Box art for Gattaca


action & adventure, drama, sci-fi & fantasy

Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman star in this futuristic sci-fi thriller about a world where genetic engineering is used to perfect the human species.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

An interesting concept that doesn't hold water.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie focuses heavily on ideas of identity and accomplishment, though not always in a clear way. Our hero has a strong drive to overcome his supposed weaknesses, but he lies about his identity to do so without consequence. Although violence in the movie is minimal, a brutalized corpse is shown at a murder scene. One character commits suicide by burning himself. There is a very brief sex scene with no explicit nudity. Overall, the movie takes a very strong stance against genetic engineering.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about this movie's themes of identity, competition, and the future society's notions of perfection. Cloning, genetic research, and identity theft may also be topics of discussion.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 11
    see all Gattaca reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: One of first Hollywood films about the effects of genetic engineering on human conduct, Andrew Niccol's directing debut is an intelligent and timely sci-fi that, despite some illogical plot contrivances, is emotionally engaging almost up to the end.

- Emanuel Levy, Variety, Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Rotten: It's far too serious to be taken seriously.

- Jack Mathews, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Fresh: Gattaca doesn't just function as a science fiction thriller, but as both a cautionary tale about the dangers of letting scientific ability outstrip ethics and as a morality play about the irrationality of bigotry.

- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I didn't think this was my type of film, but surprisingly I was into it. I LOVE LOVE the ending and the music was so beautiful, I almost cried. Very odd, but good movie.

- LitelBluHli, Saturday, June 13, 2009

3 stars

Another on from the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival. And like all the other movies shown at this Festival , I enjoyed this Movie, and I am sorry that it took me 12 years to see it. Rated as a Science Fiction Movie, the only thing Science Fiction about it is that its in the future, other then that it would be a drama with suspense added.. I am glad to see my old friend Ernest Borgnine was still making movies in the year 1997, he was my favorite on McHales Navy. Also Uma Thurman as pretty as they get. A very Sad ending that I will not give away. If you haven't seen it, don't pass it up, you might find yourself enjoying it by the end. Don't let the slow start discourage you, it did almost me. But I stuck with it and glad I did. Its about a person swapping identity?s in a perfect type world, only to leave that world to travel into space, which doesn't happen except in last 3 minutes. So if you hate Sci-Fi, this is your movie cause there is very little Sci-Fi in it but a lot of great acting. Still only 3 1/2 stars I am a little critical tonight it must be my mood.

- bbcfloridabound, Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4 stars

Director:Andrew Niccol Released: 1997 Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman,Jude Law & Alan Arkin Genre: Sci Fi, Drama Country: USA In the not-too-distant future, a less than perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a fall. With some professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. When a colleague is killed he is finally scheduled for a space mission, but a colleague suspects his origins and the police begin an investigation. Seeing as it's the holiday season I thought I'd watch a few films that I've been dying to see for ages. So I stumbled across Gattaca in my local supermarket and decided to buy it. I didn't really know what to expect but I have to admit that i really like it. Gattaca is almost 12 years old and still feels like it was made a few years ago. The set design, nominated for an oscar, does give off the impression that I'm sure the director aimed to create. That being a world devoid of natural births and a world where companys employ people based on their genetic make up does, to the audience feel like that's the way the world could be. The film obviously, at the end of the film, depicts the consequences of the world and what it would meet for people living in it. In other words science has gone to far. The narrative structure, at first focusses on the scientific orientaed world, and we see more empthaises on that. As Vincent narrates however, we begin to understand that it more to it than that. The narrative doesn't however, stay too long on that and that's something I would have liked to see more of. There were a few scenes that didn't contain as much development as I'd like. Suddently a new story emerged. However those were minor flaws. As I said before, the film is more about a tale of one individual and less or a science fiction story. For instance Jude Law's character does become quite intriguing as the film progresses. In particular as we see Vincet eventually emerge as Jerome, which does become quite emotional. Overall, gattace is definatly a film I might re-watch and probably see something in it that i didn't see before. It depicts a world which could happen and contains characters that you can relate. Such an emotional tale of human spirit. Contains some outstanding set design. 8/10 More to follow...

- SarahG1988, Tuesday, December 23, 2008