RANKED: Steven Spielberg (#5 — Minority Report)

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

Chris Luckett


Release Date: June 21, 2002

Chronology: Minority Report was a continuation of Spielberg’s return to sci-fi with 2001’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, but he quickly shed the futuristic setting for the sunny ‘60s of Catch Me If You Can six months later

Box Office: $132 million ($174 million, adjusted for inflation)

Oscars: 1 nomination, 0 wins

Premise: Forty years in the future, three psychic children are held hostage and used in an experimental project in Washington, D.C. to predict murders. Det. John Anderson (Tom Cruise) is the head of the “pre-crime” division, which arrests citizens that are going to commit murder (but haven’t yet). While the Pre-Crime unit is investigated by Dept. of Justice agent Danny Witwer (Colin Farrell), Anderson finds himself fingered as the perpetrator of a future murder, forcing him to go on the run to prove his innocence, pursued by Witwer and Anderson’s own officers.

Over two hours?: Yes

John Williams Score?: Yes

Father Issues?: John’s son was abducted years earlier, which destroyed his marriage, drove him to drug addiction, and propelled his desire to join Pre-Crime

War?: No

Aliens?: No

Surprise Appearances: Max Von Sydow, Neal McDonough, Jim Rash, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Stormare, Cameron Crowe, and Cameron Diaz

Fun Fact: The three psychic children (Agatha, Dashiell, and Arthur) were named for mystery authors Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, and Arthur Conan Doyle

Best Line: “But it didn’t fall. You caught it. The fact that you prevented it from happening doesn’t change the fact that it was going to happen.”

Best Scene: 

Verdict: Minority Report, from the author of Total Recall and Blade Runner, is one of the very best sci-fi movies at causing big, ethical conversations. (If a person is arrested before they commit a crime they were planning to commit, are they still guilty? Discuss.) Spielberg and his team put an incredible amount of work into making the world of Minority Report seem real. The ingenious inventions that populate the film, from facial recognition to electronic paper, have influenced technological breakthroughs like Skype and tablet computers in the years since. More than anything, though, Minority Report is a thought-provoking and brilliant chase movie from a director at the top of his game.

Rating: 5 stars / 5