October 24th, 1997

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Still of Uma Thurman in GattacaStill of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman in GattacaUma Thurman at event of GattacaStill of Ethan Hawke in GattacaStill of Ernest Borgnine in GattacaStill of Danny DeVito and Andrew Niccol in Gattaca

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 7.8/10 (102,574 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: Andrew Niccol

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law

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 car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret.

Ethan Hawke - Vincent Freeman
Uma Thurman - Irene Cassini
Gore Vidal - Director Josef
Xander Berkeley - Dr. Lamar
Jayne Brook - Marie Freeman
Elias Koteas - Antonio Freeman
Maya Rudolph - Delivery Nurse
Una Damon - Head Nurse
Elizabeth Dennehy - Preschool Teacher
Blair Underwood - Geneticist
Mason Gamble - Vincent Freeman - Boy
Vincent Nielson - Anton Freeman - Boy
Chad Christ - Vincent Freeman - Teen
William Lee Scott - Anton Freeman - Teen
Clarence Graham - Personnel Officer

Taglines: Only one criterion : genetic perfection

Release Date: 24 October 1997

Filming Locations: Barstow, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,320,202 (USA) (26 October 1997) (1279 Screens)

Gross: $12,339,633 (USA) (1 March 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

While it has been identified that "GATTACA" uses the 4 DNA nucleotide abbreviations of G,A,T,C, more specifically, when identifying genetic markers, the tests measure "short tandem repeats" at specific DNA marker locations. These are known as "GATA or CA" repeats - hence GATTACA.

Continuity: After Irene and Vincent have sex, you can see that the bedroom walls are pure glass (including the corner of the house). You can also see a view of the beach and ocean. Later when Vincent is on the beach scrubbing himself with sand, the house is viewed from the beach. At that point you can see pillars in between pieces of glass on the house, including the corner.

[first lines]
Director Josef: You keep your work station so clean, Jerome.
Vincent: It's next to godliness. Isn't that what they say?
Director Josef: Godliness. I reviewed your flight plan. Not one error in a million keystrokes. Phenomenal. It's right that someone like you is taking us to Titan.
Vincent: Has the committee approved the mission? There's been talk of delay.
Director Josef: You shouldn't listen to talk. You leave in a week. You've got a substance test.

User Review

One of the finest movies of the decade.

Rating: 10/10

Gattaca is a brilliant under-rated piece of cinema that the not-too-distant future will, in retrospect, see it as one of the more outstanding movies of the nineties. It is prolific, stylish, thought-provoking, and one of the few recent science fiction movies that totally foregoes special effects and does it well.

There is nothing about Gattaca that I didn't like. It is a subtle piece of art that reminds of the writing of Ray Bradbury. Technology (the core element of science fiction) is only the backdrop for the story of a man who goes against all odds, including his brother, and overcomes those odds.

Make sure you watch it more than twice. There are many subtle details that you'll miss if you don't (ie, Gattaca's doctor asks, "Have I ever told you about my son?" not even five minutes into the movie, and childhood Vincent falls down holding a toy rocket...) and it's these small details that create a tapestry of cinematic artistry.

The soundtrack is phenomenal. The sets are noir and stylistic, and (thankfully) instead of trying to present a realistic physical future Niccol instead vies for the FEELING of the future: constrained, restricted, and patterned.

Watch it before it's cool to have watched it.

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