All member reviews for Gattaca

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Common Sense Media says

An interesting concept that doesn't hold water.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 13 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Teen, 15 years old Written bybubbo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Gattaca

CSM was totally and completely wrong about this movie. This is a smart sc-fi thriller, one of the few Hollywood movies that entertains you and makes you think at the same time. Good stuff.
Educator and Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written byJayRo November 25, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Consider God’s handiwork: who can straighten what He hath made crooked?

The CSM reviewer is way off when he says this movie doesn't contain a positive message. Quite the contrary. The character who prevails is the one who overcomes the most obstacles, the one who exerts his spirit over his genes. While the characters who are supposedly perfect (genetically engineered) are burdened by their own perfection and are stymied by any and all obstacles. To say that he lies without consequence is not entirely accurate. He is always looking over his shoulder, and can't form real relationships (until he meets Irene) for risk of being discovered. He is alone. Besides, he's breaking a law that is unjust to begin with, so to argue that he should somehow pay for his crime of lying is just silly. The movie is not without flaws, certainly. Vincent's long-standing beef with his brother, which plays out in a game of chicken in the end, seems not to fit his adult character. And his brother's desire to see him fail also rings false, as that sense of rivalry wasn't developed in their childhood scenes. That said, I've shown this movie in my classroom for many years, and the kids are blown away. Not only do they love the move, but they seem to get the messages about science and morality better than the reviewer did. Yes, they are moved and upset by the suicide in the end, but being moved and upset, in this case, is a good thing. They see that, because of (rather than in spite of) Jerome's supposed perfection, he was flawed and was unable to cope with adversity. I do encourage parents to watch it first. Two f-bombs. One sex scene (no nudity, and the camera just sort of passes over the bed) and another scene of two people in bed together (implied sex). A shot of a bloody skull and the bloody keyboard used as the weapon and another scene where Vincent punches a cop several times in the face. Lots of drinking (Jerome, who is essentially portrayed as an alcoholic). Cigarettes. When you list it all out like that, it sounds much worse than it is. This is a wonderful movie with a beautiful message about the triumph of the human spirit ... for which there is no gene. The quote from Ecclesiastes in my title is what begins the movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 11 year old Written byThe Big E August 15, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

There is No Gene for the Human Spirit.

Quite frankly, if whoever is doing your reviews gave this movie only two stars, then he or she knows next to nothing about good science fiction. This movie is one of the, if not the, best science fiction flicks ever made. It forces us to face the moral implications of scientific and technical advancement - a question which so many in today's tech-happy society would love to avoid - and if forces us to recognize that there is so much more to we humans than can be explained merely by our genetic code. Hereafter, there be spoilers. Gattaca is set in a future where genetic engineering has become the norm, even of humans. Genetic and reproductive science has advanced to the point that people select the traits their unborn children will have so that they will be as close as possible to genetically perfect. People who have been engineered in this fashion are called, "Valids," and the world is their oyster. But of course, people being people, from time to time someone gets conceived the old-fashioned way, and they are the In-Valids. If you are an in-valid, you have no future to speak of. You cannot get hired to any meaningful job (despite laws against discrimination based on genes), and you are, in all meaningful ways, a second class citizen. Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is an in-valid. He dreams of going to outer space, and will not let his genetic inferiority prevent him from reaching his dream. Vincent goes to the genetic black market to get the perfect DNA he needs, and through careful manipulation (and outright fraud) of testing procedures, finds himself in the astronaut program of the Gattaca Corporation - and scheduled to go into space. Vincent's younger brother, Anton, is a Valid - his genes were genetically engineered to be as perfect as possible, and he has become a homicide detective - and has no idea the ruse his brother has been pulling off for years. Vincent's about to achieve his dream when an executive with Gattaca is murdered, Anton is assigned to the case, and the evidence begins to point to Vincent (he's innocent by the way). Now Vincent's ruse must also include fooling a cop who is his own brother, and as the noose closes in, brother meets brother, and we learn that the movie's tag line - which I put as the title above - is so very true - there is no gene for the human spirit. This movie is extraordinarily well made, and every time you watch it, you will catch telling details you missed the previous times (like the staircase in the shape of a strand of DNA at Gattaca headquarters). It is well written and well acted, incredibly well filmed, and while is doesn't have the shoot-em-up action found in so many sci-fi movies, it is filled with tension and suspense thick enough to cut with a knife, and with questions which stick with you and make you think about what it is that truly makes us human, and why that matters. It is also a movie which is proving to be prophetic about the role of science and technology in modern society, and about the amoral way in which science is coming to view humanity. I checked the positive message icon because it's message is that we are all, regardless of our limitations, so much more than our constituent parts, and I checked the good role model icon (despite his breaking the law - is that immoral when the law itself is either immoral going immorally unenforced?) because of the courage Vincent displays in the face of discrimination by a society which will never view him as anything more than his genetic code, and because he is willing to risk it all, including his life, to achieve his human potential. I rated it 14 and above for the brief sex scene (which contains no explicit nudity). The fact is that if your child loves science and science fiction, and if they are willing and able to consider the moral implications of scientific and technological advancement in a world where so many try to blur the lines between right and wrong, then this movie is not merely "on" for 14 and above, it goes beyond that into a new category I'm creating right now - "Required Viewing" for 14 and above.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Parent Written byajparis April 29, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

