Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Heroin may be a downer, but Trainspotting definitely takes you up…a series of roaring, provocative, outrageous highs. [26 July 1996, Friday, p.C]
  2. Reviewed by: Barry Walters
    100
    Extraordinary, entertaining cinema.
  3. It would be hard to imagine a movie about drugs, depravity, and all-around bad behavior more electrifying than Trainspotting.
  4. 100
    The most original, daring, thrilling movie to be released this year, Trainspotting is one of those occasional, astonishing triumphs of risk and imagination that gets you excited about what smart people, pushing themselves and the medium, can accomplish in the movies.
  5. Reviewed by: Shannon Gee
    100
    Keeps you engaged in this story of a memorable anti-hero for our times.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Wood
    100
    A desolate, fast, funny, scary film, and it takes more risks than any recent film.
  7. Exuberant and pitiless, profane yet eloquent, flush with the ability to create laughter out of unspeakable situations, Trainspotting is a drop-dead look at a dead-end lifestyle that has all the strength of its considerable contradictions.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    The film is about joy--in conniving and surviving, in connecting with audiences, in its own fizzy, jizzy style.
  9. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    Scabrous, brutal and hip, Trainspotting is a "Clockwork Orange" for the '90s.
  10. Reviewed by: Jason Puskar
    90
    Irresistibly bleak appeal.
  11. The on-target performances, along with the unceasing barrage of popular music and daring narrative gambles, combine to make Trainspotting one of the grand movie rushes of 1996.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    A movie that rudely flings feces at the breakfast table isn't for everyone.
  13. 88
    There's nothing new or unique about the story, but it is presented in a manner that reinforces its immediacy and impact.
  14. A little like speeding through the digestive tract of some voracious beast. There's bite, acid, digestive churning and an expulsive conclusion. If the metaphor seems unsavoury, well, wait until you see the film.
  15. 87
    It's a disturbing film in the best sense.
  16. Reviewed by: Arnold Wayne Jones
    80
    Creates a sense of understanding that crystallizes the essence of the drug subculture with startling clarity.
  17. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    80
    Ewan McGregor in a raw, funny, star-making performance.
  18. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    80
    A surprisingly vital film.
  19. The stylish irreverence of Trainspotting mimics that drug high and delivers its own potent kick.
  20. Reviewed by: John Leland
    80
    Artfully ambivalent, Danny Boyle's film, twists with a junkie's logic. It does not preach; it wallows in the pain and, more daringly, in the pleasure.
  21. 75
    It uses a colorful vocabulary, it contains a lot of energy, it elevates its miserable heroes to the status of icons (in their own eyes, that is).
  22. Darkly comic tone of heroin-addiction film sets it apart
  23. 75
    Isn't a noble story, or even a cautionary one: It just feels pretty painfully real.
  24. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    70
    Captures the way drug addiction gives structure and purpose to aimless lives, and evokes the breathtaking rapture of a fix. All this and a happy ending, too.
  25. The story, such as it is, follows Renton's inconsistent attempts to kick his habit.
  26. A new voyeurism has arisen in the last two decades or so, and Trainspotting caters to it--an addiction to addiction-watching. [August 19, 1996]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 175 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 39
  3. Negative: 3 out of 39
  1. MichaelL.
    Mar 4, 2008
    10
    A visceral and involving masterpiece of a movie. Every scene is pitch-perfect and you won't take your eyes off the screen until the credits roll. Well, unless you made the mistake of turning away as Renton dives headlong into a filthy, cloggged toilet, only to temporarily emerge in an underwater fantasy world. Takes the excellent source novel and narrows and tightens it in just the right ways for the screen. Full Review »
  2. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    This is a great movie. You will be shocked, and you won't want to turn away. Possibly one of the only English movies ever that might need subtitles. Superb beginning and ending. Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2014
    8
    Pretty cool and stylish movie with some awkwardly stupid moments. It's all about addiction. Sometimes the movie is disgusting and disturbing, sometimes it is funny. The cast and filming are really nice. Full Review »