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Gattaca
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Gattaca More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the All-Time Science Fiction Greats

9/10
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

10/10
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

10/10
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

8/10
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,

10/10
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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cannot Summarise This Greatness

10/10
Author: awesomeanthonydavies from Newcastle, Australia
27 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow... Gattaca. I never expected you to be so good. I thought you would be good... but... wow.

Gattaca is set in the not too distant future; about a man named Vincent who wants to be a space traveler, but is born naturally, not the 'correct' way, i.e. created to perfection. He cannot be a space traveler, however, since he is an "in-valid. He finds a person, "German", who gives capable "in-valids", the life of a "valid" who cannot live their dream, due to an incident. In this case, Jerome Morrows has broken his back. So, they switch identities.

Now, before you ask, "Is this guy rating this ten 'cause he is an idiot?" Well, I have a logical explanation. It was sitting on an eight until the ending. My only spoiler is it is sad. It was good enough to rise it by two stars. Oh, yes, a beautiful movie. It did send a message about who should access your genetic code, in a world where everyone has it.

Remember, this film is AMAZING. It deserves the ten. Believe me.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

We now have discrimination down to a science.

8/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
13 March 2013

Gattaca is written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It stars Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal, Loren Dean, Xander Berkeley and Alan Arkin. Music is by Michael Nyman and cinematography by Slawomir Idziak.

It's the near future and eugenics dominate a society where children are either "valids" (reproductive through eugenics) or "in-valids" (naturally birthed with inherent genetic flaws). One such "in-valid" is Vincent Anton Freeman (Hawke), who plots an intricate scheme to assume a "valid" person's identification so as to reach his dreams of being an astronaut.

There is no gene for fate.

Biopunk future meets tech-noir in this thought provoking and intelligent piece of sci-fi. There is a decent argument to suggest that Gattaca is more style over character substance, especially given that visually Niccol's movie is stunning. It's a near future world of genetic engineering where although discrimination is illegal, perfection rules the day and the "in-valids" are passed over for high grade employment. Identity, inferiority and bigotry are fused together to offer up moral quandaries and ethical conundrums, all set to an oppressive tech-noir backdrop painted by Idziak's deft choice of colour filters. There's a striking difference between the look of the Gattaca corporation compared to the rest of the outside world, this helps to keep the thematics at work rich and potent.

As a thriller it barely raises the pulse, but this is deliberate, as is the pacing by Niccol. This is an emotionally stunted world and the ethereal atmosphere hovers continually over proceedings. There's a romance in the mix between Hawke and Thurman, which on the surface seems a token sub-plot and devoid of passion, but again this feels deliberate, lack of passion is actually the order of the day. Cast performances are well up to scratch, with Law stealing the film as a one time "valid" ironically invalidated by an incident. And while we could have done with more from top performers Arkin (as a copper attired like a classical film noir gumshoe) and Elias Koteas (as Vincent's father), it rounds out as an impressively constructed picture.

Provocative and brainy, with visual pleasures unbound, Gattaca has many attributes that reward still further on repeat viewings. 8/10

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie!

10/10
Author: chucknorrisfacts
13 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Gattaca" is an excellent movie and one that I hold absolutely no reservations in recommending all to see. It's a very ambitious movie that has a broad genre scope. It's a science fiction movie, but also serves as a warning of what could one day become science fact. It's an underdog story, which everyone should be able to relate to -- because we've all had something we've wanted to do that someone told us we couldn't.

I'm not going to go into plot details in this review, I'd hate to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, as movies this good are so rare it'd be a crime to tell you everything that happens before you can see it for yourself.

Do yourself a favor, go pick it up as soon as possible!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

We knew about fitting in someone's shoes...well, now you have to fit in someone's genes

8/10
Author: saumya14588 from India
24 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie is one of the finest in its category, with a cleverly knitted plot of threads of sci-fi, drama, irony and the human spirit to endeavor and achieve against all odds.

The chemistry between the two Jeromes is great, with both the actors putting in credible performances. The twists in the end, with Anton and the doctor are well inducted in the story and justly highlight the accomplishment of the genetically inferior protagonist.

Not taking anything away from the brilliance of the director, there are several oddities in the plot like the inability of Eugene to get artificial limbs in the supposedly futuristic age or the inhuman treatment affected to genetically inferior people even though there is a mention that genetic discrimination was illegal ( especially the way they are treated by the police during the investigation reminds one of Jews in the Holocaust ). And you can hardly expect space travelers to don three piece suits while boarding space ships, no matter how advanced technology might be. Another point to note is the contrasting behavior of the detective while questioning an elite employee ( Eugene ), when he started apologizing for a mere offensive remark and his unapologetic boldness while hinting an accusation at the Director of the firm! Minor oddities not counting, the film was a refreshing experience and a certain to make it to the best 'hope' films of all time.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Excellenсe

10/10
Author: asseveratio from London, United Kingdom
20 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Gattaca" is the only movie that made ME cry in recent years. I could hardly believe that it is not in IMDb TOP 250. This reminds me Will Smith's "The Pursuit of Happiness", the only difference is that Vincent was BORN "in-valid" and had nothing to do with it. Psychological value of this movie is even more than IMDB#1 "Shawshank Redemption's" one. It proves that aspiring man can reach his goal one way or another. I saw a lot of interpretations of that subject, and I consider this one the best. The subject is : "A man CAN but MUSTN'T". The movie doesn't give a chance to all that downers who says "I simply can't do this" or "The odds are always against me". Imagine that EVERY SINGLE DAY Big Brother is watching you and you don't have a right to mistake. Wrong blood or urine will simply terminate you. It is much more difficult than your everyday job, huh?

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