In the year 2054, in Washington, D.C., murder has been eliminated thanks to Precrime, a program that uses the visions of three psychics, called Precogs (an abbreviation for precognitive thinkers), to arrest and imprison would-be murderers before they have a chance to kill. Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, a Precrime enforcer who believes in the system for his own personal reasons--years back his young son was abducted, and he has dealt with the loss by becoming a high-strung Precrime officer. The director of Precrime (Max von Sydow) is eager to take the program national, and feels threatened by an ambitious federal agent (Colin Farrell) who is bent on finding a flaw in the system. When Anderton finds himself accused of the future murder of a man he's never met, his faith in Precrime is instantly shaken. He goes on the run, and is trailed by the relentless Precrime police.

A riveting premise for a film, but the CGI takes the seriousness out of the drama.

The year is 2054 and for the past six years in Washington DC the Pre-crime Unit has been in experimental operational mode. Under the directorship of Lamar Burgess, Max von Sydow, chief action man John Anderton, Tom Cruise, has been able to anticipate murders through the visions of three pre- cognitives: Agatha, Samantha Morton and the twins Arthur and Dasher. The incidence of murder has decreased by 90% because would-be murderers are arrested and condemned before they commit the crime and a plebiscite is planned for the system’s application on a national basis. Danny Witwer, Colin Farrell – has been appointed by the Attorney General to investigate the ethics of the system. Anderton’s life is a mess emotionally – but his troubles are going to increase exponentially because in the next vision from the pre-cognitives, he himself is committing a murder in 36 hours time.

It’s such an interesting premise for a film, Dick is certainly the thinking man’s sci-fi writer, but rather than questioning the ethics of the system Spielberg and his writers Scott Frank who adapted Out of Sight and Jon Cohen have worked the story into a whodunit thriller. And it’s certainly effective on that level. But I’m getting mighty tired of computer generated graphics in movies and this one’s got a lot – I want to believe what’s up there on screen. Spielberg with Janusz Kaminski’s cinematography goes overboard on the backlighting, again, but at the same time the story’s so good and Tom Cruise so solid as Anderton that you can really enjoy this film on the level it’s presented. Product placement is everywhere but not, I noticed, from the tobacco companies.