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One of the finest movies of the decade.
johnbee-217 July 1999
Gattaca is a brilliant under-rated piece of cinema that the not-too-distant future will, in retrospect, see it as one of the more outstanding movies of the nineties. It is prolific, stylish, thought-provoking, and one of the few recent science fiction movies that totally foregoes special effects and does it well.

There is nothing about Gattaca that I didn't like. It is a subtle piece of art that reminds of the writing of Ray Bradbury. Technology (the core element of science fiction) is only the backdrop for the story of a man who goes against all odds, including his brother, and overcomes those odds.

Make sure you watch it more than twice. There are many subtle details that you'll miss if you don't (ie, Gattaca's doctor asks, "Have I ever told you about my son?" not even five minutes into the movie, and childhood Vincent falls down holding a toy rocket...) and it's these small details that create a tapestry of cinematic artistry.

The soundtrack is phenomenal. The sets are noir and stylistic, and (thankfully) instead of trying to present a realistic physical future Niccol instead vies for the FEELING of the future: constrained, restricted, and patterned.

Watch it before it's cool to have watched it.
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Thoughtful Science Fiction
BB-1515 February 1999
Gattaca is in many ways the best film I have seen about prejudice. Just as people have been judged for centuries by the color of their skin, Gattaca predicts that in the future there will be a more subtle discrimination. It being a science fiction film helps make it more effective by allowing us to feel the emotions of the characters with little of our own history getting in the way. A haunting musical score goes well with the feeling of the film.

Ethan Hawke as Vincent does a fine job showing the pain of someone whose life is limited before he even tries. But just as interesting were the supposedly superior characters; Vincent's girlfriend, brother and double who suffer from the lie that genetics can perfectly predict a person's life.

The film that Gattaca most reminds me of is Blade Runner. They are both about genetic engineering gone very wrong but Gattaca takes a very different approach. The problems are more subtle in Gattaca involving our own desires for success for ourselves and through our children. Amazingly, Gattaca is a good science fiction film with a small budget, few special effects and mostly filmed in existing modern buildings.

After seeing this film for a second time I liked it even better as the plot seemed more plausible. If you would like to see a sci-fi film that is based on interesting characters and situations and not explosions or special effects, try Gattaca.
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Uses science fiction to explore ideas, and reveal some depths of the human spirit
taishi812 July 2001
"There is no gene for the human spirit." This is the TAG line of the movie Gattaca, a film that searches deep within the heart of man. This is one of Ethan Hawke's strongest performances as a man who refuses to trust the odds, and relies on fate and sheer will to achieve his dreams. He borrows the body of a man without dreams, played by Jude Law in his best performance to date as well. Law simply captures every scene with his sly intelligence and deeply darkened soul. He has no illusions about life, or himself, and he is the perfect counterpoint to Hawke's unrelenting dreamer.

The performances only enhance, however, a wonderful script by first time writer/director Andrew Niccol. It deals with science fiction and the future in the best way, by exploring ideas. He quickly and easily presents a future not unimaginable, and truly existing in a "not-too-distant future." Genetic engineering is happening today all the time in areas outside the human species, and sometimes within. How long will it take before the gloves are taken off and science truly starts to decide the type of people humanity will become? What issues will be addressed when that time comes? Niccol addresses many of them already, mostly dealing with the discrimination that would probably take place in society. The most subtle and yet important question he asks though is whether a man is truly the sum of his genes, or could his spirit somehow carry him beyond all expectations? Such thoughts are dealt with through intelligent characters given intelligent diolague and placed with intelligent situations. It is interesting how such a thoughtful picture can be at time a real thriller to watch as well.

Gattaca is one of my favorite movies because it is not afraid to address important issues that are truly current in modern day society, and do it with great thought and heart. It wisely stresses the subtle theological questions of whether man ought to tamper with God's work, and whether the result would be a better society, or a better humanity.
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The most underrated movie of the 90's
Andrew-1621 February 2000
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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A mind enriching movie
Veritas6 March 1999
I first heard of this movie while in Europe where it was called `Welcome to Gattaca'. I was unable to view it at the movies there so rented it when I came to the US. I was very impressed with this movie and I might say that I was even surprised for the better. I was expecting it to be good, but it was even better than I thought.

I enjoy movies that require you to think or that have deeper meanings for those who look for them, and this movie was full of such hidden treasures. The script is very multileveled and will not disappoint anyone unless they are looking for Hollywood style sex and violence scenes.

Another great quality of this movie behind its thought provoking script is that it is very timeless. It could have been written for a century ago or for a couple centuries from now and it would still fit in with minor technological changes.

