Miramax Films | Release Date: July 19, 1996
8.9
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 450 Ratings
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Positive:
421
Mixed:
20
Negative:
9
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8
RalfbergsJun 23, 2017
I can definitely see why this is one of those cult movies - it has that realistic vibe to it and basically talks about really serious things, but at the same time it has comedic elements and even though you feel disgusted with all theI can definitely see why this is one of those cult movies - it has that realistic vibe to it and basically talks about really serious things, but at the same time it has comedic elements and even though you feel disgusted with all the narcotics and heroin they are taking, the movie draws you in with it's storyline Expand
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10
alejandro970May 21, 2017
Whimsical, deranged nosefall tour-de-force into the pointless life of Edinburg junkies. Lots of dark humor and references to first James Bond. Look carefully to Irvine Welsh cameo and tribute to Clockwork Orange. The sequence of "worst toiletWhimsical, deranged nosefall tour-de-force into the pointless life of Edinburg junkies. Lots of dark humor and references to first James Bond. Look carefully to Irvine Welsh cameo and tribute to Clockwork Orange. The sequence of "worst toilet of Scotland" is for anthology. A mandatory of 90´s. Expand
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8
vulvuratMay 13, 2017
Graphic, disgusting and at the same time dramatic, Trainspotting is both entertaining and frightening. After watching 90 minutes of such misery and low-life suffering- for after all, the dreamy extasy of heroin eventually always results inGraphic, disgusting and at the same time dramatic, Trainspotting is both entertaining and frightening. After watching 90 minutes of such misery and low-life suffering- for after all, the dreamy extasy of heroin eventually always results in suffering- I must say this is the best drug warning anyone can get. This film should be watched by every high-school kid as dru prevention. The performances- especially of Ewan McGregor are great, and the brilliant directing of Danny Boyle make you feel drugged yourself. Though it has some flaws, I must say it is a good and "useful" movie. Expand
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8
marcmyworksApr 3, 2017
Trainspotting is probably one of the most iconic movies of my generation. Telling the story of a group of underachieving youths living in Scotland and their experiences being addicted to heroine. I am curious if the sequel can live up to itsTrainspotting is probably one of the most iconic movies of my generation. Telling the story of a group of underachieving youths living in Scotland and their experiences being addicted to heroine. I am curious if the sequel can live up to its predecessor. Expand
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9
reviewfrom19842Feb 4, 2017
Trainspotting is just amazing . .
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8
gOct 8, 2016
The music in this film has a masterpiece atmosphere that controls characters' feelings scene-by-scene but the cinematography and jump-cuts is also a masterpiece that nobody would ever find a British film with a masterpiece cinematography likeThe music in this film has a masterpiece atmosphere that controls characters' feelings scene-by-scene but the cinematography and jump-cuts is also a masterpiece that nobody would ever find a British film with a masterpiece cinematography like this classic mid-90s flick but one of the Danny Boyle's Best Of British. Expand
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8
TheArchetypesSep 9, 2016
Best reason I've seen for not becoming a junkie. Makes me wonder how one was able to come out the other side of such a scene with enough coherence to conceive this obviously authentic depiction. Renton's struggle to overcome merits acclaim,Best reason I've seen for not becoming a junkie. Makes me wonder how one was able to come out the other side of such a scene with enough coherence to conceive this obviously authentic depiction. Renton's struggle to overcome merits acclaim, but could he have done it without the money? I respect the commentators who are disgusted with the characters and their scene and want no part of it. This is the best movie I never want to see again. So, what's for breakfast? Expand
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9
GoombaJMRAug 31, 2016
Excellent movie that really shows the life of men gone wrong with the use of drugs. If you have a kid or are interested in learning about the (most-likely) outcomes of drug abuse, then check this movie out.

Lots of swearing, some violence
Excellent movie that really shows the life of men gone wrong with the use of drugs. If you have a kid or are interested in learning about the (most-likely) outcomes of drug abuse, then check this movie out.

