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Gattaca
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Reviews & Ratings for
Gattaca More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A modern Masterpiece

10/10
Author: phoeniusphreak from London England
24 December 2001

This film represents what amazing film writing can actually do. This film has absolutely amazing dialogue and this film is not held by one actor but three. Jude Laws performance is mesmerising as he allows the viewer to understand his pain and it brings the 'human reality' to this picture, as you normally feel this film is just to much like 'Playing God' it doesnt harm the story but it does enhance it and its credibility. If you cannot lose yourself into this film then there isn't very much hope. Fantastic, Ethan Hawke proves his fame is well deserved and if you enjoyed his performance in this film you must have a look at Training Day. Top 3 film easily.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing but not as profound as it wants to be

Author: Cathy Young (cathyyoung63@aol.com) from Middletown, NJ
15 October 2000

"Gattaca" is intended as a cautionary tale about genetic engineering. The film takes place in a future world, not too far removed, where destiny is determined by genes: all babies (except for a few "accidents," known as "invalids") are genetically engineered to near-perfection, people are hired on the basis of their genetic profile, and the imperfect products of accidental births are relegated to low-status menial jobs. Our hero, Vincent (Ethan Hawke), is an "invalid" who wants to rise above his genetic destiny. So, in an elaborate scheme, he buys the identity of Eugene Morrow, a genetically perfect athlete crippled in an accident, and gets the job he always dreamed about in a space-exploration program. Complications ensue as Vincent/Eugene is threatened with exposure and, at the same time, becomes involved in a risky romance with his beautiful co-worker Irene (Uma Thurman).

One problem with the film, in my view, is that the model of the future society in "Gattaca" was not sufficiently well-thought out. The narration (voice-over by Vincent) informs us near the start of the film that genetic discrimination ("genoism") is technically illegal but companies get away with genetic profiling under the guise of testing blood and urine for drugs. Yet throughout the rest of the film, the second-class citizenship of the "invalid" is taken for granted by the legal authorities. Nor does it make much sense that people would be hired for challenging and demanding jobs simply on the basis of a genetic test, with no interview and no testing of skills -- as Vincent/Eugene is hired at Gattaca. Even in a gene-obsessed society people would know that you can't always judge a worker on the basis of his or her POTENTIAL, which is all the genetic information can tell us!

The message of the film is that biology is not destiny; it is statistical probability, but the probability can be transcended by the individual spirit and will. It's a good message, no question about it. But its value is undercut by the fact that the futuristic model of genetic determinism challenged by the film is highly improbable and muddled.

The problems of the film are compounded by a weak murder-mystery element tacked onto the plot, and by the dull and bland acting of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. The most impressive and moving performance by far is that of Jude Law as the real Eugene Morrow -- arrogant, self-pitying, self-destructive, cynical, and yet in the end capable, it turns out, of true nobility.

Visually, "Gattaca" is powerful and striking; the film does a great job of creating the cold, sterile, inhuman look of an inhuman futuristic society. Particularly fascinating is the scene in which Vincent/Eugene, out with Irene for an evening on the town, loses his contact lenses; of course, Irene doesn't know that he has very poor eyesight. Seeing nothing but a blur of flashing light, he has to cross the street and then pretend to look at a beautiful sight Irene wants to show him.

Unfortunately, the visuals often end up overwhelming the story and the characters. "Gattaca" is worth a look, particularly for those who like futuristic films, but it does not live up to the importance of its subject.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Good ideas, bad story. Good questions, no answers.

5/10
Author: sam_3 from Tokyo
20 December 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The idea of dealing with the issue of the century was timely, and this is probably why this film receives over 200 comments and over 10,000 votes today at IMDb. The issue regarding genetic engineering does bring us realistic concern, and hence raises a lot of questions in our mind. So we naturally expect some insight from this film. We don't get any. What the film does, instead, is merely to re-phrase the questions which we are already asking.

In addition, the plot was oh so lame and boring. Having genetically modified male and "organic" male as brothers was a brilliant concept.

But alas, the film spoiled this and reduced it to a swimming contest (a very minor spoiler). Swapping identity, again, was another plot which could have brought to fore a lot of issues, but the story dealt with this as if a 10 year old writer-wanna-be would have handled. And as pointed out by others, the murder case was nothing but a mess. And lastly, what in God's green earth was Uma Thurman doing in this film??? It would have been fun, at least, if she was the killer (another minor spoiler, I guess).

If you've never had any thoughts on genetic engineering, this film may leave you with disturbing questions. To that end, the film deserves credit. But if you've already had hopes or doubts about this issue, there's nothing new in this. Not even the beauty of Uma will be enough to keep you entertained.

If you're going to tamper with a provocative theme, at least try to tackle the issue rather than just describing it!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie is a pure piece of art...