One of the greatest films!

The reviewer is way off. This movie is outstanding.
Kid, 12 years old August 16, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

2 Stars???

This is my absolute favorite movie. There is some strong profanity including the F word about 3 times. Also, there is one sex scene but no nudity. A man's naked behind is also shown partially. I recommend that parents watch it first or children should be supervised when watching this. All in all, I really love this movie despite some iffy parts.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 12 year old Written bylittleone522 June 23, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Surprised by a PG rating.

This movie may be confusing to kids. There is a character who commits suicide. There are two uses of the "F" word and words such as "p*ss" refuring to urine and "christ" overall there isn't much language but I'm surprised by its PG rating. There is one sex scene but no nudity is shown, just a lot of heavy breathing. You may want to proof-watch this one before letting your child watch.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJanus Bifrons April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 16 years old Written byLittleMissEnglish May 22, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

An inspiring movie with an Orwellian feeling

This movie, set in an almost Orwellian future, is most definitely not for young kids! It was recommended to me by a teacher, and I think I must have finally watched it when I was about 13/14. However, by that time, I was already taking courses in philosophy and reading “1984”. I have prepared a list of all the aspects of Gattaca that I deem problematic for children, but in the end, I would say that all parents much know their child. SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! -Death: A rather unimportant character dies fairly towards the beginning of the movie. He is badly beaten up and there is a lot of blood. Also, towards the end of the film, one of the main two characters commits suicide by burning himself. While this scene is not graphic, it can still be disturbing. -Injury: There is a fight scene, and one of the protagonists is paralyzed (his accident is not shown but is referred to). -Blood and gore: A very badly battered corpse is shown twice. Rather disturbing and realistic. A couple of blood tests are taken throughout the film and one can see a lots of singular drops of blood. Anyone squeamish about needles may want to turn away. Also, there are several images of blood samples. -Tragedy: The ending of the film is bitter sweet for one of the characters; what can be perceived as a happy ending is, when looked at deeper, actually not all that happy. He reaches his goals at the end of the movie, but his last monologue sounds rather maudlin, and it is unclear whether or not he will survive the mission he has set out on. For the other protagonist, the ending is most definitely tragic, for he commits suicide, having been unable to rid himself of his crushing perfectionism and post traumatic stress. -Psychology: Jerome Eugene, a pratagoist of the story, has a very complex psyche. He is a crippling perfectionist, and attempts suicide because of it. When his attempt fails, he is left permanently injured and at odds with himself. He drinks a lot and is rather harsh and cynical. Even after the events of the film, he is unable to rid himself of these feelings and attempt suicide, this time succeeding. Such a psychologically complex character may be hard for children to comprehend. -Political/social undertones: Gattaca is a harsh but believable film about the effects of tampering with DNA. It also addresses discrimination (due to genetics) and the drastic measure people will go to to free themselves of the shackles put on them by society. In an early monologue, we are told how society can twist the legality of things to enforce their prejudices on the people. In typical Andrew Nicol style, the movie is very critical about society and, especially, science, and is of very Orwellian nature. It takes a strong stance against genetic engineering and discrimination -Sex/Innuendo: A comment about the size of a man’s penis is made and a sex scene is shown, although there is very little nudity. - Nudity: Hardly. Arms and backs, and once a tiny bit of a bottom, if my memory serves me right. -Language: A few f***s and sh**s. The word piss is used a few times. Nothing terrible. -Drugs: Both protagonists smoke and drink; one in excess and he is seen vomiting due to the effects of alcohol once. Drugs are not glorified. -Suspense: The whole film is rather filled with suspense, as it revolves around whether or not the main character Vincent will get away with a massive deception. There is one rather “quake-on-your-seat” moment, in which the paralyzed Jerome must make his way up a shockingly long and winding flight of stairs in a short time. Other than that, a few little exciting moments, nothing that will have you in tears of anticipation. -Questionable messages: While the message of the movie is not negative, is does show us a very hopeless future that we might well be heading towards if we don’t introduce tolerance and keep tampering with mother nature the way we do. One of the protagonists lies to achieve his goals, but it would be wrong to say it is without consequence, for he does suffer from feelings of guilt and always has to be meticulously careful to keep his deception up. Plus, his only way to achieve the goals that have been unfairly deemed out of his reach since the day he was born is through deception, so that makes the whole lying business much more acceptable. Also, it does show suicide as a last way out, which may not be the most positive message for kids. -Good stuff: Well, to start off with, Gattaca boasts a brilliant story, exceptional direction and a stellar cast including Jude Law, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Alan Arkin. It is very rich in subject matter to analyse and discuss and is ingenious in terms of premise and story. I challenge everyone to research the names of the characters, plus the words plays (I’ll give you a hit: Invalid and Degenerate) The main message is that, in the end, we can overcome our disadvantages and that the human spirit and the will of the individual will prevail if truly strong enough. It encourages us to embrace limitations and beat them, and is very inspiring. Gattaca is an eye opening movie about science and society, and is definitely worth watching (despite a couple of plot flaws that we can forgive on account of the movie being otherwise fantastic). I would say that parents should watch Gattaca before showing it to their children. It should only be viewed by people emotionally and intellectually mature, and it’s best if viewers already take a philosophical interest in the problems of our society. One cannot expect that everyone will comprehend the true meaning of the film immediately, so parents should make themselves available for discussions before and after viewing. Gattaca may be perceived as boring by some kids, while others (like myself) will lap it up like a cat would milk. A great film! ~LittleMissEnglish :-)
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written byLauraMac June 13, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Smart sci-fi for older kids

