This exciting, futuristic thriller is clearly a homage to Alfred Hitchcock. There’s a man on the lam, falsely accused of murder, several elaborately staged action scenes, a dose of humor and the murderer is finally revealed in a clever way. Tom Cruise is engaging as the cop who realizes that even a system where murders can be predicted just before they happen could be flawed (especially when it identifies him as a killer). The movie has faded colors and a pretty grim tone, but Steven Spielberg nevertheless adds an amount of playfulness to the cold technology (the retina-reading “spyders” are memorable) and John Williams’s equally chilling music.
2002-U.S. 144 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Jan DeBont. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: Scott Frank, Jon Cohen. Novella: Philip K. Dick. Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski. Music: John Williams. Cast: Tom Cruise (John Anderton), Colin Farrell (Danny Witwer), Samantha Morton (Agatha), Max von Sydow, Lois Smith, Peter Stormare… Tim Blake Nelson.
Trivia: Matt Damon was allegedly considered for the part of Witwer. Spielberg reportedly gathered a team of sixteen scientists and experts to create a vision of the year 2054 that was as close to reality as possible. Followed by a TV series, Minority Report (2015).
Last word: “I wanted all the toys to come true someday. I want there to be a transportation system that doesn’t emit toxins into the atmosphere. And the newspaper that updates itself. At the same time, the city is not all skyscrapers with coils around them. In Washington, with its historical preservation rules, they’re never going to change some neighborhoods, or the Mall, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. We mixed the old and the new.” (Spielberg, RogerEbert.com)