Author: Athina A. from Greece
22 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gattaca is one of my favorite films of all time..I have watched it over ten times so far and I would enjoy watching it again and again...Where to begin?

The story is plain beautiful...really inspiring and it really motivates you to achieve your goals no matter what...you think to yourself "if he made it after all these sacrifices then there's nothing I can't do" Vincent's devotion to follow his dream really makes a difference!The ending is rather unpleasing though..I really hated the way Jerome ended his life!!

The direction and acting was excellent..I especially loved Ethan Hawke's and Jude Law's performances and of course Uma Therman was stunning as always! The music was amazing and I especially enjoyed the piano scene with the song that can only be played by a twelve-fingered person!

All in all, this movie is a pure piece of art and I absolutely recommend that everybody sees it more than once, so that you can notice the small details that make a difference!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Perfect People Need Only Apply

8/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
5 December 2013

Andrew Niccol directed this fascinating futuristic tale starring Ethan Hawke as Vincent Freeman, a space-loving man who wants to be an astronaut, but is deemed genetically unfit, and only suitable for "menial" jobs that don't fulfill his potential. One day, he is contacted by Jerome Morrow(played by Jude Law) in a scheme to swap identities, and enable Vincent to live his dream. After a training period, the scheme works, but when the project supervisor is murdered, the ensuing police investigation threatens to expose his real identity... Uma Thurman costars as Irene Cassini, his love interest. Imaginative and thought-provoking film with a compelling story that is ultimately quite moving, with beautiful art design and sets.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Predetermined

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
7 November 2013

Gattaca is a research space facility where the elite work and the bonus is travel to the stars. At this point in the future our lives and career paths are chosen by eugenics. But that's not going to stop Ethan Hawke.

Loren Dean and Hawke are brothers. Dean was a special test tube baby, but in the case of Hawke, mom and dad brought him into the world the old fashioned way. Dean made sure Hawke knew he was the product of inferior breeding and he got his ticket punched for a job at Gattaca. Hawke works there too, as part of Ernie Borgnine's janitorial crew.

As a film Gattaca offers us the proposition that even with eugenics one still can't determine abilities. But you have to be able to fool the DNA monitors and Hawke gets a crash course in this from Tony Shalhoub. And he even gets a girl that normally shouldn't be in his league in Uma Thurman.

Gattaca which got an Oscar nomination in the Art&Set Design category offers an intriguing possibility for the future, a future I certainly wouldn't want to see come to pass.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Gattaca is a great movie

9/10
Author: laura-p-96 from Germany
16 October 2013

Film review Gattaca

It is important to keep in mind that technology will always have a big impact on us, especially in the future. „Gattaca" is a science fiction film released by Andrew Niccol in 1997. Andrew Niccol is a famous director and movies like "The Truman show" or "The Host" were written by him. The main characters are played by Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal, and Alan Arkin. The movie represents a society that is based on liberal eugenics. Children are be separated in "valids" and "invalids" right after they are born. People are no longer getting discriminated by, for example, their skin colour. Now it's down to people's genes. People that decide to have a baby the natural way are most likely to have children with diseases so they are not "perfect". "Valid "children are selected through their genetic diagnosis so they won't have obstacles like cardiovascular diseases. The main character in "Gattaca" is Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke). He is considered as being an "invalid" because his parents decided to perceive him naturally. But his biggest dream is to fly up into space. The problem is that "Gattaca" that would prepare him only accepts "valid" people. His only choice is to take over the identity of Jerome Eugene Morrow (Jude Law). He was a swim star who was injured in a car accident. Now he's paralyzed and sitting in a wheel chair. Vincent uses Jerome's "valid" DNA via hair, blood, skin, tissue and urine samples to pass the screening but also for the "interview" to get into "Gattaca". A few days before he will be able to go up into space the administer got killed because he was trying to cancel the mission to the universe. Detectives found one of Vincent's real eyelashes close to the place where the administer was murdered, but they can't identify him because there is no invalid registered in "Gattaca". Even though it's risky, he is not canceling this "project" and day by day he is coming closer to his dream to go to the 14th moon of Saturn for a one-year mission. The cop who is trying to find out who killed the administer is Vincent's brother Anton. To show who is stronger they swim as far out into the ocean as they can. Vincent wins and has to rescue his brother. At the end of the movie Vincent is about to enter the space ship but he has to take a urine test. He didn't bring one of Jerome's samples because he didn't think about it. The doctor, who has a son who also has the dream to fly into space but can't because he is an in-valid, realizes he is an in-valid but still lets Vincent pass the control. While Vincent is in the space shuttle taking off to the moon, Jerome sets himself on fire. Vincent opens the "letter" and finds a hair sample of his now-dead friend Jerome. My personal opinion about this movie is that it is very emotional, dramatic and exciting. I really felt with Vincent and sometimes I thought I was actually really inside the film. It is sad and emotional because everything is being shown how it could be in the future. It's also sad that people are still getting discriminated even though it's because of their genes. I would recommend this movie because it shows the huge impacts technology can have on humanity. My wish is that this, will never happen because there shouldn't be segregation due to people's genes.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This fantastic movie humbled me a lot

10/10
Author: lisaofshades from Canada
16 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just watch it.

