Cult-classic sci-fi movie returns to Prime Video – 27 years after divisive debut

A movie that has stood the test of time nicely

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Harking back to a time when science fiction didn't necessarily mean laser guns and spaceships, Gattaca was a cerebral and divisive movie when it came out back in 1997. 

Starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law, it's more of a thinker's sci-fi movie, full of tension and drama – but also a whole bunch of ethical and philosophical questions.

Now, nearly 30 years after its first release, it's back streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the US, remastered in 4K UHD, showing that Amazon knows the best streaming service it can make won't just feature new movies.

Gattaca asks questions about what would happen if we let genetic predetermination take hold – what would a near-future society look like if your lot in life was decided entirely by the makeup and apparent "potential" of your DNA. 

Hawke plays Vincent, a cleaner with no hopes thanks to his "in-valid" genetics, but who decides to make a bold play for himself by faking his identity to join the ranks of the genetically privileged. 

This leads him into the arms of Uma Thurman's Irene but also into the frame for a place in the coveted Gattaca Aerospace Corporation's next space mission. 

It's high-concept stuff, and plays with all sorts of fun ideas about our purposes in life, what brings us true happiness, and what a constructive government looks like when it starts to overreach. 

Still, when Gattaca isn't for everyone – reviews when it first arrived in theaters tended to veer between high praise and yawning boredom. In the years since, though, its reputation has steadily started to shine more and more. 

Now, 27 years later, it's sitting pretty on an 82% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the 87% score from audiences showing that even this still underplays its popularity a little. 

That popularity earned it a 4K UHD reissue last year, and this version is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video – so you should make sure to watch it on a great 4K telly. If you don't own one, our list of the best TVs on the market is sure to help you find a new display. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.