Minority Report has a moment, or even an entire third act, of sheer brilliance when Anderton gets imprisoned. From that moment on, the entire film could well be an implanted dream. What else would you expect from a film based on a Phillip K. Dick story? - jearle
MEGA Brilliance moment, though spoiler-iffic; Big Bad Burgess gets away with murder by disguising it as an "echo" that Precogs occasionally see even after the murder is supposedly prevented. The reason Agatha believes Anderton doesn't have an alternate future is because Art and Dashiell saw the future where Anderton does kill Crow in a vengeful rage while she saw the less-likely yet remarkably-similar Suicide by Cop future, where Crow yanks Anderton's hand on his gun's trigger to get his family the bribe money. The observers couldn't tell the difference, and neither could she. And all three futures were a brown ball because even the two where Anderton kills Crow out of rage were were also premeditated by Burgess. And Burgess planned for Anderton to be present when the brown ball dropped, ensuring that he would either be arrested on-site or run. The only thing Burgess couldn't see coming was Anderton figuring out everything in time to tell it all to his wife, even if he wasn't free to act on the information himself.
Why did Anderton's ball come out brown, the sign of a premeditated murder? As he stated, he didn't even know the guy! Because he wasn't the one who planned it.
Alternatively, it come out brown because it was premeditated, just not in the traditional. He may not have known the guy, but he probably thought about what he'd do to the person who took his son for a LONG time.
Further alternatively, it came out brown because upon seeing the precog's vision of the murder, he was aware that it would happen ahead of time. Any decision to go through with it would therefore have been influenced by that plan, resulting in premeditation.
It was premeditated, but the Precogs saw only the person who would commit the murder, not the person who planned it.
Anderton did premeditate murder. It doesn't matter if he planned it a month ahead of time or two minutes ahead of time - he knew he was going to do it. It also turned out he changed his mind, but the precogs didn't see that part. They saw the premediatation and then just jumped ahead to the shooting and incorrectly connected the two.
How did Burgess get Leo and Anderton to be in the same room at the same time even though Anderton doesn't know who Leo is? He didn't need to, he simply paid Leo to pretend to be the murderer of Anderton's son. At that point the Pre Cogs seeing the murder set the ball rolling for it to happen. It's possible that he even paid multiple people to do this, waiting for one to happen to get the chain of events that would lead Anderton to killing one of them to start.
Dr. Hineman's little demonstration with the moving vine has a double meaning. Her parting words to Anderton, and the vine's increasingly-violent struggles, suggest that any living creature's base instincts will always trump other concerns in a pinch. But Hineman herself is overriding her own instincts even as she says this, by deliberately gripping the vine until it rips her palm open in its efforts to escape being crushed. She's non-verbally showing us that human willpower can override drives that would otherwise be inevitable, and thereby hinting that Anderton will have a choice about killing Crow, or Burgess.
While it is never remarked upon, the sheer prevalence of the Eyedent retinal scanners in the world depicted in the film is terrifying. While its use for security is of debatable merit, the inclusion of it in advertising and general means of identification raises it from extreme measures to oppressive and invasive. The fact that the people living in DC seem to casually accept it as part of their day to day lives, combined with the fact it's never really expanded upon in the film (and treated as if it's a background element) suggests that this has been a part of society for a long enough time to become routine and, perhaps even more jarringly, there is no opposition to that level of invasiveness. A good example of this would be the Spyder scene. Towards the end as the two Precops are heading through the building, the woman complains not about the scans themselves, more about the Police conducting the scans without prior warning and with the creepy little robots. Police invasion of property and essentially searching everyone is left unremarked upon.
Thing is, they don't actually invade property. All they do is a)scan the building with a heat scope to see where everyone is, and b) deploy the spiders, which check everyone and do nothing else. They are only keyed to search for a single, specific suspect's (or suspects) retina. It's effectively the same as if the cops camped outside the building and waited for a suspect they think is inside to come out, just faster.
I'm pretty sure deploying scanners whose purpose it is to confirm the identity of an individual in a private dwelling is an invasion. Very much not the same as waiting outside for a suspect to exit. Not even close.
I liken it to the case when the police comes knocking on doors, search the premises and check for everyone's I Ds. Obviously it would require a warrant, but they may have obtained one off-screen in the movie. Basically it's the same process but more quickly - it seems more invasive because the nature of an eye scan done by spider robots, not because of the process itself. And even without the warrant, it does kind of make sense, considering how most judicial processes got thrown out in the movie.
This is a society where it is readily accepted that you can be arrested and imprisoned for life for what amounts to thoughtcrime on the word of what amounts to three jackasses with a crystal ball: this government has long since become a police state, perhaps in all but name.
Ask yourself this: How many of you have already accepted that Facebook or Google or Amazon or Microsoft or any number of other massive corporations have routinely been caught either giving away your personal information or using it to personalize the advertisements they show you? How many of you are still routinely using these sites despite any outrage you may feel at their shady activities? this is absolutely no different. It's just the next level. If the majority of people can accept our already massively inflated surveillance culture then they will accept their eyes being used to target stuff at them as they walk down the street. As in the case of all these other real life examples; all they would need to do is to offer you the right combination of incentives and peer pressure.
Considering the Precogs usually can't perceive anything but murders at much of a spatial or temporal distance, it's not hard to guess what would have happened...
They want to take precrime national. Presumably, Arthur, Agatha and Dashiell can't see any murders beyond the bounds of D.C. So how are they going to find more precogs? And if they can't find them, will they resort to creating them? The idea becomes horrifying when you remember Iris Hineman's monologue about how the D.C. precogs came to be.