Minority Report (2002)

minority report poster tom cruise steven spielberg
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking

Good story concept meets a failed ending sequence

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Minority Report

Studio:  Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 21, 2002

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Ugh…I think Agatha just peed in the pool!!!

Crime is the thing of a past in 2054 in Washington, D.C. due to the PreCrime unit.  A group of three precogs can see the future and prevent murders before they happen.  When PreCrime Captain John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is tagged as a murderer as the PreCrime program prepares to go nationwide, Anderton must go on the run.  Pursued by the government auditor Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell), Anderton must discover who the man he is going to kill is and if the murder can be stopped.  The secret could lie in one of the precogs named Agatha (Samantha Morton) who could hold a minority report which could show an alternate timeline for Anderton…but Agatha could know more than even Anderton suspected.


My years of “voguing” finally are paying off!!!

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Minority Report was based on the ideas in the short story “The Minority Report” by famed author Philip K. Dick which was first published in Fantastic Universe in January 1956.  The movie received mostly positive reviews and had a huge box office draw.  The film was also nominated for Best Sound Editing (losing to Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers).

I saw Minority Report when it came out and didn’t have much of a desire to revisit it.  As time has passed, the movie has been a bit reevaluated and has built up a bit of a cult following due to the “reality” of the world which now seems a lot closer to our world since many of the inventions in the film have been recreated today.  Rewatching the film, however, I found it still had the same problems I had when I saw it in the theater.


It’s like Frogger…but sideways…and with a person

The story for Minority Report is really interesting…to an extent.  The awesome exploration of free will and if you can stop a crime before its committed, is it still a crime (I like the falling ball demonstration in the film) is great, but the movie’s script bogs this very sci-fi type story down.  The movie is thirty to forty-five minutes too long.  Sequences like the eye replacement surgery (I also highly doubt with all their recognition surgery that if Cruise used his eye to bypass security that it wouldn’t set off any alarms) and some of the chase scenes just feel thrown in and the ending is a whole other problem.


Laser eye surgery on the cheap

*****Spoiler Alert***** It is revealed that Cruise has been set up because he was getting close to a murder which used the precog “ripple effect” of recurring murders to hide the actual murder.  This I’m fine with…it is interesting and clever.  The problem however arise from it.  It was obvious (to me) who the killer was.  Max Von Sydow was far too famous of an actor to have such a small and inconsequential role.  I knew he’d be back so I figured he was the real villain way before it was revealed.  The final sequence is so contrived and stupid that there have been hypothesis that it is a dream in the head of Cruise as he is frozen (like Brazil, the whole Decker is a replicant in Blade Runner theory, or it’s all a dream in Inception).  The problem with that there is much more evidence to support the other films ideas.  If that was Spielberg’s intent he needed to drop more hints…I just think a crappy ending was written to wrap it up.


Hey…I don’t need any help climbing this ladder

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, he is a good action star.  He can be intense when it is needed but can pull out that Tom Cruise charm at points.  This movie primarily focuses on intensity because he’s pretty much on the run and the defense all movie.  He’s got a great supporting cast with Samantha Morton joining him part of the way through the film as Agatha and Colin Farrell manages to not be too annoying as Danny Witwer.  Max Von Sydow is miscast and probably too old for the role…It should have gone to a lesser known actor so it wasn’t as obvious of a plot twist.  Other actors include Steve Harris, Neal McDonough, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare, and Tim Blake Nelson in smaller parts.


No, I don’t want to go to the Gap!!!

The movie does look great however.  The technology level of the film with retina scanners, essentially iPhones and iPads (remember this was before both), and other technology which is still in our possible future makes the world a bit more realistic now then when it first appeared on screen.  I also like that the movie was combined with a noir style wish lots of shadows and overexpose at points.

Minority Report will probably become a classic over the years.  It is better than some of Spielberg’s recent action/adventure/sci-fi attempts and does raise some good ideas.  It is also a prime example of how some editing and rewriting could change a film from being great to average.  Spielberg and Cruise reteamed in 2005 for the remake of War of the Worlds (which was not as good).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response