Parents' Guide to

Minority Report

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent sci-fi detective movie isn't for the faint of heart.

Movie PG-13 2002 146 minutes
Minority Report Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 15+

Fine for teenagers, a fun ride into the future!!

I really enjoyed this movie, however, I have seen it multiple times and still cannot stand to watch the eyeball operation! Beware: if you are squeamish about vomit, there is a highly visible scene where the character vomits during a fight. Overall it is quite entertaining and the special effects are amazing!
age 17+

A very intense sci-fi thriller; definitely not for everyone.

For the most part, I have to say that I was very entertained with Minority Report. It was definitely not a disappointment to me. It’s visually intriguing, has an excellent storyline, and has some great acting to go along with it. When I watched it, it proved to be yet another successful Tom Cruise movie! In my opinion, it’s one of Steven Spielberg’s better movie directions. However, as much as I thought the movie was good, I did not think it was great. The movie’s storyline is set in a futuristic Washington D.C., in the year of 2054. Six years before the story’s setting, the national murder rate was unrealistically high. So as a result, a company called PreCrime was founded. In PreCrime, they have three human beings called “Precogs”, short for precognitives, who are put in these pods and hooked up to machine equipment that reads their minds. Because all they think about are their future murder predictions. The officers who work for Precrime, arrive on the exact time the murder’s supposed to take place, and arrest the murderers before they even commit the crime. Later in the story, Precrime’s chief officer John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), is accused by the Precogs of killing a man in the future, whom he doesn’t even know anything about. So, John Anderton decides to do everything he can to prove he’s innocent. Because his fellow officers, and a federal agent named Danny Witwer (played by Colin Farrell) are trying to catch him before he even commits the crime! Something I appreciated about the storyline, is that it’s so mysterious that holds your attention almost all the way through. And like a science fiction movie should do, it leaves you thinking about the plot and piecing it together afterwards. But what I probably enjoyed most about Minority Report, it’s that it’s extremely futuristic. Its visuals have to at least be a 9 out of 10. Some of my favorite scenes involve the creative technology that the director, Spielberg predicts will be used in the future. Examples would include transportation devices, weapons, computer programs, prison cells, and (mild spoiler!!) robotic spiders. And, there’s a 10-minute chase scene that happens soon after Anderton is framed, that just gets better by the second! However, I refuse to give any more details than the ones I just gave. But even today, it doesn’t matter that this movie was released more than 20 years ago. Because the visuals were so creative and unique that they still hold up to this very day! For all of these reasons, I came to my opinion that of all the Philip K. Dick stories that turned into movies, Minority Report turned out to be the best one. Because if you think about it, Blade Runner hasn’t aged all that well, Total Recall’s second half is absolutely stupid and disgusting, and The Adjustment Bureau is still a “decent” movie. Now as far as acting goes, there are at least three characters in the movie that had very memorable acting performances. Tom Cruise plays one of his better acting performances as John Anderton, who is the chief policeman of Precrime. His character is starts the movie out very depressed, and uses a futuristic drug called neuroin, meaning “new heroin”. This is because he is still deeply haunted by a tragic event that happened six years ago, which in fact led him to work at Precrime. Once again, he only has one goal in this movie. That goal is simply to prove his innocence. Specifically in the climax of the movie, he does some of the best emotional acting he’s ever done in his entire career. Max von Sydow also plays a very solid performance as Anderton’s boss and the director of Precrime, Lamar Burgess. He brings a lot of gravitas and emotional depth to his character. What makes his character so interesting, is the very thing you should always remember about him if you watch this movie. Burgess will do anything he possibly can to make sure that Precrime never fails. I cannot give any more details than that. But in my opinion, the best performance in the whole movie, is Colin Farrell’s role as Danny Witwer, the Federal agent who is sent to investigate Precrime. His character is the most conniving, competitive little weasel. Not only does he try to catch John Anderton, but he tries to steal his job! Some of the very best scenes in the movie involve the rivalry between his character and Tom Cruise’s character. Colin Farrell brings a lot of intensity to his role, and is by far the greatest acting he ever did in his whole career. His character grabbed my attention the most, as I was just flat-out stunned by his performance. Other memorable performances include Neal McDonough’s role as Fletch, who is Precrime’s second in command officer, Steve Harris’s role as Jad, one of Precrime’s technicians and Lois Smith’s role as Dr. Iris Hineman, the lady who created Precrime. Kathryn Morris also plays a good role as Anderton’s estranged wife, Lara. However, I will say once again that this movie is not perfect. The first hour of the movie consists of only one thing: brilliant science fiction. As the movie goes on after that, it gets a little more uneven. This is partly because Samantha Morton’s performance as the lead PreCog, Agatha, is a bit uneven. The story still remains interesting, but isn’t as epic as the first hour of the movie. And, there are also some rather disturbing elements of the plot and some gross scenes I would recommend be fast-forwarded through, which is why I said it wasn’t for everybody, and I recommend it for nobody under 17. The movie gets darker as it goes on, which sort of changed my mood after I watched it. For that reason, I lowered my score on the movie just a tiny bit, despite the fact that I overall still enjoyed the story. Even though the story was redeemed by a fairly happy ending. I will explain everything in the parents guide section. Parents guide: Disturbing elements: Probably the most disturbing element of the plot, is the fact that John Anderton’s son, Sean, was kidnapped by a stalker, not just anywhere, but at a PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL!! Younger kids will likely be disturbed by that part of the story. At first, it’s only briefly and subtly mentioned. At exactly 1 hour and 14 minutes into the movie, a flashback of