I’m not sure if we realized that we were living in a golden age, but, on reflection, it’s clear that the late 90s were a good time for thoughtful science fiction movies. Gattaca explores ideas about genetic manipulation and eugenics in smart and complex ways: Ethan Hawke plays Vincent Freeman, born naturally in a world in which almost all children are genetically modified to near perfection. He’s got poor eyesight and heart problems that mean he probably won’t live much past 30, but he’s determined to secure a spot on an upcoming space mission (the look and feel here is very much future-via-the-1960s). So he borrows DNA from a disabled Jude Law, paralyzed following a car accident, and assumes the other man’s identity. A murder and love interest complicate matters, but the film brings up some troubling questions: If we’re able to create perfect healthy children, why wouldn’t we? But, then, what would be lost in the process?
Where to stream: Hulu, Pluto TV