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Minority Report

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow, Steve Harris, Peter Stormare, Kathryn Morris, Ramona Badescu, Joel Gretsch

Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

Just as Picasso went through his Blue Period, both Steven Spielberg ("A.I.") and Tom Cruise ("Vanilla Sky") are obviously into their dark, morally ambiguous sci-fi period, this time posing the challenging question: What if it was possible to stop a murder before it happened?

In this fast-paced action thriller, it's 2054 and Cruise is a haunted, angst-ridden Washington D.C. detective who works for an experimental Precrime Unit that uses a trio of psychics, or Pre-Cogs, to track down and convict perpetrators before they can commit a fatal crime. Suddenly, he becomes a suspect in the premonition of the murder of a total stranger and is hunted by the same Orwellian technology he's used on others. Could Pre-Cog Samantha Morton, who is tortured by a series of grotesque homicidal visions, be wrong? Is there a flaw in the system? Or is there some eerie, elusive secret that Cruise must discover? Perhaps he's only running away from himself. After all, "everybody runs." As a rival federal agent, Colin Farrell is on his trail, while Max Von Sydow, Lois Smith and Kathryn Morris lend stalwart support. The acting is uniformly excellent!

Like "Blade Runner," this Philip K. Dick short story is boldly adapted for the screen by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen. Steven Spielberg has never made a murder mystery/film noir before and, working with production designer Alex McDowell, photographer Janusz Kaminski and composer John Williams, he creates a stunning, complex vision with the sleek, stylish suspense of a quirky whodunit - plus an amazing car chase along a vertical highway. Spielberg is a great cinematic storyteller! On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Minority Report" is a provocative, compelling 10, prompting discussions on morality and ethics, along with crime and punishment.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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