User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 158

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  1. Aug 14, 2010
    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.
  2. May 28, 2012
    With the extraordinarily talented Danny Boyle at the helm, unflinchingly honest social commentary, a great cast and a fantastically funny script by regular Boyle collaborator John Hodge, Trainspotting, adapted from Irvine Welsh's iconic Scottish novel is a true masterpiece of British filmmaking. Following the turbulent and troubled lives of a group of young Scottish heroin addicts, the film takes a sympathetic view of the problem of drug addiction - rather than chastising them for the situation they find themselves in, it is sympathetic to the addicts' struggle and the vicious circle that traps them and slowly destroys their lives. It's among the most poignant and dramatically effective films discussing drug addiction, and Boyle is extremely adept at getting under the skin of his characters and showing what really makes them tick. The characters are an entertaining group of misfits, of particular note is central protagonist and narrator Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man with aspirations of stability, and of happiness in his life, but who is utterly unable to survive without "one more hit", the violent and psychotic Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who refuses to take heroin but makes up for not doing drugs by "doing people" instead, and the childlike Spud (Ewan Bremner), the innocent fool of the group, and the most vulnerable to peer pressure. The cast make the very most of John Hodge's script, which channels the spirit of Irvine Welsh in a glorious explosion of heavily Scottish-accented sweary magnificence. As with many of Boyle's films, Trainspotting is a balancing act of light and shade. You'll have tears of mirth rolling down your cheeks one moment, when Renton is forced to make an emergency visit to "the worst toilet in Scotland", and you'll be devastated at the utterly tragic loss experienced by the characters a few scenes later. The film really does take you on an emotional rollercoaster - its a journey of highs and lows, and you can really feel for everything, both good and bad, that the characters go through. The film's nightmarish, appropriately trippy visuals (particularly in Renton's "cold turkey" montage), a memorable rock and dance-tinged soundtrack and Boyle's undeniable ability to maintaining the story's momentum and manic energy seals Trainspotting's position as a striking, emotional and affecting viewing experience. It's far more than a film about drug addiction - Trainspotting is about life, death and finding your place in the world. It's also, quite unexpectedly, one of the all-time great feelgood movies, and if you don't take anything else from the film, then take its unabashedly positive moral to heart, and "choose life". Expand
  3. Nov 2, 2010
    This movie will talk to many people because some of us can relate, we all have our addictions maybe some are less dangerous than others but that feeling of being trapped and trying to escape is something many of us can relate to. The best part of this movie is the cast and the excellent job they do.
  4. Oct 6, 2011
    One of the only films that works just at hard to disgust you as it does to entertain you. Even if you wanted to take your eyes off the screen, you can't. Every scene is fantastically written, acted, and shot. Don't miss this film.
  5. Sep 17, 2013
    A darkly funny and fast-paced style of filming has the underbelly of a drug story involving a group of friends as they combat drug addiction, sexual partners and tragic circumstances of drug-induced decisions. We follow Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young Scottish lad who is on and off heroin with his group of friends, he narrates throughout the film as he struggles to find meaning other than drugs, we are introduced to his friends, equally lacking ambition, including Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Tommy (Kevin McKidd) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Renton seems to come with the attitude that he is surrounded by idiots and simpletons, not necessarily the case, but he certainly surrounded by unique individuals indeed, they all have regular lives yet are drawn together by having a group 'hit' on regular occasions, here the film chronicles the type of routine and obstacles that an addict may face, whether its finding a job, trying to get clean or taking on selling the product they put into their bodies, it deals with friendship, love and also what is holding such emotional attachments together, is it real or is it drugs that keep friends being friends in the film? We are offered different insights into the question, while we also have a witty and humorous film from start to finish, McGregor plays an unsure and immature young person who goes with the flow, McKidd is driven to a life of drugs after a relationship breakdown while Begbie is maniacal and hot-headed individual a long history and a short temper, with Carlyle delivering a very broad Scottish accent to heighten is highly unpredictable character.
    The real arc of 'Trainspotting' is someone who isn't getting into the world of drug dabbling, but someone who is in it and is trying to get out of it, this is particularly intriguing for the fact that he is a young man who seems to hold some sort of intelligence but can't kick his habit. The various highlights of the film are easily the performances along with the edgy and in-depth directing of Danny Boyle, easily one of his finest films and more so one of the best British films to appear, it explores and invites controversy at every turn but manages to make the characters relatable and often thoughtful about their actions, giving the viewer more reason to be involved. Danny Boyle knows how to make each character equally as important as the last, Trainspotting does this in funny, tragic, emotional and inventive ways.
  6. Mar 20, 2012
    Despite being one of the most vile movies I've ever watched, Trainspotting is also one of the most charming. While only about 90 minutes, the film feels much faster. It's broken up into vignettes, which give it a brisk, almost manic narrative style. The cast is also fantastic, with Ewan Macgregor and Robert Carlyle being my favorites. The soundtrack is predictably excellent. Not recommended for the squeamish, but it's worth a look regardless. Negatives include the generally absent plot and lack of focus, but those are only minor annoyances. Expand
  7. Jul 5, 2014
    Overall, a very good film. It is a disturbing and sad tale, but a very well told one with great acting. Now, in terms of films on addiction, this one is much lighter than a film such as Requiem for a Dream and easier to get through for sure (though I do prefer Requiem for a Dream to this one). This "lightness" is thanks to good dark comedy elements and the hopefulness you feel for a better future at different times during the film. However, that does not mean this one is not dark as there are many scenes that are extremely haunting and really make you feel one with the characters as they went through these situations. Ewan McGregor is great in this film, though really the entire cast is phenomenal as everybody pulls their weight equally. Danny Boyle's direction is frenetic and fabolous. In addition, the script is awesome. Every line is dripping with quality. Ultimately, Trainspotting is a great and almost sympathetic and hopeful look at addiction and what causes people to spiral out of control. Really good film. Expand
  8. Aug 10, 2014
    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.
  9. Feb 9, 2013
    This is the best movie. Awesome soundtrack, brilliant script, and excellent acting. Both funny and totally messed up. Arguably the best performances of all the actors in their first rolls. Cannot say that I have seen a better motion picture, it's truly Danny Boyle at his finest
  10. Apr 11, 2013
    The best british film i've ever seen and should be shown to all teenagers as an anti-drug film. Brilliantly filmed and acted, this showed to true potential of Danny Boyle.
  11. Aug 21, 2013
    Trainspotting is directed by Danny Boyle who has made quite a few notable films during his directing career (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), and this is one of his best. This shows a very good and realistic take on drug addiction. Some of the scenes when Renton (Ewan McGregor) is on the drugs is just bizarre. Ewan McGregor contributes a fantastic job to his role as do most of the cast present here. Soundtrack is worth of praise as well. Unique movie that delivers. Expand
  12. Dec 21, 2013
    Trainspotting is a film about five young miscreants and their drug-induced, illegal, and overall frowned-upon shenanigans in Edinburgh, Scotland. The main character of the film is a good-hearted guy named Mark Renton, who wants to clean his life up and become a good person, However, this task is incredibly difficult due to the unchangeable nature of so-called mates. Sick Boy seems to just to terrible things just to get a thrill out of it, Spud does them because he's unintelligent and cannot emerge from his addiction, and Begbie does it because he's a violent psychopath wrecking anything that gets in his way. The movie doesn't explain too much about each character, but their inhumane actions mostly define them so they never feel underdeveloped. The plot also supplies a lot with a little, because it's essentially just a guy's life. Even though the movie is very good, it's certainly not for everyone. This film is the modern-day version of "A Clockwork Orange", as their are multiple "gross-out" moments that are meant to make you cringe. There's sex (underage and homosexual), nudity, teenage angst, ultra-violence, drug use, toilet plunging, and the death of a baby. Trainspotting not only has excellent cinematography, but an equally great if not better soundtrack. The songs used in the film are often times giving off polar opposite vibes then what you're viewing, which is a technique I'm personally a big fan of. Pacing is never an issue in this film. There are no points where I was bored are waiting for something to happen next. The writing is very strong, and the ridiculous Scottish accents enhance the delivery of each f-word that much more enjoyable. Acting is also very strong. Ewan McGregor leads a cast of very talented Scottish actors, each with great range and commitment. Overall this movie is a cautionary tale showcasing horrors of doing drugs and having an addiction, and probably would be received better if the content within the film was more universally enjoyable. Expand
  13. Jan 8, 2014
    Trainspotting is hard to watch, raw, and in your face, in the best way. The movie is so true to the life of heroin addicts and how they "function" in society (or as Renton says, he doesn't actually live in a society). This is one of Ewan McGregor's best performances, and one of Danny Boyle's best movies.
  14. Dec 6, 2013
    aaaah! super duper funny! i prefer the book, as every time. but this movie look soooo good. this is one of the various reasons cause i'm a ungrammatical spaceship....
  15. May 4, 2014
    This film presents a great reason why rehab is the thing to do. You go there, pour your feelings out, listen to what the doctors tell you, take the things you need to get healthier, leave there, and try to forget that you ever saw this movie.
  16. Jun 28, 2014
    Trainspotting is a hilarious and realistic drama from Danny Boyle. The movie revolves around four friends in Scotland who are drug addicts. The movie explores the highs and lows of drug abuse and is an anti-drug movie. The acting is phenomenal and the movie has a unique style with narration. The narration always works in movies. The movie ends on a positive note because the main character turns a new leaf. He vows to go straight and live the life that he always desired. Trainspotting is a modern day classic that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees it. One of the smartest, funniest and honest movies I've seen. Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    Ewan McGregor in a raw, funny, star-making performance.
  2. 87
    It's a disturbing film in the best sense.
  3. 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).