It starts with an interesting concept - life in a futuristic, boring, sterile world - and then proceeds to ruin that great premise (and a decent performance by Gore Vidal!) by taking a half-hour to painstakingly document the narrator's life. After that, it turns into a detective story (investigating a murder that's more a diversion than anything relevant to the plot) and settles into a pissing contest to see "who's superior" - man-made Ethan Hawke or his "lab-made" brother (perfect genetically), as well as a lame romance (Hawke and real-life wife Uma Thurman). Had it stuck to the rust-tinted, haunting visuals, and relied less on standard plotting, it could have work in the same vein as Tarkovsky's Solaris, which it has a lot in common with, but unlike Tarkovsky, Niccol isn't really interested in the intellectual aspects or nature of an individual identity.
Director: Andrew Niccol
Year Released: 1997