Gattaca
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The Hunt for Red October

Genuine science can appear in the most unexpected places. In The Hunt for Red October (USA, 1990, Paramount Pictures) I was thrilled to see the eponymous sub ran on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), a propulsion system I’d based a high school science-fair project upon over a decade earlier. Though the study of MHD as a power source has largely been shelved, I still get chills every time I see the film.

Available on Hulu and Vudu.

Gattaca

Video:

Gattaca trailer

While Jurassic Park made genetic research “cool,” it was Gattaca (USA, 1997, Columbia Pictures), which came out four years later, that was scientifically riveting. For me, the movie’s more-or-less dystopian plot was outshined by its foresight and insight into genetics and personalized medicine that, relatively quickly after the picture’s release, began to move from science fiction to science fact.

Available on Crackle and YouTube.

— Jeff Berkwits, scientific writer and self-professed tech geek

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