This film was really an excellent film whether you look at the cast, which was very well composed, or the cinematography, which was breathtaking. When the movie is finished the script leaves you thinking and your mind races on different tangents for a long while after the movie is over. There is no void or `why did I waste 2 hours sitting in front of a plastic box' at the end. If you like to think and like good acting do rent this movie, it will be well worth your time.
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Simply one of the most beautiful movies ever conceived!!!
froster61 December 2004
I will keep this short. This is most certainly one of the best films of all time. Script is wonderful, cinematography brilliant, Actors perform to a T, and the underlying message is one that all mankind should take to heart, for this great movie about human perseverance and will, and how real a situation in the world like this could be. 10 out of 10 bottom line. If you don't see this movie you will be committing a crime against yourself. Also the relationship between Vincent and Gerome and his brother is brought together perfectly and well developed. For that matter all of the characters in this film bring a little something different to the table that you will see very rarely in any film.
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One of my all-time favorite films
perfectbond17 December 2004
Director Andrew Niccol's Gattaca, in my humble opinion, is at the pinnacle of the motion picture art form. All aspects of the production serve the story spectacularly. The retro-style art direction, script, acting, music, and lighting all brought to life, much too chillingly, a cold and soulless world where the content of your genes counted for everything while the content of your character counted for nothing. Watching Ethan Hawke's (Great Expectations, Hamlet) Vincent evade the relentless pursuit of the authorities while pining to be on the Titan mission, romancing Irene (Uma Thurman), and micro-managing his samples from Jerome (Jude Law in a very impressive supporting turn) made for some the most riveting viewing ever. This story highlights the negative side of pursuing the eugenic ideal, an ideal that is not an unworthy pursuit, but one that must be approached with the utmost caution since its seekers hope to master a realm once the sole domain of the Divine.
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Absolutely Beautiful
sunnysani_888 December 2004
Pity I didn't know anything about this movie when it came out in 97, I would've enjoyed watching it in the big screen instead of on my laptop screen. I've never been more inspired by any movie. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of art, from the scenery, the colours, everything. Ethan Hawke is fast becoming one of my favourite actors. His performance always lift me up. I know he almost play similar roles every time, i'll like him to play a different role actually, but in every movies he starred in (Dead poet's society, Great Expectations etc) i found that i always cared for his character and his performances never failed to touch me. Jude law is amazing as Jerome Morrow, I thought Uma thurman's character should be more developed, but she's perfect as irene. 8 out of 10. There's no gene for the human spirit.
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It's the little things that tell you you've found quality!
john in missouri12 October 2004
I rented this film cold at the video store -- and was very pleasantly surprised with a very well done movie. If you don't know anything else about Gattaca, the less you know, the better. Stop reading this review right now, go watch it, and come back when you're done!

It was after my first viewing of the film that several little details dawned on me:

1) The term "borrowed ladder" is a utterly-brilliantly-conceived bit of future slang that carries a *double meaning*. I'm still amazed that the producers didn't make more of this. Instead, they were content to leave this gem to be discovered by the thinking and missed by the vast masses. I was very definitely impressed.

2) As I was explaining the film to my wife, it occurred to me in mid-explanation that this is really a film that has to do with what is properly called =eugenics=; one of the things the Nazis were about. Then my mind wandered to word etymologies: I recalled that the name "Eugene" = "well born." And then I realized...


3) It's interesting the extent to which so many of the characters in the film *didn't* live up to their genetic destiny, one way or another.

4) Because I hadn't seen any previews, I had no immediate reference for where the name "Gattaca" had come from. And then I suddenly realized...


5) It wasn't until I watched the movie the second time that I caught the effects with the title sequence letters...

Now I had figured out by this time that there were likely to be other intriguing little details I've missed, so I was fascinated to read from another reviewer here about the boy Vincent falling with a toy rocket in his hand.

I wonder what else is in there?

All in all, this is a very well written, tightly woven movie. Seen cold, with no real prior knowledge of the film, it came off as a tremendous science-fiction SUSPENSE THRILLER. There were several scenes that just had me climbing the walls with tension. Fabulous job!

And I'm not the only one who thinks so. When my WIFE says she wants to see a SCIENCE FICTION movie for the SECOND TIME... well, I don't think THAT has EVER happened before!
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Should be in the top 250.
TheDentist20 November 2007
This is so great on so many levels. The acting was perfect. The plot was so unbelievably awesome. The direction was great (im surprised Andrew Niccol hasn't done more films) The film on the whole was excellent. It is definitely up there with my favourites. All i can say is that you must watch this film. My friend told me to watch it, i wasn't really bothered but when i did i was pleasantly surprised.

