Minority Report

What would you do if you were accused of a murder, you had not committed... yet?

Tom Cruise seems to have the ability to look pretty despite whatever a director throws at him. This Peter Pan look has landed him with some pretty duff roles in the past, although with this latest blockbuster from Steven (Call me Mr ET) Spielberg, he has managed to move more into the area of the action hero. But without the rugged looks of other heroes, sashaying his slim frame through this film, he remains a slightly ethereal figure. This suits this streamlined tale of suspicion, deceit and politics very well. If a film could be a car, this one would be a low, long, sleek speeder. With go-faster stripes. A mixture of high-octane chases and good, solid characterisation, this film packs a surprising amount of quality 'oomph', and manages to quite neatly side-step those niggling little problems with paradoxical causality that can really bog a sci-fi actioneer down.

Loosely based on a short story by Philip K Dick, Tom is a high-level crime prevention officer working in a psychic predictive system. Three pre-cognitive young adults- two males and a female- that lie sedated in a small pool of water are 'gifted' with the ability to see murders before they happen. Plugged into a machine that carves the names of victims and would-be murderers onto wooden balls, their visions are unquestionable. They, and the system, are perfect. Currently being tested in one city, the system, if it proves a success, could be made a nation-wide service throughout America cutting homicide drastically and making the owners of the project very powerful and wealthy people. However, even if the precognitives are perfect, human nature is not, and after Tom accidentally stumbles onto something bigger, something that could threaten the project, he finds that the system has turned against him. Once accused of a would-be murder, he's the one on the run from implacable foes in this fast-paced sci-fi crime thriller.

The direction is assured -as one would expect from someone who's been in the business so long, and the special effects are fantastic in scope, and the story contains enough twists to keep even this jaded viewer interested. Just when it all looks like it's wrapping up... nah, that would be too easy!

Perhaps the single best part of the film would have to be Tom chasing his own eye ball down a corridor- you have to see it to believe it, and for that alone, I could just about notch him a bit higher on my cool list.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller


Scott Frank, Jon Cohen


Steven Spielberg


Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow


John Williams


145 minutes






English, Swedish


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