Minority Report

Question: There's a quote that I don't understand: "The fact that you prevented it from happening doesn't change the fact that it was going to happen." I immediately thought, "Yes, it does change the fact that it was going to happen." If Witwer hadn't put his hand there, it would have happened. However, he did, thus "changing the fact that it was going to happen," right? Isn't this the point of the whole movie: determinism is foolish and that different actions produce different consequences?

Answer: The statement involves the idea of arresting people who did not commit the crime yet but are going to. Until the precogs tell someone to change things, the idea is that it will happen. If Anderton had rolled the ball and the other guy was not watching, it was going to fall. The only way to change it would have been for Anderton to say something. Things will happen unless the future is changed. Ultimately the idea is proven sketchy at the end at best.

oldbaldyone

Answer: No, he didn't change the fact that it was going to happen. He prevented it from happening. But until he stopped it, it was going to happen. And no matter how many times you look back at that sequence, it was going to happen. Up until a point, it was going to happen. It was just prevented.

Garlonuss Premium member

Question: OK, let's see: Lamar Burgess set Anderton up; he Hired Leo Crow and sent him to be killed in a hotel. But How did exactly Burgess plan the meeting of Anderton with Crow? Anderton arrived at the crime scene by a chain of events that began with the pre-vision of his destiny. It was clear that Lamar did not fake the pre-vision, because this became true just like it was predicted; besides, when Anderton was being chased, he arrived to crime scene by a coincidence; so what did Burguess have to do to make sure the existence of the pre-vision and this possible future? I don't see a simple solution.

Answer: Well, there isn't really a simple solution, but here goes. For a pre-vision to form, there have be two things present within the range of the precog ability (which appears to be limited to the Washington area - regardless of the stated plan to take the programme countrywide, there's never any indication that the precogs can sense beyond that range). Firstly, someone with the intent to kill. Secondly, there has to be a target for that intent within the range of the precogs. Anderton is present, and has the intent within him to kill the man who took his son, but has no target - the real kidnapper is presumably either dead or beyond the precog ability. Burgess, by bribing Crow to pretend to be that man, has provided a viable target for Anderton's intent within the range of the precog ability, thus triggering the prevision, and beginning the chain of events.

Tailkinker Premium member

The above answers the question, but there do appear to be some time travel issues with this plot point in the movie. Burgess set things up for Crow to fake being the kidnapper and thus triggering Jon's desire to kill that person, everything starts by the pre-cogs seeing the future. If the pre-cogs did not exist or did not have the vision, Jon would have never known that Leo Crow existed and would have continued on without having killed anyone. This is unique within the movie, as the other murders would have been commited regardless of whether or not the pre-cogs saw it. In this case, the ONLY reason this murder occurred is because the pre-cogs saw it.

oldbaldyone

Thinking about this a little more, it could be conceivable that Burgess had planned a different option for Jon finding Crow. We just never saw that on screen, because the precogs changed everything to an alternative future timeline once they saw the original murder. Originally, Jon could have been triggered by Burgess himself, stating that they got a lead on his son's murder and pointing him to Crow.

oldbaldyone

No I think Burgess set it up so that Anderton would find Crow because of the precogs, not have a different plan set up before or else it could be possible Burgess himself would be visible in the prevision. He manipulated the system perfectly, he has done it before after all. He knows exactly how the precogs work so he is able to set it up so that it's untraceable. Except, except for the fact there is always a choice. Only then did it go wrong for him. This proves both true for Anderton and Burgess in the end.

lionhead

Question: Why all the build up of John having sent the Russian eye-surgeon guy to jail, suggesting that he will hurt John; only to have him successfully complete the operation, and take care of John afterwards?

Nick N.

Chosen answer: It's what's known as a McGuffin; a plot element that seems to be important when introduced, but serves no purpose other than to intrigue/distract the audience. The term was popularised by Alfred Hitchcock.

J I Cohen

That's not *quite* what a MacGuffin is. A MacGuffin not only seems important, it *is* important; in fact, one of its two diagnostic characteristics is that a MacGuffin is something around which the entire plot revolves. The other property fundamental to what makes something a MacGuffin is the fact that the origin, purpose, function, and, in some cases, even identity of the object is left either vague or completely undefined. The briefcase in Pulp Fiction is a classic example (although there *is* a compelling argument that the object in the briefcase is in fact a specific artifact).

Well, according to the doctor when the operation is beginning, the doctor reveals that in prison, he spent all of his time in the library, including books on medicine and technology. As a result, he found his "true calling", and is thankful to John for helping him see that.

Question: In the virtual reality bar, a man comes up to the operator with a request. On television I've seen this line as, "I want to kill my boss." But I remember the line being much less family friendly in the theater. Was this line changed since the move left theaters, or am I mistaken?