I am honestly shocked that i had never heard of this film before my friend told me about it, i thought it would of had as much publicity as one of the same genre, as minority report, but unfortunately it didn't.

A outstanding film, which is hard to believe its not in the top 250.
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Speculative fiction at its finest ---- Excellent Film
akrenko2 November 1999
I really enjoyed this movie. I found it to be a well constructed and elegant exploration of some pretty frightening ideas. Ethan Hawke delivers a subtle performance. Jude Law and Uma Thurman compliment an all around superb cast. Memorable cinematography and set design. It absolutely makes its point that "there is no gene for the human spirit."

See this movie, you won't be disappointed,

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It's a bit cool and creepy, but slow and too self-conscious to really make a dent.
secondtake24 February 2010
Gattaca (1997)

An interesting concept, with terrific set design, and some headliner talent. Overall the plot dragged, and in a way, once you got the idea, it started to flatline, as if the variables of what might happen were limited. In fact, some of the outcomes were almost laughable because they were trying so hard to pull some heartstrings and wrap the thing up in a story-telling way. The parallels of the lift-off and the incineration, so calmly done, and the second swimming contest at night are both ludicrous if only because they are so heavy-handed.

Not that there aren't interesting aspects all along. It's not a boring movie, just stretched thin. It lacks atmosphere the way Solaris (2002) or 2001 (1968) have atmosphere, but it is paced in the same deliberate way (almost). Not that it intends such weighty philosophical poetry. No, Gattaca is a sort of reach for the stars movie, out to remind us that humans are the best, flaws are part of perfection, and romance only goes so far.

Ethan Hawkes is fine in this, and so is Uma Thurman, but since everyone is supposed to be a bit machine-like, we can't expect highly emotional performances, even when they are making love (not shown). Alan Arkin certainly gets the post-modern detective award, wearing a long coat and bowler inside at all times, as all detectives should, and he's clever but not quite clever enough to solve the crime. Other minor characters, including Jude Law, do their best to fill in the chinks of a very calculated effect.

In a way, this made me think of the Law/Paltrow extravaganza, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow(2004), not for any visual similarity, but just for the sense of an artificial future and an awkward love affair in the midst of it, and if neither movie is great exactly, both are really interesting and fun. But Gattaca, by comparison, is so intent on dulling the comic book aspects that are a little bit at play, in favor of the sterile future that may or may not ever happen, it chills the whole experience. We can't quite take it all serious (there will never be a number to our heartbeats before we die, nor a way to know when that number would be counted), so why not push it into something more fanciful, surreal, fun, or just futuristic. Never mind reality.

All that said, sci-fi fans should love this overall, if the idea is what counts most. DNA manipulation, and screening our progeny before birth, is presented as a weirdly normal activity, a little cold, for sure, but nothing immoral. The idea of just having sex and being in love and letting it all fly, take what the roll of the dice gives you, is presented as a model of the perfect life (which is what most of us do, of course)...until the end, when it slips a little back into boyhood dreams come true for those who persist and cheat and are really really pretty and selfish. Which not all of us are at all.
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Dystopia through genetics - philosophically powerful sci fi drama
mstomaso6 April 2005
This is a thinking person's film. Do not bother with it if you are looking for typical sci fi special effects, action, and fast-pace.

I would especially recommend Gattaca to anybody who has been turned off to the genre of science fiction by the plot-heavy superficial trash Hollywood so frequently places under that label. This is a film which uses the power of the sci fi genre to great effect.

Gattaca is one of those movies which is better read than viewed as a film. It is a very cleverly contrived work of dystopian fiction, based on the simple premise of a future society where a person's entire life is basically assigned through their genetics. Though the future tense is implied in this film, I prefer to see it as more of a speculation on what might have happened if real world imperial-colonial powers of the early to mid-20th century had fully carried out their fledgling eugenics programs to a logical extreme. In the world of Gattaca, what you are allowed to do, where you are permitted to live, and how, are all determined by your genes, which are sampled almost constantly - about as many times as we are asked to show some form of ID daily.

Uma Thurmond, Ethan Hawke and Jude Law lend powerful performances to this film, and the love that grows between them - forged in Hawke's struggle to maintain the pretense of genetic perfection he requires to fulfill his career ambitions to become an astronaut - allows the human story behind the sci-fi to saturate the film. Hawke's character, though genetically flawed, has one thing that many of the genetic elite of gattaca lack - strong motivation. Ultimately, the film offers some very subtle, simple, and profound messages about the evils and injustices of ANY form of discrimination. It's a little disturbing, however, that nearly all of the genetic elite of this film were cast with white actors. The story also carries compelling messages about love and ambition. This is a work which I am convinced Ayn Rand would have enjoyed.