Lots of swearing, some violence and blood, weird dreams and some sex for notice, but the movie is R rated for a reason so take note of that.
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8
MeritCobaMay 2, 2016
Who doesn't want to escape to the better life? Renton most certainly does. He is a lowlife from that poor part of town where he and his criminal friends; Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie do nothing much, for there isn't much they can do. Well, pettyWho doesn't want to escape to the better life? Renton most certainly does. He is a lowlife from that poor part of town where he and his criminal friends; Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie do nothing much, for there isn't much they can do. Well, petty crimes and shooting dope. It is the late eighties and early nineties and the economic down turn is at its worst.
The movie starts with Renton listing all the things he is missing, the movie ends with it too. What has happened in between the beginning and the end?Just daily life of the poverty stricken criminal lower strata of English urban society. But with one significant exception: Renton and his mates have struck gold: sixteen thousand pounds worth of it. But it is the amount of money that is interesting. On its own it is a reasonable sum, but split four ways the money wouldn't last them long. Does Renton take the money and run?
Telling it would be spoiling your fun.
The important question is: would it matter?
For Renton can maybe escape his crummy friends, his downtrodden neighborhood and his poverty-stricken town, but can he escape himself?

Trainspotting is a movie that feels dated in a way, but actually it ought to be as it is made for that particular time in that particular place with those particular people. It is well acted and well told. The music, smartly chosen, supports the tale. But in the end it feels a bit empty and sad really. Not that a movie should not be empty and sad. But even if Renton gets out with the money, all the other Rentons, Begbies, Spuds, Sick Boys are still there.
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9
MovieMasterEddyApr 2, 2016
Scabrous, brutal and hip, “Trainspotting” is a “Clockwork Orange” for the ’90s. This inventive pic version of U.K. author Irvine Welsh’s cult 1993 novel, set among a group of self-destructive no-hopers and junkies in Edinburgh’s underbelly,Scabrous, brutal and hip, “Trainspotting” is a “Clockwork Orange” for the ’90s. This inventive pic version of U.K. author Irvine Welsh’s cult 1993 novel, set among a group of self-destructive no-hopers and junkies in Edinburgh’s underbelly, shares only the visual invention and buccaneering spirit of the same team’s explosive debut, the black comedy “Shallow Grave.” Result looks set to delight a narrow band of young auds turned on by the book and its nonjudgmental tone but alienate more general viewers with its complex mix of in-your-face realism, cinematic fantasy and four-letter dialogue, which sets new standards in screen profanity.

Welsh’s book — more a collection of p.o.v. episodes, written in different styles, than a conventional novel — has already been translated to London’s off-West End stage. For the film, scripter John Hodge has centered the action on Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), an on-off junkie who acts as a funnel to the surreal world of his four “friends.” Like Alex in Kubrick’s 1971 pic (to which there’s a brief homage), Mark regales the audience with his anti-middle-class values and idiosyncratic philosophy of life, finally achieving a liberation that’s more a temporary escape than a real shift in perception.

A five-minute pre-title sequence introduces the setting (an Edinburgh suburb) and main characters, each of whom gradually swims into focus as the pic unfolds. There’s Begbie (Robert Carlyle), a knife-carrying, “sensory-addicted,” foul-mouthed psycho who “only does people,” not drugs; Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), a philandering self-obsessive; way-out Spud (Ewen Bremner), who dates Gail (Shirley Henderson); and Tommy, who dates Lizzy (Pauline Lynch) and claims he never takes drugs or tells lies.

Tale then plunges straight into its irreal world with graphic descriptions of a heroin-induced high. Mark decides to kick the habit again, but not before embarking on a megahit that starts with opium suppositories and leads him (in the pic’s most breathtaking mix of black humor and Daliesque fantasy) to dive headfirst into a pan in “the worse toilet in Scotland.”

His sex drive returning as his system clears, Mark hooks up at a club with smart-mouthed looker Diane (Kelly Macdonald), and — in an elaborately comic sequence intercutting Tommy and Spud’s separate bedroom adventures — goes home with her. Next morning, he finds she’s still a schoolgirl living with her parents.

Tone is set by the rough, self-deprecating Scottish humor delivered in heavy accents that will tax North American auds — and even many English — to the limit. (One sequence, in a nightclub, is even jokingly subtitled.) Rarely has a British film so relied on the flavor of dialect for its overall dramatic effect, blending humor and tragedy, realism and fantasy.

