Remember that scene in minority report where...

dude was totally going stab his wife but Tom Cruise burst in and stopped him?

The movie deals with fate, crime and the legality of convicting people for crime that hasn’t happened (but would/might have happened). I liked it but, they use the worst example for an opening introduction on these ideas.

Buddy was friggin three centimeters from stabbing his wife, then yells afterward ‘I didn’t do anything.’ WTF!??! I don’t need some psychic freaks in tubs to tell me that you were going kill her. Shoot, attempting murder is illegal now.

What do you think?

I’d think you could easily book him for assault with a deadly weapon, or attempted murder, or something of the kind depending on the local laws.

The problem is, of course, that without the PreCrime team looking for these things, no one would know that this crime was bout to happen in the privacy of a home. You could, indeed, have charged him with assault – if you knew it was happening. But, without the PreCrime team, you wouldn’t know about it until well after the crime had been committed, if ever.

I still want to know WTF the laser-carved billiard balls were all about.

When will they convince that assnut Spielberg to stop making science fiction movies?

I beleive that the idea is that the grain of the wood is unique in some way and that they are saved “for the record” and because of that property they could not be counterfitted. Also, Spielberg needs to give it a rest.

I’m not against the pre-crime team, they’re great. What I don’t like is the philosophical musings that they were are punishing "innocent"people. Do we have to wait for the scissors to be sticking out of the woman’s head to charge him with murder? Buddy is not innocent; he was clearly going to kill his wife (he was in mid-thrust).

At this point his cry that he ‘didn’t do anything’ is laughable. This is a horrible example for the later philosophical debate on crime/pre-crime/fate that Tom has with the detective. Throw his but in stasis.

I haven’t read the book/story so I don’t know if they explain it. But I think the reason for that in the movie was to have a unique physical identifier for legal reasons. I think it was meant as physical evidence of the ether, a real object to represent the otherwise immaterial psychic prediction. I guess a similar legal object from way back would be like stones or sticks cast in a vote for example.

I see your point, even though you’re not putting it well. Your argument is that he had committed to committing the crime, from his standpoint, the decision had been made and it was going to happen.

And that’s the philosophical crux of the dilemma: when is the person a criminal? When they commit the crime or when they decide to commit the crime?

You seem to be completely ignoring the factual side of the argument that he was entirely correct: they were charging him with a crime he had not actually committed yet. “I didn’t do anything” is exactly right. He hadn’t yet.

I’m not claiming this is a great film or that it’s philosophy is all that deep, but you should at least recognize that there is a valid point being made on the other side of the coin. Because the slippery slope begins with answering the question of when someone is a criminal by saying they are a criminal even before they’ve actually committed the crime. Well, then, are they a criminal when they first consider committing the crime? What if they’ve had a fantasy about committing the crime? What if they’ve had a dream where they committed the crime?

I only vaguely remember the scene so I don’t recall how close it was, but I do remember that the only murder left being committed were basically crimes of passion. This brings up the issue about whether it’d be better to arrest or just stop them. It could be that once out of the moment they’d be horrified by about what they almost did and never do any such thing again, thus avoiding having to incarcerate them. Theoretically they could still want to plot the death of the other person, but given that such a thing could be predicted and prevented makes that of little worry in the movie’s world.

My point is that he has started to commit the crime and is in the act of carrying it out but hasn’t yet finished it. He’s in mid-swing with the darn scissors!!! He can’t cry that he’s innocent! Do we have to wait until the scissors are in her brain before we can arrest him? Come on, I say put him away.

IANAL but IMHO, just because you haven’t finished your crime is no reason that we can’t charge you for it. If I want to hang you, I might wait until you are further in your plans so more evidence can pile up but I don’t have to wait for you to finish it. He was inches away from burying that object into his wife’s head. It doesn’t get anymore real then that. Am I right?

No, (s)he’s saying that we don’t need to quibble about whether or not he’s going to commit a murder, we can lock him up for ATTEMPTED murder, which he’s already done. No major moral dilemma there.

ETA: or, what orcenio just said.

I made the mistake of thinking the OP was talking about the actual philosophical dilemma the film analyzes. My error.

It’s been a while but I thought the guy just picked up the scissors and didn’t have a chance to get all stabby on his wife.

Oh he got stabby, but luckily his initial stab was deflected in time by Cruizy boy.

Now THAT’S interesting. Hmmmm I guess that is really all one would need to do. Just prevent the initial murder then tell him you’ll be watching if he trys it again.

Of course he could just snap again and try to kill her/someone else. He’s not stable since he has tried it before.

The ball really was a true vote, a rune cast of sorts. IIRC, All of the Pre-Cogs had to agree or vote on the probability.

I also believe it might have symbolic meaning archetypically that Spielberg might have included either consciously or subconsciously. I think it is obviously the shared eye of the Sea Hags (Graeae) from the MYthology of Perseus.

The trouble isn’t pre-crime.

The trouble isn’t punishing people for crimes they haven’t committed yet.

As has been pointed out, you don’t need to have a dead body before you can charge someone with a crime. All you need is evidence that they were going to commit a crime, and you can charge them with the attempt to commit a crime.

The trouble with the movie is that the punishment for attempted murder doesn’t make any sense. What’s the point of sticking the pre-murderers into suspended animation? Why not, you know, jail? And, you know, therapy?

There’s no NEED for draconian punishments for attempted murder. Only spur of the moment murders can occur, since any premeditated murderer will be apprehended long before the murder can occur, and since the premeditated murderer knows this they abandon the attempted murder before it happens.

The scales don’t balance. The attempted murder victim isn’t dead, therefore there’s no societal need for the scales to balance by harsh punishment of the perpetrator.

The only reason the suspended animation exists is that it’s science-fictiony and also if Tom Cruise gets frozen without trial there’s no way for him to clear his name. But it makes no sense in the context of a future where pre-crime prevention exists.

I think most crimes of passion are triggered by specific and unusual circumstances so random snapping would be unlikely. You don’t walk in on your wife in bed with another man every day and people do stupid things when blinded by any emotion ,but especially anger. However, if mental stability is an issue then you could have the person evaluated and if he/she is unstable you can just have them treated/committed.

Whoa! That guy’s in Serenity, right? The guy who tries to talk to the Operative and ends up stabbed with the sword?

No, the actor’s name is Arye Gross, who I always remember as Ellen DeGeneres’s friend in her sitcom. He wasn’t in Serenity.