68. Minority Report - The Part-Time Critic

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

68. Minority Report

Minority Report (2002)
Directed by Steven Spielberg

Outside of two films that will remain unnamed, I would say this is Spielberg's greatest directing achievement of his career. From the first frame to the last frame, every sequence is crammed full of creative genius. Speaking of 'frames', I think this is also Spielberg's visual masterpiece. His camera is constantly moving, but it's never erratic. It reveals exactly what it needs to without seeming obvious. This is a stunning achievement.

It's a miracle that Minority Report works as well as it does given that it straddles so many genres (science fiction, crime, mystery, noir, action) and attempts to deliver not only a complicated narrative, but knock-out action sequences, and a deeply satisfying philosophical discussion on free will and justice. Costume design and set design enrich the entire template and create a completely convincing future (one of the most practical and foretelling ever on film).

There are numerous sequences that I could reference as my favorite, but if I boiled it down, the entire eye replacement sequence is one of my favorites. From the creepy doctors to the cringe inducing eye scanners spiders, Spielberg was clearly having fun directing all of this. Add on top of that an incredible action sequence featuring jet packs and a car factory of the future and this film is an embarrassment of riches. If you've somehow overlooked it or haven't seen it in a while, I urge you to give it another look.

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