From a technical and artistic point of view, this film is pretty close to perfection. The film is beautifully shot and almost devoid of special effects. I remember a total of three explosions in this film (perhaps this is an all-time low for recent Hollywood sci fi?) - all of which were normal parts of rocket launches. Since this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an action-oriented film, there is no need for the typical sci-fi gimmagery. Some of the artistic choices are a little over-the-top with symbolism - such as the anachronistic use of 1960s and 1970s sports cars. I think I understand this choice - as it emphasizes the fact that, had things gone differently in our own history, we could easily be living in a nightmare world like Gattaca today.

To sum up, if you enjoy a thoughtful film with a positive message , and don't mind a little discomfort along the way to that message, Gattaca is a film you will enjoy.
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A Nightmare Vision Of The Future
seymourblack-128 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The way in which a particularly determined man struggles against overwhelming odds to achieve his ambition, provides this movie with its powerful storyline but there's much more to "Gattaca" than that. This science-fiction drama is set in "the not too distant future" when genetic engineering has become so well-developed that the majority of human beings are designed, at conception, to be as close to perfect as possible. This is done through a process of genetic manipulation that eliminates any recognised defects to ensure that, throughout its life, the unborn child will enjoy extremely high standards of health, intelligence and physical strength. Children born by this process are known as "Valids" and for them, success is virtually guaranteed.

Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) was conceived naturally and a blood test carried out at birth identified that he would have a short life (30.2 years), attention deficit disorder and a weak heart. Consequently, he grew up in the full knowledge that he was disadvantaged and his limitations became even more apparent when his younger brother, who was a Valid, soon out-performed him in terms of growth and strength etc. Naturally born people, who are known as "In-Valids" are routinely discriminated against and only regarded as suitable for carrying out the most menial tasks in society. As an adult, Vincent finds employment as a cleaner at the "Gattaca Aerospace Corporation" and, at that establishment, rekindles his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut.

An opportunity to pursue his dream presents itself when Vincent meets German (Tony Shalhoub), a DNA broker who puts him in touch with the genetically-superior Jerome Morrow (Jude Law). Jerome is a former top class swimmer who became paralyzed after a failed suicide attempt and is now prepared to sell his identity and keep Vincent supplied with the blood, urine, skin, hair and fingerprint samples he'll need to be able to pass himself off as a Valid. By this method, Vincent succeeds in getting employment at Gattaca where he prepares to be a navigator on a space flight to Titan and also starts a relationship with a beautiful co-worker called Irene Cassini (Uma Therman).

Vincent's workplace operates a rigorous regime of frequent testing and by using Jerome's blood, urine etc. and scrubbing himself thoroughly everyday to ensure that he doesn't inadvertently lose any skin or hair, Vincent copes well with maintaining his deception. One day, however, in the week before his space flight is due to launch, the Gattaca director in charge of the Titan mission is found murdered and everyone involved in the project becomes a suspect. Things then get even more threatening for Vincent when one of his eyelashes, found near the crime scene, alerts the police to the fact that an unauthorised In-Valid had obviously been present and this person naturally becomes their prime suspect.

"Gattaca" has a hypnotic quality and characters that, because of the nature of their society, are very reined-in. The romance involving Vincent and Irene is often cool and controlled with any spontaneity in short supply. All this seems to support the view that the scientific advances that have technically "improved" society in this futuristic scenario, have also made it fundamentally less human.

The blood test that enables doctors to predict the course of a new-born baby's life, the general acceptance of genetic discrimination (genoism) and the knowledge that there could be no turning back from the scientific advances featured in this movie, make it extremely chilling to watch.

"Gattaca" is intelligent, wonderfully thought-provoking and visually stunning. It also features some really good acting, especially by Ethan Hawke, Jude Law and Alan Arkin who's absolutely marvellous as a no-nonsense police detective.
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Stands the test of time.
Tehmeh19 November 2013
I watched "Gattaca" earlier when it came out, but I was probably too young and/or drunk to appreciate it at the time. So I got the blu-ray and watched it again.

What a quality film this is. Nevermind that the budget wasn't big, everything is handled with care. Cinematography is top notch, the script is coherent and clever at the same time, the music is absolutely beautiful, actors do a fine job, the directing of Niccol keeps everything in check. I can't find significant flaws in this movie.

