Just having DNA is not good enough, since I don’t want to say that a test tube full of DNA is alive. Is a virus alive? Scientists aren’t sure. If it is alive, does it stay alive when you take it apart, or is there something special about the system of parts that confers aliveness. Are gametes alive (e.g., sperm and egg cells)? Spermatazoa certainly look alive, but they do not have full complement of DNA, and can’t reproduce.
At some point, one is forced into a corner, defining life simply as those things that are alive, and the definition is totally circular. That's no good.
I don’t think there is a special “life force,” but I think the question of life must be wrongly formulated somehow.