Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Films: Minority Report

Spielberg in the 00s Next: Catch Me If You Can

America has somewhere around 5,000 unsolved murders a year. A story in the German press today revealed that maybe as many as one to two thousand murders a year go unsolved because they are never recognized as murders in the first place. Sort of pops the childhood fantasy that no bad guy ever gets away, huh?

One of Spielberg’s best movies of the past ten years (possibly among his best ever) presents a world in which this problem has been eliminated. No one ever has to fear violent crime anymore. Instead, they have to fear being arrested and locked away for life for things they have never done.

Minority Report is one of those gems of a Sci-fi film that is entertaining, visually stunning, and makes you think. It is so layered and rich that upon each new viewing one discovers more things to love, more things to think about.

Early on in the film, a debate occurs regarding the fundamental paradox of the film:

WITWER
I'm sure you've all grasped the legalistic drawback to Precrime methodology. Look, I'm not with the ACLU on this. But let's not kid ourselves, we are arresting individuals who've broken no law.

JAD
But they will.

FLETCHER
The commission of the crime itself is absolute metaphysics. The Precogs see the future. And they're never wrong.

WITWER
But it's not the future if you stop it. Isn't that a fundamental paradox?

ANDERTON
Yes, it is.

Later on, Chief Anderton himself is “accused” of a future crime and has to question the beliefs that he has embraced for so long. How can the future exist when people have free will?

In addition to the great concept behind the film, it is full of well-directed action set pieces, has an amazing cinematography and look, and many great iconic moments. If you haven’t given this film a chance, you need to. If you did see it and it’s been a while, you need to give it another try. You may be surprised by what a second or third viewing will show you.

Here are few questions used years ago in conjunction with a viewing we did of it:

Why is the future in The Minority Report scarier than our present world full of murder?

Is safety a reward worth the price of limited freedom?

What does the Bible say about us knowing our future? (Deuteronomy 18:9-13)

Could God have created a world with no evil and sin? Why didn’t He?

Why did God give us a choice in the garden, knowing we would choose against Him?

Does the Bible teach that God controls everything, or that He lets us choose our own way freely?

What does John Anderton’s eye exchange symbolize in the movie?

How do we need to change our perspective to please God?

Is Danny Witwer a good guy or a bad guy?

The prison in the movie is presented as a kind of “church.” How does it resemble real church? In what ways should church be different?

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