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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction For The Thinking Viewer
Gattaca paints a future where the haves are genetically designed and the have-nots are genetically inferior with no hope of advancement. But one young man has a dream. He wants to get into space. To do this he works out and studies as hard as he is able. But all of the hard work does no good. Then he finds a way.
Occasionally one of the haves has an accident...
Published on June 24 2004 by Joshua Koppel

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not remotely compelling
Gattaca has a fascinating premise, but lousy execution, because the director forgot the single most important precept of movie-making: the audience must have an emotional relationship with the protagonist. There are no likable characters in this movie. Not a one. Sure, both Ethan and Uma are fantastic LOOKING, but that's the point of genetic selection anyhow. Their...
Published on Nov. 9 2001


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction For The Thinking Viewer, June 24 2004
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gattaca paints a future where the haves are genetically designed and the have-nots are genetically inferior with no hope of advancement. But one young man has a dream. He wants to get into space. To do this he works out and studies as hard as he is able. But all of the hard work does no good. Then he finds a way.
Occasionally one of the haves has an accident. Then it is possible to assume that person's identity armed with genetic traces, blood and urine samples and some creative surgery. Thus armed he is able to enter Gattaca (the organization responsible for space flight) where he wins a position on the mission to Titan. But there is a hitch; a murder. During the investigative sweep one of his eyelashes is found and the search begins in earnest.
Most of the rest of the movie is involved with trying to maintain identity long enough to manage take off. Complicating matters are a Columbo-style detective (Alan Arkin), a love interest (Uma Thurman) and his brother from his old life. In the end it comes down to a simple idea. Many of the haves know a have-not (be it a child, sibling or whatever) who they have had to abandon and our hero represents the one ray of hope that these people can have. So just as he is discovered, the discoverers each have a reason to not turn him in and he begins the mission to Titan.
Gattaca, with its heavy detective cat-and-mouse, could be the successor to Alfred Bester's THE DEMOLISHED MAN. This was a very well made film with a good story, characters, acting and pacing. There were excellent performances from many of the cast including author Gore Vidal. If you like your films with a bit of thought then this is one you should look out for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not remotely compelling, Nov. 9 2001
By A Customer
Gattaca has a fascinating premise, but lousy execution, because the director forgot the single most important precept of movie-making: the audience must have an emotional relationship with the protagonist. There are no likable characters in this movie. Not a one. Sure, both Ethan and Uma are fantastic LOOKING, but that's the point of genetic selection anyhow. Their choices, their lives, their whining about the limitations on their priviledged life... none of it speaks to an actual human.
Brazil did it better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The destiny of DNA, Feb. 23 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Imagine a world where your future is determined by your genes. Your schools, your job, your social status are all determined by what genetic flaws you have.

Such is the world that we see in "Gattaca," a scarily plausible sci-fi story that examines the implications of eugenics and genetic enhancement. Director Andrew Niccol thankfully never gets too preachy or "uplifting" -- instead he crafts a cleanly elegant story with a murder mystery as the catalyst, and the strong trinity Jude Law, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.

Vincent Freeman (Hawke) is an "invalid," conceived without eugenic technology. On the day he was born, it was predicted that he would be myopic, might be bipolar, and would probably die at thirty from a heart defect. Throughout his life, Vincent dreams of becoming an astronaut, but his genetic status dooms him to menial labor.

The solution: Vincent "buys" the identity and genetic profile of Jerome Eugene Morrow (Law), an Olympic swimmer who broke his back in a car crash. Vincent will pay Jerome, and Jerome will provide him with blood, urine, skin and hair samples.

With Jerome's help, Vincent is accepted into Gattaca Aerospace Corporation, and is chosen for a manned flight to Titan. But when one of the administrators is found murdered, the police find one of Vincent's eyelashes nearby. If they discover who Vincent truly is, he won't just lose his dream -- he'll be convicted of murder.

"Gattaca" is a movie that addresses one of life's great questions -- does destiny determine how we live our lives, or do we decide our own fate? There are no easy answers, but it's always best to err on the side of "we can make our own destiny" -- and this movie is basically all about one man's quest to determine his own fate, DNA be damned.

