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Movie Info

RATING:

PG-13

RELEASE:

June 21, 2002

TIME:

143 minutes

STARRING:

Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Samantha Morton, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Stormare, Steve Harris, and Kathryn Morris

DIRECTOR:

Steven Spielberg

WRITERS:

Scott Frank and Jon Cohen

BASED ON THE SHORT STORY BY:

Philip K. Dick

DISTRIBUTOR:

20th Cent. Fox

GENRE:

Science Fiction/Film Noir/Detective Fiction

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

Minority Report

By Movieguide Magazine

CBN.com - The theme of a man accused of a crime who runs from the police to prove his innocence is a very cinematic one. Alfred Hitchcocks North by Northwest and the movie The Fugitive, with Harrison Ford, show just how popular and exciting this idea can be. Steven Spielbergs new thriller, Minority Report, wonderfully combines elements of both movies in a complex science fiction setting starring Tom Cruise.

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 Witwers 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 Johns 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 that the computers show you have bought previously. This theme puts a delightful spin on the paranoia displayed by Cary Grants character in North by Northwest. Although the context to this social commentary may be left-of-center political leanings, the movie doesnt 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 Cruises character stopping a mans 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 peoples 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 Cruises 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.

Furthermore, there is a consistent Christian allegory throughout the movie concerning the world's notion of the perfectibility of man and Justice Dept. official, Danny Witwer, concern that all men are flawed (sinful): Det. Anderton being given new sight, a baptism requiring faith not works, death in the containment tubes guarded by Gideon, and a type of resurrection through love. The forgiveness at the end of the movie and the overt, stated faith of Justice Dept. official Danny Witwer enhance the allegory, which is slightly confused by brief references to spiritism (which are ambiguous) and suggestions of channeling.

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 Spielbergs brilliant cinematic vision but also for Tom Cruises 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.


The previous reviews are a selected sample of informative reviews from MOVIEGUIDE: A FAMILY GUIDE TO MOVIES AND ENTERTAINMENT, a syndicated feature of Good News Communications, Inc. To subscribe to MOVIEGUIDE, which includes a complete set of at least 10 reviews of the latest movies as well as many informative articles, please visit their Web site at http://www.movieguide.org/, or write or call:

MOVIEGUIDE
P.O. Box 190010
Atlanta, GA 31119
(800) 899-6684

DISCLAIMER: "The publications that carry MOVIEGUIDE and the organizations that distribute MOVIEGUIDE are not responsible for these reviews, nor is MOVIEGUIDE responsible for the opinions and positions of those publications and organizations."

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