a critiQal film review Minority Report (2002)

Plot: In the future, murder can be predicted. With the help of the PreCogs, murder in Washington, D.C. is down to zero. The PreCogs "see" the murder before it happens, and the Pre-Crime unit, led by John Anderton (Cruise) apprehends the murderer before they can kill. The system is perfect. Perfect, that is, until Anderton is "seen" as the next murderer. Now he must run and try to prove his innocence.

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  • ...this Spielberg/Cruise team-up should not be missed!

I was definitely interested in seeing Minority Report after checking out the trailer. It looked exciting, with a good plot, and plenty of action in a sci-fi theme. I was not disappointed. This movie was thought-provoking as well as being action-oriented. Some of the younger kids may not get it, but will like the action anyway.

Cruise does a good job in his role in Minority Report, and is believable as John Anderton. A cop who lost his son six years ago, he now is accused of murdering a man he’s never met. He has to avoid some pretty futuristic stuff, such as eye scanners on subways, automatically locked-down vehicles that traverse buildings and techno-spiders, among other things.

Even knowing these are probably mostly done on green screens, he does a great job of staying with the action, and making you care what happens to his character. Max Von Sydow and the other actors also do a great job in the roles they play, including newcomer Colin Farrell..

Minority Report has a great plot. It lets Spielberg get creative with the future, as well as reaching you on a realistic level. Sure, there is some great eye candy he can throw in, but in the end, it’s just a story about a guy who wants to think he could never do what they accuse him of, so the system must be wrong.

Everyone feels like that. If you lived in this future time, you would think you would never be able to do something like they talk about, but in the end, you just don’t know until it happens to you. It’s very thought-provoking, which is VERY unusual for a summer blockbuster. It’s great!

Of course, while this may be unusual for a summer blockbuster, it’s not unusual for a Phillip K. Dick story. Just take a look at Blade Runner (1982) or Total Recall (1990) if you don’t believe it – they were both adapted from his stories, also.

The special effects in Minority Report are incredible, yet don’t detract from the storyline. One of the best is the little hint of Anderton’s future when he meets the drug dealer near the beginning. Anderton finds out the man has had his eyeballs removed in order to fool the scanners, which abound throughout this futuristic world. He takes off his sunglasses and shows us his empty sockets. Not a huge special effect, but great.

That is what special effects are supposed to be for. They further the plot line, rather than let you forget it. Most of the special effects in this movie are used that way, the way they should be.

All in all, Minority Report is one of the must-see summer movies. With good acting, great special effects, and an excellent storyline, Spielberg and Cruise are great now that they’ve finally teamed up.

My advice? Run out and see this one.

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