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Gattaca (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  24 October 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 206,143 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 620 user | 176 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Una Damon ...
Vincent Nielson ...
Clarence Graham ...
Personnel Officer


In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only one criterion : genetic perfection See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief violent images, language, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day  »

Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,320,202 (USA) (24 October 1997)


DEM 2,357,799 (Germany) (24 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the "futuristic" buildings in the film are actually quite old. Many of these represent a type of postmodern architecture called "brutalism", which was popular in the 1950s. The two massive arches seen behind Jerome and Irene during their talk are actually the spillway of the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles, which was built in the 1930s. See more »


In the beginning when Vincent is putting the blood into the fake thumb he puts it on his left thumb but he always uses his right hand to get tested. This is because Vincent himself is left-handed, but Jerome is right-handed so he had to make the switch when he assumed Jerome's life. See more »


[first lines]
Director Josef: You keep your work station so clean, Jerome.
Vincent: It's next to godliness. Isn't that what they say?
Director Josef: Godliness. I reviewed your flight plan. Not one error in a million keystrokes. Phenomenal. It's right that someone like you is taking us to Titan.
Vincent: Has the committee approved the mission? There's been talk of delay.
Director Josef: You shouldn't listen to talk. You leave in a week. You've got a substance test.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits complete, there is slow-motion footage, tinted blue, of the fingernails from the first scene hitting the pavement. See more »


Featured in The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1998) See more »


First Song (for Ruth)
Written by Charlie Haden
Performed by Stan Getz
Courtesy of Verve Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most underrated movie of the 90's
1 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

This movie is incredible--yet the only ones who seemed to like it when it came out are the type whose favorite movie is "True Lies". It became critically ignored, which I can not understand at all. The themes of this movie-of superiority/inferiority, of identity, of destiny, they're all there. For those of you that haven't seen this movie, it is about a eutopian society where the highest ranks work at a space program named Gattaca. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) has wanted to work there since he was a child, but since his parents did not "pre-order" him, he was born inferior (a 99 % chance of heart failure by the age of 30, physical and mental problems, etc. ) to his "ordered" brother Antoine. Vincent has always seen something in a rival in his brother, because his brother is their dad's favorite, and he seems to have everything going for him. Vincent's job is as a janitor at Gattaca, with the hope that he will get in some day, but all the have to do is get a fingerprint of Vincent's, or a blood sample, or anything, and they know all about him, his profile, his life expectancy, etc. No one will hire Vincent because he is so liable to damage. One day, though, he hires someone to turn his identity into Eugene's, (Jude Law) an olympic-swimming, high potential winner who has everything you would need to get anywhere-except he comes back from a trip a paralyzed cripple from the waist down. So Vincent makes a deal with Eugene-Vincent gets Eugene's identity if Vincent pays the rent and gives him a companion. Everything works to plan, and Vincent borrows Eugene's fingerprints, blood samples, haircut, even urine samples. He even meets Irene (Uma Thurman) a sexy female worker at Gattaca who takes a shine to Vincent (who she thinks is Eugene). Until one day......

Gattaca is a great visual movie (it was nominated for the best art direction oscar but lost to Titanic), rides strong on very good performances by Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, and is definitely worth seeing.

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