None of the movies Andrew Niccol has made since "Gattaca" have even come close to this level of skill -- the movie is a slow, elegant winding of murder mystery and philosophical sci-fi. The plot quietly grows in tension as Vincent's life becomes more tangled up in lies and suspicion, with quietly powerful dialogue laced with dry humor ("I guess we can rule out suicide," comments a cop as they bag a bloodied keyboard).

And it's beautifully filmed. Everything is full of clean lines and cold light, with the occasional moment of symbolism -- note that the apartment that Eugene and Vincent share is centered around a giant DNA-style spiral staircase.

And the final puzzle pieces are the actors, who are all really good. Ethan Hawke gives a quietly powerful performance as a man who goes to desperate lengths to fulfill his dreams, and Uma Thurman has the right mix of icy reserve and sweetness as a "valid" woman who falls in love with the man rather than his DNA.

But the best performance is Jude Law. Jerome a truly tragic character, whose genetic perfection wasn't enough to keep disaster away -- he's proof that DNA can't make your life good or rewarding. Law plays him with a mixture of bitter wit and compassion, with perpetually shadowed eyes and a drink always in his hand. You may cheer for Vincent, but your heart will bleed for Jerome.

"Gattaca" is a masterpiece of science fiction -- a richly nuanced, beautifully understated work that reminds you that, no matter where we come from, we can all reach for the stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite sci-fi, Jan. 9 2014
By 
E. Wong - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
I love how this move explores the nature vs. nurture theme - gives us all hope in our everyday lives
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not very interesting, Dec 1 2013
By 
tornitons - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
The idea of how the genetic technology could become in the future is interesting. But the story is rather weak, uninteresting, at least to me. I don't care for the come back of the brother at the very end of the movie ??? The actors are good. The movie is of good quality. It just isn't a Sci-Fi movie. More social and psychological. Too bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favorite, Sept. 8 2013
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This review is from: Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Love this film, and always will. I like that I have a great quality copy of this. The aesthetic of this move is very appealing to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great find., April 24 2013
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This review is from: Gattaca Bilingual (DVD)
It was great to find this movie, been looking for a while. My wife saw it years ago, but could not find it. She was delighted to get it on her birthday.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Movie, Aug. 20 2007
This was a great movie and I believe that everybody should watch it.