Answer: You are not mistaken. Movie scenes are filmed multiple times, often with small changes to the dialogue, actors reacting differently, and so on, to see which one works best. However, some more adult scenes that are appropriate for a movie theater or certain cable channels are also filmed with a more family-friendly version that can be edited into the film for later TV viewings. This eliminates having to "bleep" out offensive words, dubbing in non-offensive words, which sounds unnatural, or otherwise chopping up or cutting scenes entirely due to nudity. This method is less distracting and makes for better viewing. A good example is the TV series, "Sex and the City." The show actually filmed many racier scenes in two versions, one for the very adult-oriented HBO, and also tamer scenes that eliminated all nudity and offensive dialogue for later syndication to general cable channels while keeping the overall content intact.

raywest Premium member

Question: After the pre-cogs are unsuccessful in their search for Anderton at Rufus Riley's virtual-reality/fantasy club, they search the other parts of the shopping mall with much determination, and eventually get a glimpse of him, almost catching him afterward. How could they possibly have known that Anderton was still in the mall, or that he even went to the mall and the fantasy club in the first place? Sure, they were right, but isn't that just a little convenient/lucky? A possible plot hole, perhaps?

Answer: They did not know for sure that Anderton would be there. But they know that the equipment to view the visions is not something you can buy off the shelf. That is when Witwer realises that Anderton's equipment is custom made and takes it apart to see who made it. So they assume correctly that Anderton will go to Rufus to be able to view Agatha's visions.

Answer: The "Pre-Cogs" are not zeroing in on Anderton only. Since he has Agatha with him, and she is the stronger of the three, as well as telepathically linked to the other two, it is much easier to locate him while he is with her. As far as knowing where he was "going" to be, that is how the whole process works in the first place. The Pre-Cogs see the "near future" and the police investigate these visions for clues to a location. If the Pre-Cogs could only see where someone is at that moment, and not where they are going to be in the near future, the whole idea of Pre-Crime would be impossible, as the crime would be happening "at the time" the police watch the visions, which would only show them who committed a crime, but the victim would be dead. The idea of Pre-Crime is to prevent the "victim" from being a victim, and to save their life.

Jazetopher

Question: Perhaps I'm a little dense, but why does John still kill Crow after realising he didn't actually kill his son. Was it because Crow wouldn't tell him the name of the person setting him up? Because I'm sure a little more interrogation would sort that out.

Answer: Anderton didn't kill Crow. His remarkable self-control made him want to arrest him instead (as you know). Crow then grabbed Anderton's hand as it was holding the gun and either forced Anderton's finger to pull the trigger or wedged his own finger inside his hand to pull the trigger himself.

Matty Blast

Question: Why would a cop use a handgun with a design that's over 50 years old, the Beretta 9000 has only just come into service at this time?

Answer: Cops today use .45 Kimber handguns which is based on the Colt M1911. That design is over 70 years old. The Beretta 92F pistol and M16A1 rifle designs used by the US Army are 30 years old.

Grumpy Scot

Question: What piece of music does Anderton start playing whenever he's analysing the Precog visions?

Answer: It's Schubert's Unfinished Symphony (a.k.a. Symphony 8 in B Minor). Quite appropriate for watching events that have not yet finished.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What is the meaning of when Agatha says "Can you see?"

Josh Appelbaum

Chosen answer: It is meant that all the clues to him - being framed, etc. are right in front of him, he just has to look hard enough.

Scrappy

Question: In the movie there are two different types of eye-scanners. The cops and the spiders use a beam of light that has to scan a person's eye for 1-4 seconds to identify the person. Yet advertisements, stores, and the subway use eye-scanners that can identify a person in what seems like 1/16th of a second (similar to a camera). Does anyone know if both types of eye-scanners exist, and if so, why are they different?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: Retinal scanning does exist and is actually in use, but not at the level shown in the movie. The "Ad" scanners are less accurate and not definitive, while the police scanners can provide absolute identification. It's the difference between identifying someone by their face vs. running their fingerprints.

Question: In the beginning where Anderton and his team are having trouble identifying the house where Mr. Marks kills his wife and lover, why didn't the houses have numbers on them? That would have made it easier than just looking for the only house whose door was open.

jm1138

Chosen answer: The houses did have numbers, but the images from the precogs didn't include them. Part of the difficulty of their method is that they have to decipher the random, jumbled images the precogs send them.

Jason Hoffman

Question: When Anderton, after his eye surgery, has his dream about the day he lost his son, look carefully at the people shown at poolside after Anderton discovers that his son is gone. For about a second, the camera follows a suspicious-looking man wearing a fairly wide-brimmed hat, and a towel around his shoulders. While we see this man, the video suddenly becomes "choppy," as though something significant were happening. The camera also zooms in toward his face. This all happens in about one second. Are we to assume that this is the man responsible for kidnapping Anderton's son?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: Open to debate - I opened a topic on this question IMDb, please view it here http://www.uk.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/board/thread/7108250.

rabid anarchist

Question: The "eye doctor" tells John not to take the bandages off until the 12 hours is up or else he'll go blind. If this is so, how come he didn't go blind after removing the bandages early?

