Crime-Time Viewing
Minority Report
Review by Ross Anthony

Despite its bureaucratic sounding title, "Minority Report" is an action-packed, sci-fi thriller.

Minority ReportThe year: 2054, the place: Washington D. C. Department of Pre-crime. Tom Cruise plays John Andertonn -- hotshot precop detective. His job: stop a homicide before it happens. An excellent pre-story story explains how this is done graphically, compactly and with a great deal of creative/artistic finesse. Three pre-cogs can see the future when they sleep, their dreams are picked up and projected on a huge clear screen where Anderton sifts through the graphic information with motion-sensing gloves. It looks likes he's conducting a symphony, appropriately Spielberg runs classical music. With only minutes before the actual crime, Anderton must figure out where the event will occur, get there and arrest the perpetrator for that future crime.

This segment is acted, directed, edited, created so well that audiences become endeared to characters that have nothing to do with the actual film.

Such high praise can be copied and pasted as the film continues all the way up to, but not Minority Reportincluding, the end. I suspect the film takes its short story ending one step beyond into the all too familiar realm of standard big action film endings. Though less than rock solid and definitely a departure from the rest of this fresh surprising piece, the resolution isn't bankrupt enough to drag the film out of the A range.

Kudos should be given also to the screenwriters who (last segment aside) provide consistently smart, fun, sometimes humorous dialogue to even the many smaller characters. Such care gives the film a depth and breadth wider than its sets.

That care, sweet visuals (including cute advertisements that move and call citizens by name) and strong pace all keep the film fun, strikingly compelling and the viewers from slipping into a few holes in logic. For instance, why doesn't Anderton just wait it out? Several other questions come to mind after the viewing, but I'll keep them to myself as not to spoil.

Spielberg assembled a think tank of experts to create a feasible near future for the film. MIT science advisor John Underkoffler said of Philip Dick (author of the short story genesis for "Minority Report"), "Dick was always interested in the consequences of technology and science, but took it past where most other people stopped, because he was one of the few people who understood that good science fiction is actually social science fiction."

Minority Report

  • Minority Report. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13?
  • Starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, Tim Blake Nelson, Steve Harris, Kathryn Morris, Mike Binder, Daniel London, Spencer Treat Clark, Neal McDough, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Harper, Patrick Kilpatrick, Ashley Crow, Arye Gross.
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Screenplay by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen.
  • Based upon a short story by Philip K. Dick.
  • Produced by Gerald R Molen-Bonnie Curtis, Walter F. Parkes-Jan De Bont at Dreamworks/20th century Fox.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:34 PDT