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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2015
This clever Sci-Fi Film talks of a world where Pure Humans become Second class Cititzen to New Genetically Enhanced Beings.Its A Brilliant and Terrifying thought that refelects One possible future.Excellent Intelligent Sci-Fi.
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on 23 October 2011
I totally agree with the Amazon reviewer; this film is well executed and it came out in the 90s barely noticed. In fact I'm not sure how I came to see this film in the first place.

The film stars Ethan Hawke as Vincent, the eldest child to two well-meaning parents and an 'invalid' (as opposed to valid). Just before the time when humans are able to select traits from their gene pool, Vincent is conceived naturally and, at birth, his parents find out immediately his flaws, tendencies and probable life expectancy. This is followed by his parents following up on young Vincent with another child, a brother, who they decide to give the best possible start in life, by genetically removing imperfections - character or biological-wise. The pace for the beginning section moves along well, giving just the right background and insight into the characters, and leads us swiftly to why Vincent chooses to leave home and try his luck in the 'valid' world. Despite all his efforts, this means that due to the unspoken discrimination against invalids or 'faith births', he is unable to get a job better than a janitor at Gattaca, the prestigious space agency he dreams of working in.

I could go on and on. The story moves pleasantly from his sacrifices to get into Gattaca, his relationship with Jerome/Eugene (Jude Law), his progression within Gattaca and his relationship with Irene (Uma Thurman). Apparently this was the film that Hawke and Thurman met on and subsequently got married - they have a chemistry that works in this film so I guess that was the helped. Jude Law for me is a very good co-star. Being the valid that Vincent borrows his identity from, he has his own obvious flaws despite his privileged upbringing.

Give Gattaca a go, for me it is very underrated, or maybe put another way, it is very under the radar. There is no action to speak of as such; it's not a science-fiction with plenty of gadgets and space-age stuff, and anyone that is looking for accompanying shiny-looking weapons or Jetson-style hover cars will be disappointed.

It's not 5 stars for me as I don't believe it is the best in it's class, but it is still a very enjoyable film.
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on 2 October 2008
To understand Gattaca, it helps to know a little history.

About a century ago, progressives took up what the New York Times in 1912 called the "wonderful new science" of eugenics. Because of improvements in medicine and public health, eugenists said, the "unfit" were having more children than the "fit." Their solution included both positive eugenics--encouraging the "fit" to have more children, and negative eugenics--preventing the "unfit" from having children.

Forced sterilization laws in some 37 states were their greatest achievement, with California being the most zealous in applying its law. But legislation in more conservative states, particularly in the South, was blocked by claims that forced sterilization was unconstitutional. That barrier was shoved aside in a 1927 Supreme Court decision, Buck v. Bell, which regarded forced sterilization laws as no different from laws requiring vaccination. Regard some children as a blight on society, and sterilization serves the same disease-eliminating function as vaccination.

The feminists of that day had no problem with negative eugenics. They believed that the birthrate of the "unfit" should be lowered by any means possible. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a prominent feminist sociologist, made eugenics a key feature in her 1915 feminist utopia, Herland. What they objected to was "forced motherhood," meaning social pressures on women like themselves to abandon professional careers for children.

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger took up their cause. She was vehemently opposed to positive eugenics, but zealously championed negative eugenics. Most of those regarded as "unfit" were recent immigrants from Southern Europe (Catholic) and Eastern Europe (Jewish). Because sterilization laws were only effective against people in state institutions, they could do little to lower immigrant birthrates. Her answer was to build birth control clinics in immigrant neighborhoods, starting with the Brownsville neighborhood in NYC. Poverty would be used as a lever to force down immigrant birthrates. You can read her arguments in her still-in-print 1922 bestseller, The Pivot of Civilization. To understand what is going on today, simply substitute blacks and Hispanics for those earlier Catholic and Jewish immigrants. And of course abortion has replaced birth control as the tool of choice.

Gattaca envisions a future world run by people much like those early twentieth century eugenists and birth controllers. If your parents allowed geneticists to manufacture you to the proper specifications, then life will be good, with all the best career paths open. But if, like the Vincent in this movie, your parents conceived you the old fashioned way, then you're consigned to menial jobs. In Vincent's case that meant cleaning the headquarters of Gattaca, an organization tasked with exploring the solar system.

Since he was a child, Vincent has wanted to explore space. Not being a member of the genetically programmed elite, that path seemed forever closed to him. This movie describes how he worked to beat the system. I won't give away details and spoil your fun, but I do suggest you pay attention to the clash between Vincent and his genetically programmed brother in their `who will turn back first' swimming challenge. This film reminds us there are aspects to our personalities, particularly courage, that can't be programmed in. They're the result of the choices we make. Vincent wins because he risks everything for his dream, saving nothing for the swim back.

This an excellent film. You won't regret watching it.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of: The Pivot of Civilization in Historical Perspective: The Birth Control Classic and Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State
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on 13 September 2002
Don't get me wrong, I really liked this film, and when I watched it recently (on video) for the first time, I was shocked that I hadn't heard more about it.
All the ingredients are there for an amazing film, but there are a couple of areas with room for improvement. The good bits are aplenty, great concept, good plot, excellent charaterisation (given the subject matter), great script and acting, amazing style and ambience, and at last a sci-fi film with a thought provoking (rather than a "wow look at our special effects") approach to film making. The direction is brilliant and I loved the slow(ish) pace to the film.
The gripes I have are very small, but make the whole effect annoyingly imperfect. The competition between the two brothers was rather weekly done and appears purely to highlight the basic "Valid vs. In-Valid" issue which didn't need such a "spoon-fed" approach. The twist towards the end (no not the final one, the one with the cop!) I thought was poorly executed, and not built up as a possibility well throughout the film. Also, one or two scenes bothered me a bit (such as the swimming race), but maybe i'm just being pickey.
Please do not let that put you off what is a cracking film which stimulates the viewer in many ways you're normal hollywood tripe does not. Highly recommended.
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on 14 May 2013
Great movie. It certainly raises many questions about the ethics of gene manipulation and discrimination. I am currently using this movie in my genetics classes.
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on 25 September 2015
Another Superbit Classic...
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on 6 September 2001
Gattaca must be one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent films in its genre. It may lack the explosions, aliens and lasers that mark other sci-fi films, but Gattaca is not just a sci-fi, like Blade Runner, it is a social comment on the society that we run the risk of becoming. (It is correct, GATTACA suggests the four organic bases of DNA, guanine, adenine, cytosine, thymine)
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on 27 June 2016
Great futuristic film.
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on 27 January 2017
truly superb sci-fi
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on 4 October 2014
A scary look into the future that might well come to pass.
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