Review of 'Minority Report'

minority_report.jpg A now, somewhat classic, film from Steven Spielberg staring Tom Cruise as the talented Chief John Anderton, an officer of the “pre-crime” unit in 2054 Washington, DC which has effectively eliminated crime in the city by harnessing the psychic power of three “pre-cogs” - humans with the ability to perceive when a crime is about to be committed. Using this information the pre-crime unit arrests the would-be perpetrator before the crime occurs. One day the precogs predict that Anderton himself will commit a crime leading him to flee the unit and somehow prove his innocence but as he does so he uncovers some unpleasant truths about this wonderful new future…

Based on the 1956 story “The Minority Report” by Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick, “Minority Report” is a fast-paced SF action flick from one of the masters, Steven Spielberg. We are barely left with time to breath as the story rapidly progresses though, thankfully, Spielberg knows when to stop and think such as in a key scene towards the end of the film where Anderton is forced to make a decision that will seal his fate forever. It is, of course, the entire premise of the film that intrigues: Can you judge a person for a crime they have yet to make? Is there such a thing as free-will or are we simply following pre-determined paths? Additionally we are asked to think about the cost in human rights we are willing to pay to achieve progress. At the heart of the story is a mystery that takes us to unexpected implications of some of these questions. For an action flick there is a good lot to be learned here.

Max von Sydow plays to type as the mysterious Director Lamar Burgess, friend to his protégé Anderton while Cruise does a lot of running and action stuff…also true to type. Otherwise, the rest of the cast are not terribly memorable. The special effects, however, are quite well done with the now famous scenes of Cruise using finger and hand gestures to navigate computer systems that we are now familiar with in navigating our phones and other touch screen devices. There are also lots of big explosions (natch).

Good fun from a master with some fairly weighty philosophical questions behind the action.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2021-05-03

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Year: 2002

Length: 145 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Steven Spielberg: