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Reviews & Ratings for
Gattaca More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Hello? Top 250 anyone?

Author: DrakeMcCloud from Northridge, CA
31 August 2004

How this movie is not in the top 250 is beyond belief. This was an amazing movie with wonderful acting, not to mention a wonderful story. Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman deserve more credit for their roles played in this movie, as does Jude Law. But how can anyone ignore the story, I truly believe this to be a warning for the "Not to Distant Future."

Genetic discrimination is truly possible, or, I should say, will be possible within all of our futures. Science is making progress by leaps and bounds, and is doing so at an ever rapid pace. To ignore the warning set forth in this movie would be a travesty.

If you listen closely to the news you can hear the progress, every day, "Science Advances Again," "New Cloning Procedure Tested." These are the headlines of science, buried deep within the newspapers of America, where, by the way, all the interesting news lies.

The sheer tactfulness of how this movie analyzes the future is classy, the colors of the movie are well balanced with the seriousness of the movies tone, and only add more to a movie that seems to have it all. The suits, hair styles and modernistic architecture also add to the movie's brilliance and tone.

This is a clever movie, "GATTACA" as everyone reading this probably knows, is a combination of the first letters of the four amino acids in DNA, as any introductory biology class would teach you, which is also why they show this movie in most Biology classes across America, and it is also where I first saw it.

I can only give my highest rating for GATTACA, it is a great movie, and watching it over and over again only adds to the experience. My official rating is 8.4/10.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Looks beautiful

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
17 January 2004

The production design of this movie is so perfect it is almost enough to like this movie already. Every scene looks great and together with a good cinematography it gives the movie a beautiful appearance. This is a science fiction movie with ideas instead of mindless action, and for some reason the look of the complete movie adds to this idea.

The story is set in the near future. Babies can be born the natural way or parents can genetically produce their child and make them as good as flawless. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is born the natural way and therefore he has less chances than most others. His dream is to go in space but since he is an "In-Valid" as they call it in the movie, he probably never will. Then he finds a way to make his dreams real. A "Valid" person named Jerome (Jude Law) has lost the use of his legs and although he is almost perfect he can't do much without them. Vincent and Jerome become a team. Since every part of the body that contains DNA can betray you, Jerome has to give Vincent his blood samples, urine samples, hair, etc. and Vincent has a chance to enter the space program.

He is selected to go to Titan, one of Saturn's moons, and a person who was against this mission is suddenly murdered. An eyelash is found and it belongs to Vincent, of course, but since not Vincent but Jerome is working there at first he is not a suspect. Will he be discovered? In this way the suspense comes from more than one way. We have the murder case with the detectives (played by Alan Arkin and Loren Dean) trying to solve it, we are not sure whether Vincent has something to do with it, we don't know who suspects what, Vincent can be discovered anytime. He can be discovered by anyone as well, including the girl he is seeing. Her name is Irene (Uma Thurman). The story can sound a little complicated to you, but it definitely is not. Everything is pretty clear to us and although there are some surprises it is all done in a logical way.

Like I said everything looks great. The direction is important for that as well, and the actors find the perfect note to play their parts. Hawke is probably the perfect actor for the leading role here, Thurman does pretty well and Law is the best thing in every scene he is in. The supporting characters including Alan Arkin, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Xander Berkeley and Gore Vidal are also perfectly cast.

A drama without family deaths, a thriller without guns and explosions, a science fiction without aliens, what a relieve.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An almost perfect science-fiction movie, except it's not fiction

Author: Nicolas Le Novère ( from Paris, France
13 May 2003

Gattaca is one of the best science-fiction movie I ever saw. It is almost perfect in the form. The photography is extremely good. Buildings and global social organisation are just weird enough to feel different but not THAT different. The music is excellent, as usual from Michael Nyman. And the actors are ... Well, Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Jude Law. Do we need to comment on that?

Let's now turn to the plot: It is original, interesting, full of suspense and scary. And here is the first scary bit: It is not science-fiction at all. We can already genotype people. I can do it. It just take a little bit more time and material than in the movie. But basically we're there. And the second scary bit is: This is not a movie about discriminating people based on disabilities, as it was often told. It is a movie about discriminating people based on the possibility that they could maybe get disabled in the future! Does it ring a bell to people interacting with insurance companies?