Josh Appelbaum

Chosen answer: He did go blind but only in one eye. That is why he loses his depth perception for a bit (when emptying out the bag of eyeballs he misses by a lot). He only lets them scan one eye so his other one is good. This makes sense with the foreshadowing earlier in the movie: when buying drugs from the eyeless guy in the alley area at night, he says some quote about a one eyed man.

Question: What exactly is Leo saying to Anderton when he "confesses" to kidnapping his son? I can't make out most of what he's whispering in this scene - I caught something about pretzels when he first started speaking, then when Anderton asks if he's still alive, he said something about a barrel.

Answer: Leo: "I told him I was a policeman. I told him I needed his help. It wasn't so bad. I sang him a song, I bought him a pretzel. I bought him a pretzel! He was happy. He was happy." Anderton: "Is he alive? He's alive? Where have you got him? Is he all right? Tell me, you f**k! Where is he?" Leo : "I put him in a barrel. I sunk him in the bay. It floated back up. I took him out. I was gentle (3 times). I'm sorry (4 times). I'm so very sorry." Anderton: "How could you do that to my boy?" They fight. Anderton points his gun at Leo. Leo: "I'm sorry" Agatha: "You can choose. You can choose." Anderton: "You have the right to remain silent...", etc.

jle

Question: In the scene where we first see Dr. Solomon, a movie is playing on the projection screen. What movie is it?

Answer: It's a 1955 film named House of Bamboo.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: How did John get away from killing Crow? I know it was a set up and perhaps he didn't willingly pull the trigger, but still it's a homicide.

Answer: The police are already conducting a manhunt to find him. As such they didn't attempt to decode the information from the pre-cogs so they don't know specifically where the crime will take place. John was originally decoding the information but when his name appeared he discarded the information and didn't tell the other police.

Question: There is a huge question for me. Is the vision of Leo Crow vs. Anderton the vision of what effectively happens (Leo Crow pushes the gun into the hand of Anderton who doesn't want to kill him) or the vision of the homicide WANTED by Anderton (that in the reality changes his idea)? My opinion is that the first answer is correct, because in the vision we see Crow that says to Anderton "Wait!" because he wants to be killed by him. So, if my opinion is correct, Anderton does NOT change the vision?

Latios89

Chosen answer: Correct, Anderton does not change the vision. The movie is named after what you've just described: the minority report. Agatha always sees the true future, the other two precogs usually see the same as her but sometimes they only see a possible future instead. When Agatha's predictions conflict with theirs, her vision is termed a "minority report" and is disregarded. Anderton was never actually going to kill Crow, it was only ever merely a possibility.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Why were the cheating wife and her lover not arrested for adultery? Last time I checked, that was a crime in the United States.

Answer: Currently there are some US states where adultery is still a crime, but they don't really prosecute people for that any more. Plus this is set in the future, so the laws could easily have changed.

shortdanzr Premium member

Question: How exactly are those head band things that the precrime cops put on the "criminals" supposed to work.

NoWhereMan

Chosen answer: I think they probably pulse a form of an electric current into the temples, which puts them into a state of deep sleep. Don't get too uptight, though, it's set in the future.

Question: When Anderton is viewing the images of the Leo Crow murder, he describes the building as "federal housing." But when he and Agatha get there, the guy at the desk says, "Rooms are $95 a night" (or whatever the price was). Is it federal housing, or is it a hotel? It can't be both, can it?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: It could be both. "Federal Housing" could be a description of the style - it might originally have been built as federal housing, but converted into a hotel at a later date.

Tailkinker Premium member

Continuity mistake: In the beginning, when Anderton arrests the jealous husband, he notes that he is being arrested on April 22 - that day - for the future murder of his wife and her lover. Later, while Anderton is jogging, we see billboards advocating a "Yes" vote on pre-crime on April 22. The next day, Anderton's boss Lamar notes that the vote is in a week, which would make it April 15, making the day that the jealous husband was arrested April 14, not April 22. (00:13:05 - 00:15:15)

More mistakes in Minority Report

Officer Fletcher: John, don't run.
John Anderton: You don't have to chase me.
Officer Fletcher: You don't have to run.
John Anderton: Everybody runs, Fletch.

More quotes from Minority Report

Trivia: Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Tom Cruise in Magnolia, has a cameo on the train. It is reported that he is so hard to find that Anderson himself does not know where he appears.

More trivia for Minority Report

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