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Minority Report
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Genre:SciFi
Year:2002
Rating:PG13
Length:2 Hours 26 Minutes
Cast:Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton

Chalk up another triumph for Steven Spielberg, whose latest sci-fi effort ranks among his very best films. Minority Report, a futuristic thriller based on a story by author Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner), is also something of a tour de force for Tom Cruise. He plays police officer John Anderton, whose "future crimes" task force uses scientific technology and psychic premonitions to identify contemplated crimes and arrest the would-be perpetrators before they follow through with them. This expansive, revolutionary approach to law enforcement, overseen by visionary Lamar Burgess (Max von Sydow), seems to be foolproof -- until Anderton himself is identified as the potential murderer of a man he's never met. Minority Report's script synthesizes sci-fi stories, psychological thrillers, and police procedurals; the result is a complex melodrama that plays out like a particularly intricate whodunit. Spielberg's trademark virtuosity manifests itself in the film's striking visuals and elaborately staged action sequences. But the muscular performances of Cruise, von Sydow, and Colin Farrell (as a skeptical cop who becomes Anderton's nemesis) -- along with those of supporting players Lois Smith, Tim Blake Nelson, and Steve Harris -- keep the story's human element in the forefront and prevent the film from becoming an extravagantly produced piece of eye candy. To those disappointed by Spielberg's previous genre offering, A.I., Minority Report will be seen as a much-welcome return to form. Ed Hulse

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