This is not what people usually expect from SciFi movies today. This is not an action film in space. "Gattaca" is a science fiction movie as much as it is a drama with a little detective story hidden inside. Almost nothing is "in your face", since this movie doesn't make a huge deal out of every meaningful scene. It's not trying to force you to feel or think anything, so the emotional reaction I got was only after the movie had ended. Only then it hit me, and it hit me hard. And the music (I have to compliment the score once again) played inside my head for quite some time.

The above is the main reason I appreciate this film a lot. Many will dislike it for the same reason. If you want something huge, something with immediate impact, something which is trying to impress you, there's a chance you won't love this movie. I too admit that I would've wanted the story to be more gripping and intense, but then again that certain subtlety is one of the strengths of this film. Nevertheless, I recommend "Gattaca" to everyone. When you're in a calm, ponderous or thoughtful state of mind, watch this.

Gattaca asks you important questions without forcing an ambiguous, open ending. Niccol wrote and directed a quality movie and he will be remembered for it. Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Xander Berkeley and Alan Arkin were convincing in their roles, and every actor did a fine job.

"Gattaca" is a thoughtful, humane story and a genuinely well-made film. It already survived the test of time this far, and it will continue to do so. Even if it seems a bit underwhelming, there's a lot of love in it.
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Timeless and poetic exploration of issues of identity.
Alex-Tsander4 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie does a number of ingenious and remarkable things : 1. It makes the extraordinary ( space exploration ) seem completely routine in a way not accomplished since 2001 A Space Odyssey. But in total contrast to the latter, instead of achieving this effect through the vivid portrayal of technology with engineering exactitude, it does it by showing almost no technology whatsoever. Rather scenes of the completely anodyne. The "astronauts" wear business suits and work in an office.

2. It creates a sense of timelessness by using almost featureless sets reminiscent of a classical play and paraphernalia re-cycled from other times ( such as the cars and the back-projection displays ). The feel of the film is in a very positive way reminiscent of Alphaville.

3. It employs completely impractical technical devices in such an effective theatrical way as to render their impracticality irrelevant. For example, it is possible to identify someone by a genetic "fingerprint" generated from a hair follicle ( but not in itself a hair ) or skin, but such traces would not facilitate a break-down of the persons genetic character, as pretended here. These are two different orders of measurement. Indeed, urine, which features centrally in the plot, is of no use on either account, not being a body tissue in any case. Only the blood tests would facilitate both identification and genetic analysis as shown in the story. Yet, in spite of knowing these things, the use of such devices as a plucked hair in the story is made so poetically as to become effectively a perfect metaphor and so beyond criticism on grounds of mere realism. To me, this seems almost unique. To do the wrong, obviously, yet aptly.

4. The plot is so contrived as to convene three parallel stories into convergence: Vincents story, of course. But also the directors story, which is oddly similar ( his life's ambition in the flight of the mission can only be fulfilled by killing the man who would have axed it ). As is that of the son of the biologist mentioned at the end.

5. The movie actually achieves what most dramatic art strives for but fails to do: the story resonates far beyond the limited scope of the dramatic enactment. Vincents dream and the challenges posed by society's prejudices is a story that is eternal and universal. As are other issues brought up: sibling rivalry, the "straight" way to a mediocre life as against the "crooked" yet heroic path toward a greater truth. Most profound is the way in which the paralysed Jerome actually becomes an immortal, historical space-farer Vincent, destroying his mortal self to do so, leaving as his legacy the realisations by the other man of his dreams. This is both incredibly ingenious and thought provoking, creating a mood that lingers long after the credits roll. I doubt that vicariousness has ever before been made so realistic a possibility.

The atmosphere, mood and languid tempo yet with a sense of inevitability is greatly aided by Michael Nyman's score.

