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?

Chosen 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.


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.

Chosen 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?

Chosen 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: 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.

Chosen 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.


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

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.


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: 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?

Chosen 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.


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?

Chosen 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.


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

Chosen 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.


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: 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.

Chosen 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?


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.


Question: I have three unrelated questions: 1. My comments are in parentheses. John Anderton: Why'd you catch that?Danny Witwer: Because it was going to fall. (No, it wasn't)John Anderton: You're certain?Danny Witwer: Yeah.John Anderton: 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. (Yes, it does, doesn't it?) That was my first question - I hope that you didn't mind the format. Also, don't hold back on the philosophy - I'm well-versed in it.2. Since Crowe didn't kill John's boy, who did? If we didn't find out, are there even any theories?3. This one's about the adulterers and the fact that they weren't arrested. Isn't it more likely that, in the future (esp. one like this, which, in my opinion, was at least semi-totalitarian) there would be more laws (specifically about adultery) rather than less, especially considering that even now there are some laws that apply to adultery?

Chosen answer: 1. By the laws of physics, the ball would have fallen to the ground had Witwer not caught it. 2. We don't know who kidnapped John's child. 3. Obviously not.


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.

Chosen 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.


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


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.


Question: What is the story behind the cop who seems to enjoy chasing Anderton? He talks to Fletch in the Hotel (the Spyder scene) about Fletch not trusting him alone with Anderton, because he might (according to my subtitles) 'futz' him. He also seems to take some delight when they arrest Anderton at the cottage near the end. I never understood this.

Chosen answer: He's the one who Anderton rode around on during the jetpack chase and who was eventually knocked out by Anderton. As such, he understandably feels somewhat aggrieved towards his old boss.


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.

Chosen 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.


Question: What was the name of the song Gideon was first playing on the organ?


Chosen answer: The music is Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".


Question: Dr. Solomon and his assistant talk to each other in a foreign language. What language are they speaking, and can anyone translate roughly what they're saying to each other throughout the scene?

Chosen answer: When Anderton hands the credit card to the doctor: "Grete, get the f**k out of here", then he says something I can't understand and ends the sentence with "hurry". Grete comes out singing the song and when she sees Anderton she says: "my God". The doc is by the phone checking Anderton's credit and says: "let's see". After the doc has fitted the strap thing on Anderton's head Grete says: "So so little darling, now the doctor is finished. Now its Greta's turn to... (the rest of the sentence is inaudible to me)". The doctor is explaining which rope goes where and Greta is mumbling something to herself and he says: "Shut up bitch". The camera is focused on Anderton's head and in the background we can hear Greta saying: "Bye bye darling, I'll see you again soon, then you'll be a little stronger and then you can complete..." (the rest is inaudible to me).


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

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


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.




Join the mailing list

Add something



Most popular pages

Best movie mistakesBest mistake picturesBest comedy movie quotesMovies with the most mistakesNew this monthTitanic mistakesPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl mistake pictureM*A*S*H mistakesFlightplan endingThe Shining questionsSex and the City triviaShrek quotesChunhyang plotSamuel L. Jackson movies & TV shows15 biggest mistakes in TitanicMoana mistake video


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.



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.