed by Lexus, and lackeys handed out glossy Lexus-ad booklets in the theatre lobby before the movie.

I thought the movie was quite entertaining, the story was just complex enough to be interesting to follow, at least some of Dick’s ideas were preserved, and I didn’t feel completely cheated. But I’m still waiting for a really faithful adaptation of a Dick story. Rumours have been circulating for years that the novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is on the way to production, which would be great if it was done right. I don’t think there are too many directors that have the chutzpah to take on really subversive material, though. Stanley Kubrick would maybe have been the perfect director for the project, but he’s dead.

Apologies if this writeup is a bit wandering, it's just a few thoughts I had about the movie after seeing it that I thought were worth sharing.

I enjoyed Minority report but I must say that it is not the best Spielberg movie I have ever seen. Beware, spoilers follows.

First, I think there a kind of huge hole in the plot. Think about it: we know there was no minority report and that the vision of the female precog was not fake. However it predicted the murder commited by John Anderton correctly although he was framed by his boss, Director Burgess. - In that respect the precrime system is faillible in that it catches the actual murderer, not the one who commandited or plotted it.- But John Anderton did not know his victim, he was led to him because he knew he was supposed to commit this crime. Had he not been on duty that day, he would have never known about that man. Ok his boss framed him because John had seen the memories of Agatha about the murder of her mother and that somehow his superior had known about it, "and then what?" you ask. Well nothing really. Burgess paid Leo Crow to act the way he did (by the way how did he made the photosnaps with John's son? Although this could be a clever fake.) but to make John mad he would have had to make him know about it. And he did not. The precog did. No precog, no John on the run, no rush to Dr. Hineman's house, no kidnapping of Agatha (preposterous scene), no wandering around trying to escape the cops and no finding by sheer luck of Leo Crow's location.
If the precog did not make her prediction, Leo crow would not have died. There is a paradox here where the predictor is a factor in her own prediction. Paradox difficult to solve in my opinion. My guess is that Agatha framed them all, now that is a wicked ending à la Wild things <eg> .
Or maybe I am completely dumb and the plot was lost on me. If you caught something that I haven't, please let me know.
Considering the arguments above, I really agree that Spielberg could have made a much more imaginative ending to this film, given the golden starting plot that he had. Damned Hollywood conventions.

On the gore side, nobody reported that you see extracted eyeballs in close up at least 2 times, that counts a bit if you want to take your child to see this movie. I also deeply disliked the inclusion of pseudo-comic scenes in the middle of a really tensed and serious storyline. Can you imagine this in Bladerunner? It really makes you wonder if the director knew where he wanted his movie to go. I also noticed some inconsistencies: How , in such a networked society, can a door locking system allow a cop flagged as a criminal to enter any sensitive areas? (scene of Agatha's escape or in the containement section). I quite liked the seamless integration of all this new technology in the everyday life (although this was not as extensive as in The 6th day in my opinion), especially the spiders, but can you imagine the level of artificial intelligence it would require to make these bugs function?

All in all, good entertainement and if that pushes you to read the short story, that is a good thing.

First, let me say that I enjoyed much of Minority Report. The acting was excellent, as were the special effects.

Having said that, I feel compelled to talk about something that has not been thus far mentioned about the film: specifically, its contemptuous attitude toward the working class and the poor. This may sound like a quibble at first, but please hear me out.

Throughout the course of the film, the working class and the poor are treated either as convenient victims or as objects of ridicule, often simultaneously.

Let's begin with the initial chase, where all the police strap on their jetpacks and corner Cruise in an alley. Cruise grabs one of the cops, beats him half senseless, then uses the jetpack to rocket his way up the side of the building, the other cops in hot pursuit. All very nicely edited with deafening music to tell us we're supposed to be in suspense.

On the way up the side of the building, the cops and Cruise smash through a platform where a handful of workers are standing, doing their jobs, minding their own business. The platform is reduced to kindling and the workers fall off the platform toward the ground, which we are led to believe is quite a ways down. Were they hurt? Were they killed? The audience is apparently not supposed to care about these men's lives any more than they're supposed to care about the broken boards. This pointless little ballet of cruelty was put in for no other reason than to elicit chuckles from the audience.

