Minority Report

(2002) Steven Spielberg – starring Samantha Morton, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Lois Smith, etc.

Synopsis: You know the schtick: psychics help cops of the future prevent murders from happening. Then, surprise, maybe there’s something wrong with this system. Most of the story centers around a basically inexplicable murder that is predicted by the psychics (who are never wrong) and the fallibility of the system, those two things being related but in sometimes unexpected ways. Action, mystery, drama, etc., all of this cloaked in a noir style variant. And it’s the future, so there are excellent visual effects. Brilliant technology. And hopelessly annoying, personalized advertisements.

Review: A generally entertaining, sometimes thought-provoking, and almost always visually impressive film. Most of my major complaints (which—as such—don’t impact the movie too much) have to do with details left out of the film, and given its already above-average length (144 mins), are probably marginal (e.g., there are some scenes where a particular action is accomplished ‘too easily’, i.e., without us seeing how said act was accomplished, giving a kind of perfunctory feel to things). Minority Report’s biggest problem is its ending (which, interestingly, was the same problem that A.I. [another recent future-based Spielberg film] had). The last five to ten minutes, in fact. The problem being, they should’ve been left out. Sometimes closure is a good thing to offer; in a vaguely dystopian thriller-noir, it’s generally best to stay away from happy closure. It kind of puts a damper on the whole ‘gritty’ feeling you’re trying to instill in the viewer. Still, a fun time, with some interesting questions about the future.

Rating: [•••½] out of [•••••]

Etc.: On one hand, you almost hate to enjoy a movie that has $40,000,000 in its advertising budget alone (and another $100m+ in the production budget). On the other hand, a movie with that much money pumped into it damn well better be good. Ought to, anyway.