Everybody runs... to go see “Minority Report”

"Minority Report" is the newest summer blockbuster, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is set in the future, and when I hear the words "summer blockbuster," "Spielberg" and "future" together, I get horrible visions (no pun intended) of last year's disappointment, "A.I."

Well, thankfully, this movie is nothing like that, and is nothing short of amazing.

"Minority Report," the story of a future where murder can be seen, and stopped, before it happens, is a perfect example of what can happen when a good short story (by Philip K. Dick) is given to a good director (Spielberg), who in turn casts a good lead actor (Cruise) and everyone does a good job. OK, so "good" falls horribly short of describing what the experience of seeing this movie was like.

I'm not going to give away any of the plot beyond what you learn in the trailer. (Oh, and as an aside, watch the trailer again before going to see the movie. Then try to spot all the lines from the trailer in the movie. It's amazing how out of context they appear in the trailer. It's also amazing that all of them seem to be pulled from the first 15 minutes of the movie. End aside) Basically John Anderton (Cruise) leads the D.C. Pre-Crime department, which arrests potential murders before they commit the crime, based on visions by three "Pre-cogs." Anderton sees a vision of himself committing a murder of someone he doesn't even know, and has to find out who is setting him up.

The movie is split into two halfs, though it's more of a 2/3-1/3 split. The first two-thirds, which goes by much faster than the final third, is filled with amazing action sequences, most of which center around Anderton's run from his fellow Pre-crime officers. The final third moves more slowly, but unveils more of the information Anderton seeks.

While Cruise is outstanding, in perhaps his best performance since "
Jerry Maguire," the real scene-stealer is British actress Samantha Morton, playing pre-cog Agatha. She gives off chills in every scene she is in, making you fear for her and fearful of her at the same time. She shines in the movie's final half, becoming the center of the twisted plot.

As for other performances, Max von Sydow is solid in his role as Director Burgess, but about 45 minutes into the movie, you'll remember he played a similar father-figure character in "Judge Dredd" (and I'll save you the pain of linking to that movie) and you won't be able to stop thinking of that every time he's on screen.

Of course, that's really no one's fault, except for the people responsible for "Judge Dredd." What is Spielberg's fault in this movie is the lone flaw that prevents it from getting a perfect score, the same thing that killed "A.I.": false endings. Much like "A.I.", "Minority Report" seems to end three or four times before it actually does. However, unlike in "A.I.", the continuation of "Minority Report" serves to better the movie, not ruin it.

Final score: 9 out of 10.