that event is shown. While it isn’t a graphic scene, it will likely disturb some. This scene ends at 1 hour, 15 minutes and 41 seconds. Later on in the movie, Sean’s kidnapping is graphically described by the kidnapper. There’s another element in the plot that some viewers may be disturbed by, but it’s not as disturbing as the previous one I mentioned. The Precogs are put into this giant pod of water, hooked up to machine tubes, floating on top of the water. Some viewers may be disturbed by the fact that they are given drugs to operate their psychic powers, and they are not treated as human, nor are they allowed to live normal lives. They also occasionally make seizure-like movements while operating as well. One scene that may freak viewers out, is when he meets a drug dealer, who takes his sunglasses off, revealing his empty eye sockets as he has no eyeballs. This scene starts at 16 minutes and 57 seconds, then it ends at 17 minutes and 5 seconds. A creepy scene that you might want to skip starts at 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 15 seconds. It’s when John Anderton enters a rather filthy apartment to get his eyeballs removed from his head, and replaced with new ones, so the Precrime officers can’t identify him. This scene ends at 1 hour, 9 minutes and 45 seconds. His scarred eyeball is later revealed when his bandage is taken off by a robotic spider to identify him. Another rather disgusting scene happens at 1 hour and 16 minutes and ends 51 seconds later. This is the scene where he opens up the refrigerator, blindfolded from the eye surgery, and accidentally reaches for a rotten sandwich and spoiled milk, both of which he gags and spits out. At 1 hour, 23 minutes and 36 seconds into the movie, Anderton injects something on his neck to stretch his face out, in order to disguise himself when he sneaks into the Precrime building. Soon after that, at the 1 hour, 24 minutes and 11 seconds time marker, he grabs out the bag of his bloody eyeballs and runs after them after he accidentally drops them. This scene ends 47 seconds later at the 1 hour, 24 minutes and 58 seconds time marker. Although you might want to skip this scene, you also want to watch from that point on, when something important happens. His face goes back to normal once that scene is done and he’s in the car. The same bag of bloody eyeballs are later slammed down on a piano at the 2 hour, 6 minutes and 40 seconds time marker and ends only 7 seconds later. Violence: There isn’t really that much violence in this movie. Besides some murder flashbacks and only 5 casualties in the entire movie, most of which are shot dead. Two characters commit suicide by shooting themselves, but it’s not graphic and there’s no blood shown. The most graphic murder is towards the end of the movie, when a character is shot, and blood is shown on his white shirt as he slumps down from the wall to the floor. Afterwards, he is shot in the head, not shown. Even the chase scene isn’t very violent at all. The worst that happens is some brief fist-fighting and one character is zapped, causing him to vomit. However, some may be disturbed by the murder flashbacks. In the very beginning, a flashback is shown where a man stabs his wife with scissors, and some blood is shown on the bathtub. This scene ends at 1 minute, and 55 seconds. Personally, I fast-forwarded through this scene. Otherwise, some milder footage of that sequence and a sequence of drowning is shown briefly as well. In one brief moment, the Precrime officers accidentally trip over a homeless man begging for money. In the climax of the movie, John beats someone down for information about his missing son. Sex: There’s no nudity or graphic sex in this movie, but there are a couple of mild sexual scenes that I would recommend be fast-forwarded through. The opening shot of the movie shows an unfaithful wife making out with another man. This is during the opening murder flashback sequence. During the scene where the officers make their first arrest, same couple is shown in repeated cut scenes fooling around, but not shown having sex. The time markers where this occurs at are 0:10:41-0:11:01, 0:11:50-0:11:58, 0:12:25-0:12:30 and 0:12:36-0:12:40. However, you definitely don’t want to skip through the entire scene, because the scene where they’re outside of the house and they begin to arrest the man is EPIC! So just cover your eyes and mute the audio if you have to! During the scene where the robotic spiders are crawling on the ceiling, the film screen passes overhead of several people in rooms, but one of which shows a very quick shot of two people having sex under the covers, but no nudity is shown. This scene starts at 1 hour, 18 minutes and 51 seconds and ends at 1 hour, 19 minutes and 4 seconds. The last scene to fast-forward through is when that hacker at the mall is showing this man some of his holographic simulators, one of which is a weird sexual one. This brief scene starts at 1 hour, 30 minutes and 11 seconds and ends only 13 seconds later, at 1 hour, 30 minutes and 24 seconds. Language: 1 f-bomb is dropped in the climax scene. About 6 “s” words and 1 use each of the “a” word and the word that starts with B and ends with D. When Anderton talks to the drug dealer, he says “Don’t bust my balls”. Substance Abuse: Anderton is seen using the futuristic drug in an inhaler on a couple occasions in the beginning. Anyways, I really enjoyed this movie for the most part. When it comes to Tom Cruise movies, it’s in my top 10 favorites he’s ever done. Even though I have to repeat one more time that I do not recommend this movie for everybody, especially sensitive viewers. However, if you can put up with a dark movie or you’re a science fiction fan, or even a fan of Tom Cruise’s movies, you’ll probably enjoy this like I did. I overall rate this movie a 7.6 out of 10.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (43 ):

The movie is visually stunning, with brilliantly staged action sequences and vividly realized characters. As with Blade Runner, also based on a story by Philip K. Dick, this is a very traditional noir-ish detective plot set in an ominous future where the apparent ease created by technology has overtaken human individuality. How much privacy and justice would you be willing to give up to bring the murder rate down to zero? Anderton finds that it's less than he thought.

The most striking scene in the movie is Alderton's meeting with the scientist who created the precogs (a brilliant performance by Lois Smith), who never anticipated the direction her experiment would take. Like Norse god Odin, Anderton must give up his eyes to find wisdom; it's only when he literally looks through someone else's eyes that he can understand what he's seeing. Colin Farrell is mesmerizing as Anderton's rival, and Max von Sydow brings great depth to his role as Anderton's boss.

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