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A.J.'s Rating:  5 Stars  (The Eyes Have It!)
Minority Report
Directed By:  Steven Spielberg
Written By:  Philip K. Dick (story) / Scott Frank and Jon Cohan (screenplay)
Starring:  Tom Cruise, Max von Sydow, Samantha Morton, Steve Harris, Neal McDonough,
Patrick Kilpatrick, Jessica Capshaw
Rated:   PG-13 (Intense Imagery and Suspense)
Running Time:  124 Min.
    In the year 2048, a bold new experiment in crime prevention began.  Using gifted seers called 'precogs', the Washington D.C. Department of Pre-Crime can stop a killing and arrest the perpetrator before the act even takes place.  As a result, knowing that murderous intentions can be seen by precogs, no sane person in Washington D.C. would ever think of taking another's life.  Now, six years later, murder has become a thing of the past, and Pre-Crime is about to go national.  The system is perfect... or is it?  I'll leave that for you to discover, since to reveal more of this plotline would be a great injustice!
    Director Steven Spielberg has outdone himself.  Minority Report showcases his talents for combining action, humor, suspense and emotion with stunning results.  However, some of the emotional reactions that Minority Report evokes may not be pleasant. (that's a warning - heh, heh, heh...)
    Visually, Spielberg stays characteristicly optimistic.  Minority Report is based on a story by Philip K. Dick, author of the very dark futuristic thriller, Blade Runner.  Unlike Blade Runner, Minority Report's vision of the future is amazingly slick, clean, shiney and full of light.  However, this future is not as bright as it may appear.  As with every good thriller, that darker side is where the real fun begins!
    In fact, vision and perception, precognitive and otherwise, are the primary themes in Minority Report.  Also, the concepts of Faith, Truth, and Justice are explored with intriguing religious overtones.  In the hands of another director, these thought provoking ideas could have easily overwhelmed the pure adventure aspects of the film, but under Spielberg's steady guidance, they serve to enhance the excitement, rather than detract from it. 
    As a movie fan and reviewer, I believe I'm fairly good at seeing the future, at least sixty minutes or so into a film, that is.  Minority Report, though, had me second guessing myself from beginning to end.  And, unlike many recent science fiction movies, the plot twists in Minority Report actually make sense!

    As far as the total moviegoing experience is concerned, this is the best time I've spent all year.  You know how a great thriller can send a chill up your spine?  Minority Report has this effect throughout the film!  Very impressive, indeed!
    Part of the recognition for Minority Report's triumphs goes to the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic.  The digital imagery in this film is incredible, and helps to create a very realistic vision of the future.  Bravo, ILM!  You've done it again!  (And, as I have wondered many times before, 'HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!')
    As for Tom Cruise, his performance as Pre-Crime Chief Detective John Anderton was phenomenal.  This is a fantastic followup to his similarly stellar performance in the nightmarishly frustrating mind-bender Vanilla Sky.  In fact, the movie Vanilla Sky explored some parallel themes with it's 'Open your eyes' message.  Is Tom Cruise trying to tell us something?  That remains to be seen!
    Put quite simply, this movie rocks!  For sheer Hollywood entertainment, Minority Report ranks right up there with Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  As a futuristic crime thriller, it's the perfect companion piece to Blade Runner.  See it, see it, SEE IT!
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Review published
June 22, 2002
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