Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max
von Sydow, Samantha Morton,
Tim Blake Nelson, Peter
Stormare, Steve Harris, and
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 143 minutes
Distributor: 20th Cent. Fox
Director: Steven Spielberg
Executive Producer: Gary Goldman and Ronald
Producer: Gerald R. Molen, Bonnie
Curtis, Walter F. Parkes, and
Jan De Bont
Writer: Scott Frank and Jon Cohen
Address Comments To:Peter Chernin, Chairman & CEO
The Fox Group
Tom Rothman & Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. & News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
In the year 2054 in Washington, D.C., murder has been eliminated. A new illegal drug called neorin has produced three children, two twin boys and a girl named Agatha, who can see future murders being committed. The local police have attached computer electrodes to the heads of these drug-addicted children to tap into their visions.
Tom Cruise plays Detective John Anderton, a troubled policeman who has become head of the Pre-Crime Unit because of the disappearance of his son Sean six years ago. John works under the tutelage of his former boss in Baltimore, Lamar Burgess, terrifically played by the great Max von Sydow.
A Justice Dept. official, Danny Witwer, comes to Pre-Crime to audit the system and make sure it has no flaws, on the eve of a national referendum to apply the system to the rest of the country. John becomes suspicious of the ambitious Witwer’s motives. His suspicions become heightened when the “pre-cog” children, now young adults, predict that John himself will murder a total stranger in less than 36 hours. Followed by Witwer and his own police unit, John runs away to find out who set him up. Is it possible for the Pre-Cogs to be wrong?
MINORITY REPORT is an intense, exciting science fiction thriller. Making John’s job of proving his innocence harder is the fact that the whole city is wired with retina scans that help the police, and advertisers, track your every move. No one has any privacy anymore because, as soon as you enter a store, moving billboards scan your eyes and ask you to buy something while they address you by your own name. In fact, they sometimes even ask you to buy something which the computers show you have bought previously. This theme puts a delightful spin on the paranoia displayed by Cary Grant’s character in NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Although the context to this social commentary may be left-of-center political leanings, the movie doesn’t try to place a strong partisan spin to it. In fact, warnings about the Computer Age, Big Business and Big Government often can be quite conservative, politically speaking.
MINORITY REPORT opens in spectacular fashion with Tom Cruise’s character stopping a man’s murder of his wife and her lover. Once Det. John Anderton is accused of the crime, the movie takes viewers on a wild roller coaster ride filled with chase scenes and elaborately choreographed fight scenes. From there, however, the movie gets a bit dingy and dirty when John has to go underground. John develops a plan that leads him to an unscrupulous, nasty doctor and an oily computer programmer with a hologram parlor that indulges people’s fantasies, including sexual ones. Thus, the middle part of the movie contains several gruesome images of detached eyeballs and brief images of depicted fornication. These images deserve an R-rating, not the PG-13 rating that the corrupt Motion Picture Association of America has decided to give Spielberg and Cruise’s movie. Of course, Spielberg could still have depicted these edgy, film noir situations in a much more reserved fashion. Such restraint might even have earned this movie a deserved PG rating.
MINORITY REPORT gets back on track in the last third of its story, however. Det. Anderton eventually repairs his broken world. He even manages to repair his broken family, although nothing, of course, can make up for the loss of his first child.
Despite the problematic content in the middle of its story, MINORITY REPORT has a strong moral ending that is also somewhat redemptive. The innocent are eventually let go, and the guilty suffer their just desserts. The movie encourages viewers to sympathize with this uplifting outcome.
Even so, MOVIEGUIDE® believes MINORITY REPORT is appropriate, if at all, only for older audiences. Such viewers might find this movie worth seeing more than once, not only for Steven Spielberg’s brilliant cinematic vision but also for Tom Cruise’s excellent performance (not to mention their fabulous supporting cast). In addition to being a provocative, dense, well-constructed science fiction fantasy, MINORITY REPORT is an archetypal film noir that will probably do well at the box office, despite its edgier, more objectionable elements. One only wishes that Spielberg would stop trying to please amoral secular critics with modern, edgy material. Great artists can create mature material and appeal to older audiences without including the kinds of objectionable material that God wants everyone to avoid.
MINORITY REPORT is an intense, exciting science fiction thriller for mature audiences. It has a moral point of view, but contains some brief, gratuitous sexual references, drug content, several gruesome images, and foul language. Despite its problematic, adult moments, older viewers might find this movie worth seeing more than once, not only for Steven Spielberg’s brilliant cinematic vision but also for Tom Cruise’s excellent performance, not to mention their fabulous supporting cast. In addition to being a provocative, dense, well-constructed science fiction fantasy, MINORITY REPORT is also an archetypal film noir. Older teenagers and adults should, of course, exercise extreme caution regarding the movie’s edgier, more questionable material