very interesting topics of discussion about genetic destiny, and great to have a film in the "dark future" science fiction genre which my older kids can watch.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCinemaFanatic February 12, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Good Movie, But For Older Teens

Gattaca is a science fiction film that constantly keeps you thinking. There are some good role models in it, definately, because one character sets out to defy the odds and has lots of determination to achieve his goals. Some concerns are sex, violence, and language. As for sex, there is some kissing and a scene of a couple in bed. For violence, there are images of a very badly beaten man and parts of the gruesome crime are shown. Even some of the strongest stomachs may find these few but brief scenes hard to sit though. The language is mostly s***, but there are 2 uses of the "F" word, where you least expect it. There is some smoking and drinking, but it's mostly socially, which shouldn't be a problem. While there are great performances by the cast, the movie is so-so, but definately worth watching if you like thought-provoking, sci-fi movies, this is for you.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byPeacewashere July 7, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Art

It is so sad that the person reviewing this movie was unable to see its brilliance. This is quite possibly the best science fiction work ever created. It is well written, and well acted with good casting. It has a purpose and delivers it well: that genetic engineering (and the like) is a bad idea. If you don't agree with this the movie may still be interesting to watch as a work of art. Although to me the message seemed fairly clear a surprising number of people reviewing and discussing this film seem to understand it only on a basic one-dimensional level. This is art, beautiful yet entertaining . Every aspect of this movie works with every other aspect combining into the most compelling, rewarding story possible. Every line and movement adds to the story. This movie might be appropriate for 12 and up but because this rises to the level of art it might be hard to appreciate until viewers are older. Parents: please note that one character's violently murdered body is shown a few times, a main character commits suicide (finishing the story meaningfully by the way), and that same character is an alcoholic who also smokes. It is indicated briefly (in a way that may go over your child's head) that his only company outside of the other main character is the company of prostitutes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 February 8, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Complex sci-fi thriller/drama is tense, but fine for most teens

not your usual explosive sci-fi thriller, this genetics based drama can be somewhat confusing, but overall simple. its a movie that is fine for teens, but only if they are interested. there is little to no violence in this movie although there is a beating and shots of a bloody face and an implied suicide. there is strong language throughout, and one character smokes in multiple scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byabbacus May 23, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Interesting concept makes good movie.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing