In a future that has the technology to see murder before it happens, violent crime is all but extinct. When pre-crime officer, John Anderton, is seen to murder a man that he has never met, he goes on the run hoping to clear his name and prove that the system has been tampered with. With technology being able to see where he is at all times, he has to take drastic action to stay away from the authorities and find the answers he’s looking for.

Minority Report (2002) – Director: Steven Spielberg

Is Minority Report appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 145 mins

Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

REVIEW

Based on a short story by author Philip K Dick, ‘Minority Report’ sees a seemingly perfect future with an underbelly of horrifying flaws. Convicting innocent people of crimes that they haven’t yet committed blurs the lines of morality and justice but creates a believable society which can now flourish without violent crime. The three people upon whose abilities this technology relies (called ‘pre-cogs’) are hooked up to the system constantly, kept in a perpetual lucid coma and have no semblance of life. Is sacrificing these three people worth saving thousands of lives? In other words, do the ends justify the means? It is a credit to Spielberg’s direction that these kinds of moral questions can be raised without dominating or clogging up the rest of the movie. Alternating neatly between clever dialogue, high-octane action and science fiction beauty shots. everything about this film fits together in a neat package so that no-one element takes control to the detriment of everything else which, considering the source author’s tendency to explore the nature of identity and existence, is no mean feat.

Cruise is on fine form as a man suffering from a personal tragedy which motivates him into being excellent at his job. Lurching from one crisis to another, he successfully brings an intelligent but fallible man to a character that the audience wants to route for. On the flip side of the coin, Farrell brings an officious and enigmatic irritability to his role as the agent in charge of pursuing Anderton which is effective at ensuring that ‘Minority Report’ doesn’t descend into the usual pursuit of a fugitive genre. Spielberg, as usual, has created a beautifully wicked world, full of far-off but not far-fetched technology and a society which, much like our own, willingly turns a blind eye to what it doesn’t want to see. The twists and turns will keep everyone guessing and the gripping storyline never gets too complicated. ‘Minority Report’ is not just a movie for sci-fi fans; it’s an exciting thriller for anyone who enjoys a cleverly crafted action movie.

IS ‘MINORITY REPORT’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The opening scene of ‘Minority Report’ should be a good indicator of whether it is appropriate for kids. It depicts the ‘pre-cogs’ visions of a murder which is about to happen. These visions start with a man and woman kissing passionately in bed. They are then interrupted by a man who is standing over them. There is then a quick cut of scissors being stabbed into something and a man cries out although there is no blood. A picture of a face is then shown where the eyes of the picture have been crudely cut out. The woman is stabbed repeatedly (the camera focuses on the murderer so this part is not graphic), her face is then seen in close-up from the side; she is dead and the eye that can be seen is open. As the pre-crime team are trying to find where this murder will take place, they run through these images several times in quick succession.

Towards the beginning of the movie, there is a scene at night where John approaches a man to buy drugs from him. This man is mostly seen in shadow but there is a lingering shot where he steps into the light, We can see that his eyes have clearly been removed as there are just dark holes where his eyes once were. This shot is likely to be disturbing for most young children.

The most disturbing scene is perhaps where a character goes to a seedy apartment in order to have their eyeballs removed. The ‘surgeon’ is slightly unhinged and is revealed to have been in prison for setting his patients on fire and filming them. He injects his ‘patient’ with an anaesthetic which dulls the pain but keeps them awake and puts a metal structure over their head which has sharp metal instruments to keep the eyes open. While getting ready to perform the operation, the surgeon talks about his time in prison and makes a mild reference to being raped in the shower.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Despite its ‘12’ rating, ‘Minority Report’ is definitely a movie for adults. The tone of the story is that of a dark and gritty future and there is no light relief that would balance out the seriousness. The violence and sexual content is in no way child-friendly and the adult-centric tone and plot are unlikely to appeal to younger kids. We would advise that this movie is unsuitable for children under the age of 12 but would particularly recommend caution for any child who is sensitive to violence, especially mutilation of the eyes. While these images are not overly gory, the dialogue and after effects are quite graphic. As previously mentioned, a viewing of the initial scene should help to determine how a child will react to the rest of the movie.

  • Violence:  3/5 (In addition to the aforementioned scenes, several characters are shot. The bullet wounds are sometimes shown as a dark hole which quickly spreads with blood around the person’s clothing)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (John’s personal tragedy causes him great distress. A scene towards the end tells John what ‘could have been’ and is very emotionally charged)
  • Fear Factor: 4/5 (There are a couple of moments designed to make the audience jump. The scene where a character has their eyeballs removed is quite disturbing. During the movie, there are several graphic shots of bloody eyeballs carried in transparent bags)
  • Sexual Content: 5/5 (three instances of moderate to strong sexual activity (for a movie with a ‘12’ rating) with some accompanying dialogue. Two rape references and one scene which references pedophilia)
  • Bad Language: 3/5 (Infrequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 4/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of the price of justice, the morality of harming the few to protect the many and the loss of a loved one. There are also some references to drug taking.

Words by Laura Record

Minority Report [Blu-ray]


New From: £5.78 GBP In Stock

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