This is one of the very few movies in which a narrator is entirely apt and not a mere convenience.
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Thought Provoking, Engrossing, And Fascinating Little Flick!
callanvass14 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
this is a fascinating, and engrossing little flick, that i throughly enjoyed!. The Performances are almost Oscar worthy in my opinion, and the it's always engrossing,and character driven, however it was a bit confusing at times, and i thought it ended a little abruptly, however i was engrossed all the way, and Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman are absolutely fantastic in this!. I loved the designs, and the film feels very polished, and stylish, plus i loved the scenes between Vincent and his brother Anton they were great. This is a great fascinating little flick, that i throughly enjoyed, and i can see why it's so popular, i highly suggest you see this, it's worth it. The Direction is great. Andrew Niccol does a great job here, with great, camera work, awesome designs, keeping the viewer thinking, and it had a polished and stylish feel it to it as well, plus he kept the film at an engrossing pace!. The Acting is almost Oscar Worthy!. Ethan Hawke, gives an almost Oscar Worthy performance here, he is extremely likable, had awesome chemistry with Uma Thurman, and Jude Law, is amazing in the acting department, and was just interesting all the time!. Jude Law is excellent here, he is a great actor, and i can see why the people rave about him!. Uma Thurman is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS, and is fantastic here, she had awesome chemistry with Ethan, was interesting to watch, and her character, was nice and mysterious, i really like her. Loren Dean is good as Vincent's brother loved the swimming scenes. Overall this is a must see! **** out of 5
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Best Movie that was forgotten...
swaggaz3 November 2004
When you look at the 90's and remember all the great movies, everyone always leaves out Gattaca, one of...if not the best movies of the 90s and all time

the movie has a relaxed kind of approach to itself where it tells the story of Vincent, who is the ultimate under dog in a world where perfection is a goal, he has a sickness that would put a stop to all his hopes and dreams, but he works his way through it all with the help of Jerome Morrow who lends Vincent his identity for a dream of being able to go into space

all goes well until a murder happens at Gattaca, the main base of operations where Vincent (aka Jerome) works so he would be able to go into space

the movie has twists and turns, a great cast of actors/actresses, an amazing soundtrack, and direction style that is great, all around the movie is awesome, a timeless classic that shouldent be forgotten

10/10, go buy/rent/watch this movie now
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Sci Fi As It Should Be
morphion27 January 2006
'Gattaca', the 1997 sci-fi film, has definitely done its part in adding to the culture of cult films around the world. Whether it's the disturbingly familiar future-society that the film depicts, the ethical and moral nightmare scenarios that it entails, or something subliminally appealing, this piece of film found its audience and cemented its place in history.

In the 'not-too-distant future', the world of genetics has expanded to previously unimaginable proportions, wherein a person's entire life story can be told with just a drop of blood or a strand of hair. In this post-genetics world, science has perfected the art of life; children are no longer born biologically, but rather their parents give their sperm and eggs to laboratories and they deliver the best child that can be produced from these genes. Children who were not conceived this way are referred to as "in-valids" and society deems them accordingly. It's a whole new type of discrimination, but one that Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is not willing to accept.

Vincent is an in-valid who has always had the dream of going into space. Refusing to accept his pre-determined life, Vincent consequently adopts the identity of another man whose genes make him 'valid'. Jerome Morrow (Jude Law) agrees to let Vincent have his identity if he will provide Jerome with a place to live. Using samples from Jerome's body disguised as his own (blood, urine, hair), Vincent becomes employed in the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation as Jerome Morrow and after many years in the job, he is finally given the opportunity to go up into space on one of Gattaca's frequent launches.

When the director of the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation is murdered, however, investigations into the crime put into question Vincent's true identity, and he soon finds that his long deception could be unraveled and his life-long dream could be shot down in flames. With only fellow colleague Irene (Uma Thurman) and Jerome on his side, Vincent must race against the powers that are trying to put him back into the social hole he was supposedly born into and put an end to the life he has worked so hard to build.

The film has a very sorrowful approach to what sounds initially like a very lame plot. It's cinematic and stylistic without being pretentious or overdone, and the way it is shot and put together reflects very well the film's bland and sterilized society in pursuit of perfection. The chilling sense of realism that goes with the world of Gattaca makes everything within it become more than just a strange concept in a science fiction film. Not unlike Spielberg's 'A.I.', Gattaca very cleverly draws from horrors within our society today to suggest the terrifying prospect that our science will eventually render us, as a natural species, obsolete.

Director Andrew Niccol has done a fine job in transforming this sci-fi flick into something much deeper and more interesting. The writing is not spectacular, but is still better than most. Hawke's narration provides very good atmosphere for the film as he talks about the way of the world in this eerie future and the film's theme is very secure, with events such as the murder being practically irrelevant. The thing that matters most is Vincent's dream and the social inequalities that prevent him from actualizing it, and this is made very clear from beginning to end.

The acting performances are all very adequate, but the stand-out ones are Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, who seem so comfortable in their characters and, truth be told, share more chemistry than Hawke and Thurman do. This was one of Jude Law's first feature films, and it is a remarkably impressive debut.