But it doesn't end there. Soon Cruise and the cop smash through a window into the building itself--which we have been told is in a poor section of the city. They not only destroy the apartments of two innocent families, but in the process actually seem to hurt these innocent bystanders by throwing them against walls and such. Again, this is played for laughs.

Next we have the spider sequence, wherein we are treated to a faux-Rear Window recreation. One of the spiders scurries across the roof, and we are treated to:

  1. A poor couple fighting--their interruption by the spiders played for laughs
  2. A couple making love in a seedy room, whose activities--again played for laughs--are interrupted by the spiders, and,
  3. An old man being scanned by a spider as he is sitting on the toilet.

And all are put through this humiliation by a group of folks who are supposed to be the good guys.

Next we have the sequence where Cruise and the precog Agatha are being chased through the shopping mall. They escape into a service corridor where an old homeless man sits, begging for change. The precog tells Cruise to throw down some coins. He does, and the old man, on hands and knees, begins picking them up, only to be smashed to the floor as the cops break into the corridor and fall over him. Funny stuff.

Had this been the only instance in the film where a poor person was humiliated in such a way, it might have been pardoned, but it isn't; there are several examples of this contempt for the poor and the working class scattered through the film, many of them a bit more subtle than those listed here, but just as contemptuous.

What disturbs me about this is that--with the exception of the homeless man, whose humiliation arguably serves the plot--is that all of these slapstick assaults were not necessary to the story. They were choices made either by the screenwriters or the director (my guess is the latter) to give audiences something to laugh at. Had there been any philosophical arguments about class distinction introduced in the story line (the poor and working class are beneath We, the Protected), it might have been justified and--as distasteful as it might have been--would have served the underlying themes of the story.

The thing which makes it worse for me is the sneaking suspicion that these assaults and humiliations were put in the film without a second thought. They're working slobs, or they're homeless, or drug addicts, so who cares? (And by the way, for as pathetic and distasteful as drug addicts are presented to be in this film, isn't it interesting that our supposed hero's severe drug problem simply disappears ninety minutes into the movie, thus making him all the more admirable and his plight that much more compelling?)

For all the lapses in logic that have been debated here and elsewhere, I find it interesting that the film's lapse in humanity has gone largely unnoticed.

The first two hours of this film were fantastic. Cinematography, music, and mood were all carried off excellently. The plot was strongly set up, and the picture of the future accurately portrayed.

However, the previous writeups here are all missing one vital point. This film is based on the story of Oedipus.

In Sophocles' play about this man, we are given a picture of a leader who is loved by his people, and is a fundamentally good man who is, nonetheless, flawed.

This man receives a prophecy that he will commit a crime, and so he decides, in an act of what is known in the trade as hubris, to run away from his home to prevent that from ever happening. Unfortunately, by doing this, he ends up running to the very place where he commits the crime. He is convicted of his guilt by a blind prophet, Teiresias, and it is this revelation that causes him to blind himself.

In Spielberg's bastardised adaptation, John Anderton receives a prophecy that he will commit a murder. For all his efforts, he finds himself in a position where he will commit this crime. Fate cannot be changed, the prophecy is correct, and no man can avoid it.

Until Steven Spielberg decides that Sophocles got it all wrong.

This buffoon, this gelatinous sack of Hollywood bullshit, decides that he can only make movies with happy endings. He decides that despite the fact that no other potential murderer has been able to change the future, this one will be. He then decides to drag the whole thing out through myriad ridiculous twists until he has contorted himself more the yoga practitioners that inexplicably appear half way through the film, but he has his buck-making happy ending.

For the first two hours of this film, I was ready to believe in a God. Someone in Hollywood had had the guts to adapt a Greek tragedy and sell it, admittedly with some major revisions, to a viewing public.

Stephen Spielberg made me an atheist.

If the gift of precognition ever becomes reality, I propose that we make all 'precogs' monitor Hollywood studios for when some bright spark says something like: 'Hey! What if we took this ancient play thing, set it 50 years into the future, and gave it a happy ending?'

You ought to read Oedipus. It's a really good play.

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