Steven Spielberg has so many great movies that it’s inevitable that some of his projects will fall a bit under the radar compared to the conversation that other movies generate over time. Minority Report: Previous Sentence – 90%, an outstanding science fiction story in many ways, has reached two decades of life and without the same fuss as other films from this acclaimed director. The most interesting thing is that it has helped to “predict” our future in a certain way and is even more relevant than ever.
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The story is loosely based on The Minority Report, a 1956 short story written by Philip K. Dick and featuring the Precrime Unit, a name that refers to a criminal justice division whose task is to identify and eliminate people who are going to commit crimes in the future. This operation is possible thanks to a trio of “precognitive” beings that are apparently in a vegetative state and whose communication seems incoherent until it is processed by a computer. In the film, Tom Cruise leads this outstanding cast in the role of John Anderton, Precrime officer.
Cruise shares the screen with Colin Farrell, who plays Justice Department agent Danny Witwer. Also appearing are Samantha Morton as “precog” Agatha Lively, who leads the most important part of this trio of beings, and Max von Sydow as Lamar Burgess, the head of Precrime. Other actors that can be seen in the film are Jessica Harper, Tim Blake Nelson, Kathryn Morris and Peter Stormare.
In the plot of Minority Report: Previous Judgment – 90%, it’s April 2054 and the federal government plans to implement nationwide the prototype of the Washington DC Precrime policing program that features three clairvoyant beings, known as “precogs,” who visualize an impending homicide and give officers the opportunity to analyze data to determine the location of the crime and apprehend the perpetrator before the crime occurs. The precogs lie in a shallow pool under sleep-inducing drugs that deprive them of external stimuli. Agents can see what’s going on in their heads on a screen and relevant information is stored in a database.
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Future murderers are imprisoned in a virtual reality state and Precrime has eliminated almost all premeditated murder during its six years of existence, but the Achilles heel of that division is spontaneous crimes of passion which remain problematic for the system they use because it leaves them a limited time to intercept the culprit. Precisely one of these cases complicates the situation for John Anderton, who already has his own demons, and leads him to get into something much more involved than a crime of passion.
This film has it all, because it combines science fiction with a traditional story of whodunnit (a puzzle whose resolution has to do with finding the culprit of a crime), high-speed chases, suspense and the fact that at one point the story shows its protagonist as the suspect, which makes the viewer’s opinion change completely. This, along with the technology it shows and, of course, how far ahead of its time it was, make it one of Spielberg’s best films.
Minority Report: Previous Sentence – 90% earned critical acclaim for various aspects including being a futuristic and intriguing story at its finest while remaining accessible to the viewer. Stimulating without ceasing to be entertaining at any time, this adaptation is usually remembered more for details such as the personalized advertising that it includes in one of those scenes, since it is practically the way in which advertisements are currently displayed on the Internet. However, by itself it is worth it and is increasingly relevant in a world full of violence that does not seem to end.
Next we will remember what the critics said of this film that was released in June 2002:
Alan Jones of RadioTimes:
This masterfully stylish vision of the future from director Steven Spielberg is an incredible mix of skewed sci-fi, Hitchcock-esque twisted thrills, stunning blue-gray tinted photography, and exceptional design.
Christy Lemire from Associated Press:
For its stunning visuals and standout performances, Minority Report, or at least the first three-quarters of it, could be the best movie of the year so far.
John Powers of L.A. Weekly:
In turning Dick’s tongue-in-cheek little story into a gargantuan thriller celebrating free choice, Spielberg has been true to his character, transforming something dark and terrifying into something softer and more comfortable.
alexander walker from London Evening Standard:
Though less poetic than Artificial Intelligence AI, Minority Report: Previous Judgment is directed much more confidently, with a firmer sense of its creator’s own need to entertain and stimulate rather than baffle.
Namrata Joshi from Outlook:
Spielberg creates an intriguing world that is both futuristic and accessible, it soars our collective imagination but never alienates.
Anthony Lane from new yorker:
The worst thing about Steven Spielberg’s new look is the title, Minority Report. The best thing about this is almost everything else.
Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal:
Although his film wraps challenging ideas and clever visual concepts in a futuristic film noir style, it is pretentious, didactic, and intentional yet ruthlessly somber.
Peter Rainer of New York Magazine/Vulture:
High-concept sci-fi escapades often try to impose new ways of seeing, but Spielberg seems determined to excite our optic nerves.
Mike Goodridge from Screen International:
[Minority Report: Sentencia Previa] It takes themes from Blade Runner, Total Recall and especially the little-seen Impostor directed by Gary Fleder and turns them into an absorbing thriller.
Dennis King of Tulsa World:
Even if he insists on the ending and can’t resist tempering the darkness with a taut ray of hope, Minority Report is a document that proves that Spielberg is among the top of a minority of movie geniuses.
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