Basically, this is a film that says what it means. Even in a world that has successfully bred perfection, people still suffer, the system is still unjust and lives still go to waste. Far from just being an unrealistic portrayal of what the future will hold, 'Gattaca' questions the ideals of mankind, the principles of civilization and leaves us to wonder what we, as a society are truly striving for.
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Comment on Gattaca
tine413827 June 2005
I think Gattaca is one of the best movies about genetic engineering I've ever seen! It's a very emotional and dramatical film. The actors play their roles very well, so that you can identify with them closely. Because of this point it becomes clear that this is not only a science fiction movie but that it could be our future. The quality of the film is not described in big action scenes or special effects but in philosophical questions of our society. It shows that the discrimination of inferiors is a big role in our society. It make the viewer think about the perfection and the individuality of the humans. At the end you can say that this movie is more than a typical action film because it has a critical meaning in view of our society!
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Inspiring and moving. A flawless example of great film-making.
Scood6 December 2004
This film will go with me to my desert island. I have watched it numerous times over the years and I continue to be astonished by its perfection.

The script, casting, direction, lighting and beautifully appropriate music combine to create something inspiring and moving. The retro style is used to great effect, this being a device often used in film-making and in this case it seems to put the film outside any fixed time frame; we are not distracted by futuristic images or special effects so we can focus on the essentials and on the immediacy of the subject. What a fine touch also to allow us to feel sympathy as much for those programmed to succeed as for those destined to fail. Unlike his brother who, theoretically, should not fail to achieve all his goals, nothing was expected of Vincent so, with great courage, he could reach for the stars; he had nothing to lose.

I thank the writer and director, Andrew Niccol, for his great creation.
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Perhaps the greatest sci-fi film of the 90's. Kubrick may have liked this one.
Bogey Man2 June 2002
Andrew Niccol began his feature film career as a director and writer with Gattaca (1997) which is very surprising science fiction(?) movie with all its feelings and important subject matters. Stuff like this unfortunately don't come too often from Hollywood, and I think that Gattaca too wasn't very successful at the box office, because stupid mainstream couldn't find anything interesting in it. Gattaca is set in the near future, where DNA technology has developed so hugely, that it is possible and advisable to manipulate the developing fetus and make it become as the parents and society wants. No fat guys, no diseases, no bald heads, nothing leaved for destiny. All manipulated and all persons to become the same.

This may not sound too interesting written like this but as a movie with the theme mentioned above, this is fantastic and has also a thriller elements in it, and thus the film is also extremely exciting in its suspense. The film studies what it is to be an individual. The strong element is that people should not tamper with God's work and Nature's creations, as the results are always the same: disappointment and destruction, because human beings should/must not do things they are not allowed to do and things that they don't know. Human being has feelings and emotions, and no one should not disturb them by making some changes physically to others. There is also that larger than life question that what waits us once we leave this world we live in. That is the point, because people who believe in God know also that there is no way we can tamper His work or try to change something we don't know or even understand. These things are very philosophic and the more the viewer likes to think and use brains, the more this little film unfolds. Everyone sees it in his/her own way, and they who don't see anything in it, don't understand cinema and have no ability to interpret it as an art form. Gattaca is eternal movie, and the answers the film asks we may get once we experience the same thing as Jerome/Eugene (Jude Law) experiences at the end..

This film shows what it is to be man and what it must no become. We are individuals, no one is exactly like some other (excluding nature's own creations like identical twins), and that is the rule of the Nature. If science makes all the people same and alike, what is the point to live in that kind of world? There are so many others and they are like you/me, so let them live and go on by the rules of "life." It is no use to do this since some other may do it. Those who think that person can be manipulated and to become as wanted/required, don't understand that no one can manipulate the complex and personal brains in which the real personality lives. Or does someone believe that science can create many ultra wise soon-to-become presidents or persons who will make many important inventions in the future? I think that science is able to remove something from brains/personality but not ADD something there.

Gattaca is very wise and contemplative film and deals with important themes of personality, privacy, happiness (of being a human and having a personality), friendship and living (in our world and after it). Gattaca is also incredibly effective piece of cinema and very beautiful piece of art as Michael Nyman'n music is again gorgeous and photography totally stunning. The colors and over all use of camera is among the greatest I've ever seen. The colors are close to Dario Argento (although Gattaca and Argento's work are very different!) and this is a film, I think Stanley Kubrick would have liked: very intelligent and provoking and cinematically stunning at the same time. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey in other words.

The actors are also great and give their finest. Uma Thurman is so sensual and talented in her role, Jude Law is fantastic as unhappy person who doesn't think he fits in the society he is born to. Ethan Hawke plays the lead part as Jerome/Vincent, who is born "in-valid" as he has not been manipulated to "perfection" before birth, unlike his brother. The actors are fantastic and do nothing wrong. We can feel exactly the same feelings the characters do and that is a sign of their talent.

