The first two hours of this film were fantastic. Cinematography, music, and mood were all carried off excellently. The plot was strongly set up, and the picture of the future accurately portrayed.
However, the previous writeups here are all missing one vital point. This film is based on the story of Oedipus.
In Sophocles' play about this man, we are given a picture of a leader who is loved by his people, and is a fundamentally good man who is, nonetheless, flawed.
This man receives a prophecy that he will commit a crime, and so he decides, in an act of what is known in the trade as hubris, to run away from his home to prevent that from ever happening. Unfortunately, by doing this, he ends up running to the very place where he commits the crime. He is convicted of his guilt by a blind prophet, Teiresias, and it is this revelation that causes him to blind himself.
In Spielberg's bastardised adaptation, John Anderton receives a prophecy that he will commit a murder. For all his efforts, he finds himself in a position where he will commit this crime. Fate cannot be changed, the prophecy is correct, and no man can avoid it.
Until Steven Spielberg decides that Sophocles got it all wrong.
This buffoon, this gelatinous sack of Hollywood bullshit, decides that he can only make movies with happy endings. He decides that despite the fact that no other potential murderer has been able to change the future, this one will be. He then decides to drag the whole thing out through myriad ridiculous twists until he has contorted himself more the yoga practitioners that inexplicably appear half way through the film, but he has his buck-making happy ending.
For the first two hours of this film, I was ready to believe in a God. Someone in Hollywood had had the guts to adapt a Greek tragedy and sell it, admittedly with some major revisions, to a viewing public.
Stephen Spielberg made me an atheist.
If the gift of precognition ever becomes reality, I propose that we make all 'precogs' monitor Hollywood studios for when some bright spark says something like: 'Hey! What if we took this ancient play thing, set it 50 years into the future, and gave it a happy ending?'
You ought to read Oedipus. It's a really good play.