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Visually stunning and thought provoking sci-fi.

Author: Charlie Korch ( from Atlanta, GA
4 September 1999

Gattaca is a disturbing vision of what the future may provide. Gattaca takes the concept of George Orwell's 1984 and pushes it even further. Not only is big brother watching, but they are genetically engineering babies, and taking blood and urine samples on a daily basis to segregate the "strong" from the "weak". Hitler would have been proud of what "this" America has become.

Gattaca is a visually stunning film. It has a very sterile and sleek look which matches the mechanical future it is trying to present. At times the film itself appears neither black or white, nor in color. It is a hybrid of the two that is very artistic and modern.

Overall, Gattaca is a very good film, that could have been great. At times this film dragged out and left me wanting a little more action. Besides the occasional lull, I still felt strong enough about Gattaca to give it a 7 out of 10 stars.

Charlie Korch

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Quite possibly the most fascinating - and underrated - sci-fi of the 90's

Author: Benedict_Cumberbatch from Los Angeles, CA
27 May 2008

Science fiction isn't my favourite genre (I'm more of a human dramas, dark comedies fan - or anything that involves more flesh and less steel), but there are some titles of this genre that fascinate me. "Gattaca" is one of them. This is probably the best sci-fi of the 90's, a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and fascinating story about a genetically imperfect man (Ethan Hawke) who assumes the identity of a member of the genetic elite (Jude Law), but lives a nightmare when he becomes the main suspect of a murder. The film is set in a "not-too-distant-future" and although the technology we see is quite advanced, it doesn't rely on special effects to dazzle our eyes (the discreet but stylish art-direction is a feast for the eyes, nonetheless, and Michael Nyman provides a great musical score). This is great storytelling with emotional punch and provocative ideas, and although it's not fast paced enough for the Michael Bay generation, it's not complicated like, say, Kubrick's monumental classic-puzzle "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) or Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys" (1995, another great, if not flawed, sci-fi of the 90's) - which means it can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a good story. Quite possibly the most fascinating - and underrated - sci-fi tale of the decade (oh, and Uma Thurman is always a pleasure to watch!). 10/10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the All-Time Science Fiction Greats

Author: gavin6942 from United States
15 May 2015

A genetically inferior man (Ethan Hawke) assumes the identity of a superior one (Jude Law) in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

With all due respect to "The Matrix", this may be the key science fiction story of the 1990s. It has enough basis in reality to be a good story, but still a big enough divergence to make us think. We are moving closer and closer to "designer babies". Are we going to create anew caste system? Is it morally acceptable to do so?

This is also a story of potential. One character says potential cannot be exceeded. But is he right? We also see potential is no guarantee. Identity is not destiny -- one stray bullet and the promise of the future can be shattered. Ho much of the world can humanity control, and how much is impossible to plan?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A beautifully constructed chapter of a future

Author: hhhrahulhhh from Virginia, United States
22 February 2015

This review is going to be very generic and ponderous. I will possibly not discuss the specific elements and facts from the movie which can be read in any well constructed review, rather provide my feelings after watching it.

This movie is one which I will not want to forget, but probably will. The simplicity of the narration and the subtle portrayal by the cast is one of the better I have seen in quite some time. Being a sucker for creative science fiction, I have a biased view point, but for a viewer like me (and I do believe that there are many more) this is what Science Fiction should be.

The world is beautifully constructed of the "not so far future" and very believable given the pace of science today, the research on progress and the mindset of the new age society. This plausible world has its set of societal rules and cultural dispositions with a compatible set of beliefs and moralities. The social evolution (transformation) associated with a more technologically advanced society is what wins me over, and Gattaca develops this theme to a beautiful effect.

The protagonist's struggle to escape his definition in this world and his heart pounding journey to achieve this is what riveted me to his story. This narrative provides an interpretation of how our understanding of "survival of the fittest" might shape the world one day and why our human "weaknesses" like disease, frailty and mortality actually give us the traits of dreams, determination and faith. This is perfectly exemplified in the conversation when the benefactor thanks our protagonist for lending him his dreams. That one line has summed up the humanity of limitations that actually makes us dream and want to achieve them rather than lead the dull existence of "privilege and perfection".

I know my vague ramble lacks a coherent structure, but I hope that if you have seen this movie you may be able to find a slightly new lens for thinking about it and the meaning of our lives as well.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A severely underrated movie

Author: Rahul Kadukar from New Brunswick, USA
14 December 2014

One of my favorite movies of all time, this is a movie that everyone should see at least once in their life. It serves a very important message, your success only depends on one thing "yourself". It is a movie about the struggles of one man against a discrimination that is unseen or unheard of today. This movie is a classic Science Fiction movie which can be watched and enjoyed by the masses.

The relationship between the characters is perfectly built up and the characters themselves are believable. It brings into question the practice of genetic engineering and shows a world where discrimination is a science. A classic not to be missed.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Brave New World of Genetic Determinsim

Author: don2507 from United States
5 December 2014

Gattaca refers to a fictional aerospace company whose space flights the film's protagonist Vincent (played by Ethan Hawke) dreams of joining. Unfortunately for him, the film begins with the "natural", i.e., old-fashioned, birth of Vincent compared to the genetically engineered birth of his brother and most of the rest, it appears, of this society set in the "not too distant future." This society has the technical knowledge to allow parents to select the genetic components for their offspring that optimize mental and physical factors, and apparently most parents pick that route rather than the uncertainty of random genetic re-combination. Thus, we have a two-tiered society between the genetically "enriched" and the "natural births", respectively called "valids" and "in-valids" in the film, and Vincent as an "in-valid" with a heart condition is relegated to menial jobs rendering his dream of going into space impossible.

Vincent gets a janitor's job at Gattaca, and the rest of the film is largely driven by his efforts to get on the space flight to Saturn's moon, Titan, by passing himself off as a "valid" by using genetic markers purchased from a "valid". The film ominously depicts how practically everybody is being screened all the time by their genetic markers, e.g., blood, a strand of hair, which renders the individual almost instantly recognizable as a "valid" or "in-valid." Gattaca is a science fiction film that has no weird aliens or deadly space rays, but instead takes an intelligent, thoughtful approach to a scientific issue that may be closer than we think. Some scientists have predicted that perhaps in several decades we might have the two-tiered society envisioned in Gattaca between those with the financial resources to pay for genetically "enriched" children and those who must opt for a random shuffling of the parental genes.

For that matter, this film reminded me of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" in which I re-read a few chapters prompted by seeing Gattica. In Huxley's book all children are genetically designed to fit into five castes. The less numerous but superior Alpha and Beta castes rule over the more numerous but inferior three lower castes who are subjected to chemical interference to promote arrested development in intelligence and physical growth. The allocation of the castes presumably promotes social stability. So we have: (1) Brave New World's genetic determinism which seems to be sort of a centrally planned variety, (2) the genetic determinism feared by current futurists who worry about genetic enrichment being accessible only (perhaps initially) to the rich, making for a caste, not a class, society based on the resulting unequal competition, and (3) Gattica's portrayal of a genetically determined world which shows genetic engineering available to everyone, but with some opting for "natural" children. Of course, this allows the film to celebrate the human spirit and motivation of an "in-valid" as he strives to achieve his ambition, but these personality characteristics, e.g., motivation, risk acceptance, would also be (at least partially) genetically determinable as well in the world envisioned by Gattaca. If these issues intrigue you, or better, worry you, than Gattaca is a film for you.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Gattaca. A World Apart, A World So Close,

Author: winningdawg from United States
10 June 2014

This Movie is a Must Watch. I takes real world hierarchical system and delves into what is and what can be. Using one Idea to Represent Another. Detachment, Love, the Spirit, beautiful Dreams, Loss, Emotion, Complicated family relations, Spirituality, and just being Human. Still brings tears to my eyes and then some taking something new every watch.

I remember watching this in the 90s and it was amazing then and now just as amazing, seeing young actors act such brilliance of emotion. Uma Thurmun is gorgeous as ever and I wish I could have encapsulated that beauty to make a clone. Ethan Hawke is the riveting and the one to analyze. Jude Law shows the early signs of brilliance that will become of him.

Just an amazing movie looking at a deprived future, that actually had us wondering will this come to pass.

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