Gattaca is the kind of film that after the first viewing the viewer may have the feeling that it has to be seen immediately again. And that was the case with me: I viewed this immediately again after I'd watched it for the first time. And this magic will last for several viewing times and the film will unfold more and more. It would have been fantastic to see this on big screen, but it worked on television, too.

10 stars out of ten for this unique and brilliant masterpiece, and hopefully the director can continue his personal line, and avoid commercial productions at any cost. As highly recommended as possible, but only for the fans of intelligent cinema.
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If everyone is perfect, than doesn't perfect simply become average?
Britishboy31 March 2005
In recent years, sci-fi movies have been primarily popcorn flicks. You would never see a really thoughtful film along the lines of Planet of the Apes, 2001, or even Logan's Run. We were given films about Bruce Willis blowing up an asteroid and movies about an alien fleet trying to blow up the world. Even Star Wars wasn't an intelligent movie. It was pure entertainment, but that was all it tried to be. Too many movies today are popcorn flicks with a moral tacked onto the end of the film. But every once in while, we find a diamond in the rough. Which is the case with Gattaca.

Gattaca takes place in the near future. It presents a future that is completely plausible and seems to be strangely familiar. In this future, genetic manipulation has become quite mainstream, leading many parents to choose the perfect traits for their children. These children have perfect features and no trace of birth defects. They are all intelligent and almost perfect. However, they are not the mindless robots coming off of an assembly line that you may picture. The entire idea is completely realistic and plausible.

However, some parents choose not to undergo this procedure, whether due to religious reasons or the inability to afford it. Regardless, these parents sometimes give birth to children with birth defects and other less-than-desired traits. These children are usually given the world's less-than-desirable jobs.

Such is the case with Vincent, our main character. He was born with a heart condition and was expected to die by age thirty. His parents learned their lesson, and when they had a second child, they made sure that he had superior genes. This leads to an unusual sibling rivalry between Vincent and his brother. As a child, Vincent dreams of working with the space program called Gattaca. He has the brain-power to do it, but his genes are holding him back. DNA checks are mandatory for all new recruits.

He continues into his adult life, getting a job as a janitor at Gattaca, which only increases his hunger for space. However, he soon finds a way out. Jerome Morrow is a former swimmer who becomes paralyzed from the waist down. After his accident, he simply fades off of the map. Through an "identity-dealer," Vincent finds that he can alter his appearance and use Jerome's DNA to get a job at Gattaca. In return he will pay Jerome a portion of his salary. So the two begin a life together. Vincent becomes Jerome and gets a job a Gattaca.

I don't want to ruin the entire story, but there are many interesting twists to keep your interest. The film also moves at an incredible pace, making the 101 minutes fly by. There are action scenes, but these are not Michael Bay action scenes by any means. Of course, that isn't a bad thing.

What I am trying to say is that this is an intelligent film. While anyone can enjoy it for its rich story and good performances, those interested in science will be the most interested. The film offers many references to genetics including Jerome's middle name (Eugene is a reference to eugenics, the branch of genetics involving gene manipulation), Jerome's spiral staircase (a DNA strand), and even the films name (letters used to label the nucleotide bases of DNA).

I must complement the film's cinematography. The films color palette is great, containing a lot of rich greens and blues. The look of the film is also great. It is very minimalist and just futuristic enough to keep things in line.

Performances vary from good to great, but everyone does a pretty good job. Ethan Hawke does a great job playing Vincent, but Jude Law steals the show as Jerome. His wit and humor contrasting some heavy drama makes him an unforgettable character. Also noteworthy is Uma Thurman's performance as Vincents uniformist love interest.

I must truly compliment Andrew Niccol. Had he simply written the script, he would deserve recognition. But his directing is spot on. The film is unique, smart, well-acted, and great to look at. Best of all, this is an intelligent movie. It will make you think about many things. If everyone is perfect, than doesn't perfect simply become average?

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One of the greatest sci-fis
jankat_66628 January 2005
I think this is one of the most fantastic science-fiction film ever made.It is so wonderful because it is not trying to draw our attention with its special effects(it has no special effects).

The script is just what I wanted.The isolation of the "not too far future"...In Gattaca world there are some "perfect human beings" and another kind which is naturally born.And this second kind is not tolerated.The first kind

even don't want to shake hands with the second kind. You see what I mean?It is just fantastic.The cast is perfect,too.Especially,Ethan Hawk and Jude Law as a team are fantastic.

SO I really think you should watch it(****/out of four).
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