I couldn't understand why he was holding it with his right hand when he was supposed to be left handed....
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3.0 out of 5 stars VINCENT, Feb. 11 2004
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gattaca (VHS Tape)
The world of this movie was never meant for one as deficient genetically as this Vincent, we are given to understand. In this nearish future, genetic design is depicted as at least a frequent occurrence, perhaps even the norm. Vincent was conceived normally and brings into the world a daunting catalogue of infirmities, summed up in a life-expectancy of 30 years, low by even the standards of certain far eastern counties today. This does not sit well with his consuming ambition to travel into space, and the film builds a collection of different plots and sub-plots around this basic quandary.
To start with what is particularly good about Gattaca, the sets are striking. They create a 'futuristic' aura very successfully, so much so that they they actually forced my attention on to what I believe to be one aspect of the film's main weakness, namely the plot or plots - Vincent's basic dilemma does not require a future setting at all. If he had been a weakling trying to get into a career in, say, sport or the armed services in 2004 that would have dealt with the issue just as well. The other thing that is distinctly good, in a certain kind of way, is the acting. When Gore Vidal, of all people, makes an early entrance in the role of Director, I reflected momentarily that I had never seen him acting before. In an instant I had corrected myself - I have never seen Vidal not acting. He acts a persona of his own creating whenever he appears on the media, and it is no surprise that he carries off his film role so convincingly. The Director is a far simpler personality that the real-life Gore Vidal. The three main roles are taken by Ethan Hawke as Vincent, Jude Law as the crippled but genetically perfect Jerome, and Uma Thurman as Irene. Like the Director, the characters are schematic and line-drawn, and such as they are they are very well done. The trouble, I hate to say, is the plotting.
Not only is the basic setting not really required, the theme of Vincent's physical frailty actually has nothing to do with the ethical question of designer-vs-natural conception either. These threads are separate strands thrown into a single bag, so to speak, but not woven together. In much the same way the murder investigation, which threatens to blow Vincent's cover and reveal his clever DNA exchange with Jerome, is very loosely integrated with the main action - anything of that kind would have taken only the smallest mischance to come to light, and the efforts of the investigators make the quest for certain weapons in Iraq even as I write look a model of competence. It all left me not even needing to make a willing supension of disbelief at how an impoverished janitor obtained the funds first to pay the rapacious clandestine transgenetics operator and second to pay his way though the Gattaca induction programme. To cap it all, there is a further sub-plot of sibling rivalry between Vincent and his eugenic younger brother Anton, which must be important, I have to assume, as one of their periodic swimming contests takes place at the climactic stage of the story. And of course there is a love-theme as well, in case the film ran out of themes.
I suppose this could hardly be called a rave-notice, and I fully admit that the film at least held my attention. It is not a bad film by any means, but the nearer in time to us that such an action is supposed to take place the harder it is to keep one's normal rational faculties switched off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tense: Future imperfect (genetic style), June 27 2003
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gattaca (VHS Tape)
Gattaca is a fascinating science fiction/mystery movie, set in the 'not too distant future', in which astronauts dress in stylish, roaring-twenties inspired clothing and where the world seems to be finely ordered and sequenced, just like a genetic code.
In fact, it is the genetic code which determines all. Test-tube babies are the norm for anyone who wants to have a chance; screening out imperfections has become routine, and those who have the misfortune of being born outside the system of genetic checks and balances will find themselves invalid (in-valid in the sense of not valid for work, as well as invalid in the sense of incapacitated for advancement). Society has been structured around a pre-defined sense of potential as projected by genetic codes. But there are a few who challenge the system.
Meet Vincent, a.k.a. Jerome Morrow (played by Ethan Hawke), who dreams of the stars and lusts for a position at Gattaca (the new-age NASA), but with the genetic code of a loser. Enter Jerome Morrow, a.k.a. Eugene (played by Jude Law), who has the potential, but also a broken spinal cord -- he lends Vincent, through an ingenious and intricate system, his genetic sequence. In this guise, Vincent thus rises to the position of navigator, selected for the great Titan/Saturn mission.
Then, the director gets murdered. A flake of skin falls from Vincent which the investigators find, and the chase is on. The launch is a week away. Will Vincent outrun the pursuers in time?
Of course, Vincent's pursuers are led by his brother, the genetically-planned offspring of the family, who thought that Vincent was dead. There is an ultimate contest, which Vincent wins, proving the victory of determination over pre-determination.
Vincent, in the person of Jerome, falls in love with Irene (played by Uma Thurman), who works at Gattaca in a sort of genetic quality-control position. She falls in love the potential, the idea of Jerome, but eventually comes to love the imperfect Vincent. She herself, for all the genetic planning, also has an imperfection, which makes her all the more attractive to Vincent.
Gore Vidal has a small but crucial role as a flight director in charge of keeping things on track (with style!) as the murder investigation threatens the operations at Gattaca.
This movie is a visually interesting, unique, and much under-rated and under appreciated show. It won awards for art direction and other stylistic touches, including the Oscar.
I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that Vincent and Jerome both leave the earth.
'For someone never meant for this world, I must confess, I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say that every atom of our body was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving. Maybe I'm going home.'
Interestingly, the idea of genetics is woven into the movie in very many ways, some subtle, some explicit. The very title, Gattaca, consists of the strands of bases that comprise the double helix of DNA G (guanine), A (adenine), C (cytosine), and T (thymine) -- the sequence of these bases constitutes genetic information, much as the arrangement of the 26 letters of this alphabet constitutes information.
This is a clever film, a bit slow, but stylish, suspenseful, wonderfully visual, and well worth a weekend evening investment.
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Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Gattaca (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) by Andrew Niccol (Blu-ray - 2006)
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