Gattaca (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes


Gattaca (1997)



Critic Consensus: Intelligent and scientifically provocative, Gattaca is an absorbing sci fi drama that poses important interesting ethical questions about the nature of science.

Gattaca Videos

Gattaca Photos

Movie Info

In a futuristic society where commerce has overridden more humanistic concerns, the rich and successful, eager to obtain physical and mental perfection, have taken to genetically engineering their off-spring. Such lab-created babies are known as Valids, while those conceived in the normal, loving fashion are In-Valids and are considered second-class citizens at best -- especially if they have birth defects. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is an In-Valid while his brother Anton (Loren Dean) is a Valid. The former brother is short, sickly, and bespectacled, while the latter brother is handsome, healthy and born to succeed. But though Anton seems close to perfection, he lacks the emotional flaws, passion, determination, desire and faith that motivate Vincent, whose strongest desire is to become a space navigator for the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation and travel on an upcoming mission to the moons of Saturn. Unfortunately, his birth status and a heart defect, relegate him to menial jobs. Unwilling to abandon hope, Vincent determinedly visits DNA broker German (Tony Shalhoub) who is able to create false identities for similar In-Valids. It is not an easy transformation but eventually Vincent -- who thanks to the genetic contributions of paralyzed Valid Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), becomes Jerome while the wheel-chair bound donor becomes Eugene -- finally enters Gattaca for training. There he encounters a beautiful Valid pilot, Irene (Uma Thurman) whose defective heart prevents her from flying. Irene's plight is a fate she passively accepts whereas Vincent is willing to oppose and fight for what he wants. Meanwhile, an increasingly complex relationship evolves between Vincent/Jerome and Jerome/Eugene. Set in an oppressive, bureaucratic and chillingly plausible early-21st-century world, Andrew Niccol's sci-fi thriller differs from others in its focus on a morally ambiguous world and on characters rather than gizmos, technobabble and special effects.

Watch it now


Ethan Hawke
as Vincent/Jerome
Jude Law
as Jerome/Eugene
Gore Vidal
as Director Joseph
Alan Arkin
as Detective Hugo
Elias Koteas
as Antonio
Chad Christ
as Young Vincent
William Lee Scott
as Young Anton
Blair Underwood
as Geneticist
Maya Rudolph
as Delivery Nurse
Una Damon
as Head Nurse
Elizabeth Dennehy
as Pre-School Teacher
Mason Gamble
as Younger Vincent
Vincent Nielson
as Younger Anton
Clarence Graham
as Personnel Officer
Carlton Benbry
as Gattaca Hoover
Grace Sullivan
as Sequencing Customer
Ken Marino
as Sequencing Technician
Gabrielle Reece
as Gattaca Trainer
Ryan Dorin
as Twelve-Fingered Pianist
Dean Norris
as Cop On The Beat
Russell Milton
as Gattaca Detective
George Marshall Ruge
as Beaten Detective
Steve Bessen
as Blood Test Detective
Lindsey Lee Ginter
as Mission Commander
View All

Critic Reviews for Gattaca

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (16)

Stylishly scoped with ice-blue hues and smartly visualized with a forbiddingly cold design, Gattaca is an intelligently-conceived sci-fi chiller starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

October 25, 2019 | Full Review…

An institutional hush envelops the compelling cautionary fable Gattaca as if it were muffled by a velvet lab coat.

January 9, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A thoughtful hybrid of sci-fi, thriller, and character drama; to give you some idea of its high-mindedness, it not only opens with a relevant Bible verse (Ecclesiastes 7:13), but in the opening credits that follow, Gore Vidal is fifth-billed.

November 13, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I didn't care enough about Hawke's character to ignore a big problem in the story's logic: if this future has such incredible biotechnology, why can't Law just get his damaged body parts fixed?

June 5, 2007

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.

July 5, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

Chilly, elegant, and a little bloodless.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gattaca

An intelligent, rather grounded and realistic look into a near future when parents can choose the genetic makeup of their kids, and the story of a man fooling the system of only the perfect candidates making their way in life and career. Good acting, interesting characters, a cool, very subtle set design and exciting plot make this utopian/dystopian thriller a gem of the genre. The thriller elements are subtle at first but make for a few really exciting sequences towards the end. The wonderful soundtrack completes the picture, always striking the right chords. Especially the ending is very strong and comes up with one of the most beautiful last lines ever.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Little known film with big actors and an intriguing story-line.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Gattaca Quotes

News & Features