As a kid I wanted to become a scientist specialized in genetics... I wanted to mess with the human DNA... create monsters, but also super humans... but that movie isn't about that... merely perfecting people to make them less likely to have diseases, violent impulses and have good looks, better endurance, intelligence... perfect for a normal human...

This really appeals to me... I know deep down that it's evil and Hitler like... but I always believed it was for the best and a fantastic idea...

Until I saw this movie.

It showed someone who was born naturally... fight against his own discarded fate... to reach his dream. He turned out to be more resourceful and a better person than a killer whose DNA would have never been suspected... surpassing even the DNA of someone who was born with the utmost perfect fate, but with a tragic accident, saw it all go down in the garbage in an instant...

It shows how that values such as passion, determination and resourcefulness are forgotten but shouldn't be... that we shouldn't just assume that someone has no future, no matter how unprivileged and even handicapped his start might be... the heart and will can have a tremendous weight in the balance... and that very power, which allowed the most humble to surpass the most gifted became more powerful by being trained by the very hardship and flaws that we thought made him inferior...

That movie really made me think... and help me see that the people that we dismiss have tales to tell, values that we are clueless about, wisdom that we can't even suspect... all thanks to the hardship they went through... and that's what made them better people... not a ton of money.

I was born with the greatest brain, I could have done anything... I thought that I could do anything alone, but it's meaningless if no one wants to believe and hire you... meaningless if you're too sick to even move... fate isn't everything...

The music, the actors, everything was perfect in this movie. It's one of the few that actually showed me that some people are even more clever and wiser than me... I really respect the creators of this movie for being able to show me why my idea of perfection was wrong so brilliantly and in an entertaining manner; but don't expect explosions all over the place... it has a sort of nostalgic pace...

I just plain love this movie. I feel a sorrowful fondness every time I see the name.

Jude Law said this about it (see his biography): It was the first time I felt I was making a script I believed in, and that I'd see something on screen close to what I'd hoped, rather than this vaguely confusing wilderness my jobs had been to this point. It was my first project with quality minds behind it, Jersey Films, Andrew Niccol and Ethan Hawke, who was a joy to work with. I felt we had a real meeting of the minds. (On making Gattaca (1997)).

Thank you for this movie. I want more of this.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Rewiew of the film Gattaca

6/10
Author: christina-rausch from Germany
12 March 2013

"Gattaca" - A science fiction film which is very confusing and not as good as the headline is. It was directed by Andrew Nicols in the year 1997 and deals with a man called Vincent who has a heart condition but he cling to his dream becoming an astronaut.The actors did a good job especially Ethan Hawke as Vincent, who played hide and seek with the police which was very interesting. But all in all the film have to much comprehension gaps, which complicate the whole understanding.The film has a really strong and significant story but it is also confusing to understand who is who.The film has a wonderful statement: you should fight for your dreams. So I think that the idea of making a film about genetic engineering,the love story and the surprising end was good but the realization not as good as I hoped for.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unpleasant filters

6/10
Author: basilisksamuk (sam.salt@gmail.com) from United Kingdom
1 March 2013

For some reason the director chose to film every scene through a tobacco-coloured filter, making it appear as though you, the viewer, were immersed in a bowl of urine, peering out at passing events. Whilst this has relevance to the plot, I did not find it a pleasant viewing experience. The whole thing was subdued with minimalist acting techniques to match the minimalist sets. Michael Nyman's music was very jolly in places but otherwise the whole film is something of a downer.

The idea, as you probably know by now, is that in the future only genetically engineered persons are cool whilst people born by natural means are in-valids. It's a very interesting topic and one well worth exploring but this film fails to do the ideas justice. It's just so cool that, in the end you don't care very much. Pity. The players are pretty good especially Ethan Hawke as the in-valid and Jude Law as the crippled valid who supplies the necessary biological material to get Ethan accepted into the right circles.

The main problem is lack of tension. Even when Ethan is being hunted down as a suspected killer the director fails to capitalise on the potential. For the odd few seconds you suspect the film is going to come alive but then it returns to plodding along towards the inevitable conclusion, letting the viewer sink further and deeper into his or her aquarium of urine. There are no car chases, nothing goes bang, crash and the sex is very subdued. Not that a film has to have sex and violence in spades but, if it doesn't, it better offer us a very good storyline, characters and plot. Gattaca doesn't.

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