After another giant hit and a series of withdrawal fantasies in a room whose wallpaper is covered with trains, Mark moves to London and starts over with a semi-respectable job. One day, however, Begbie turns up, and Mark is eventually lured back north and into a drug deal that could net the group some serious money.

Film’s most striking accomplishment — which will appall moralists as much as it will delight others — is the way it takes a bunch of goal-less losers and a subject (guilt-free drug taking) that’s ripe for downbeat grunge and turns the material into a sustained piece of cinema that’s often wildly funny and, at a character level, extremely involving. Propelled by an almost constant soundtrack of songs, several featuring Iggy Pop, pic manages to sustain interest in a storyline that, until the final reels, largely goes round in circles as its main character kicks and returns to his habit.

Unstated is the fact that the story is set in the Thatcherite ’80s, which heightens Mark’s rejection (and final apparent embrace) of consumerist values. Other than that, however, pic is just as relevant to the ’90s.

Director Danny Boyle, again working with producer Andrew Macdonald, writer Hodge, production designer Kave Quinn, editor Masahiro Hirakubo and lenser Brian Tufano, has come up with a visual style that exactly matches the wild swings in the story. As in “Shallow Grave,” every setup complements the characters or drama and feels thought-through rather than merely used for gratuitous effect. Once again, Boyle squeezes the most visual bang out of a low-bucks budget of $ 2 .6 million.

Performances are terrific at all levels, with McGregor a likable Mark, Bremner (who essayed the Mark role onstage) almost endearing as the loony Spud, and 17-year-old newcomer Macdonald a confident discovery as the sassy Diane. Dominating the film, however, is Carlyle, who, after notable work in “Priest” and “Go Now,” turns in a genuinely terrifying perf as the psychopathic Begbie, a walking time bomb who’s halfway to hell.
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10
smartmartSep 21, 2015
"Trainspotting" is a quite wonderful film. It is both darkly funny at times, and also extremely sad at others. It is visually spectacular to look at,and all of the performances are very well done, especially the performance of Scottish actor"Trainspotting" is a quite wonderful film. It is both darkly funny at times, and also extremely sad at others. It is visually spectacular to look at,and all of the performances are very well done, especially the performance of Scottish actor Ewen McGregor. He plays a heroin addict who tries getting off the stuff, but is eventually addicted once again. the rest of the film is just a series of events, from the horribly disturbing and sad, to the very funny and entertaining. A must see. Expand
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9
Iky009Sep 16, 2015
Trainspotting is certainly one of the biggest independent films of all time, there is nothing that compares to this masterpiece, which often shows a mild form, but even more frightening, the devastating causes of drug abuse.
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10
NFWJun 25, 2015
TRAINSPOTTING is a film about brutal honesty that respects it's subject matter, and is far more effective than some "don't do drugs" education video in school.
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7
FranzHcriticJan 18, 2015
The drug story is somewhat compelling; the narration will weaken everything about any film. And the dark comedy fell somewhat flat. Not completely, but it wasn't as funny of exhilarating as I expected it to be. You should still watch it, butThe drug story is somewhat compelling; the narration will weaken everything about any film. And the dark comedy fell somewhat flat. Not completely, but it wasn't as funny of exhilarating as I expected it to be. You should still watch it, but it may be a little too weird for some. Off putting for me. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
StaticSpineAug 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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
SpangleJul 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 sureOverall, 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
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8
MovieGuysJan 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 EwanTrainspotting 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. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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8
ragekoiDec 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 hisTrainspotting 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
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9
JatsDec 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....
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9
StevenFSep 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 (EwanA 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.
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10
coxyclanApr 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.
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10
frankenstone420Feb 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 motionThis 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 Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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10
HalfwelshmanMay 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 iconicWith 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
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9
surrealismedMar 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 narrativeDespite 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. Collapse
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9
Isaac_SharkOct 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.
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8
TubieNov 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 bestThis 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. Expand
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10
rodericrinehartAug 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.
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10
MichaelL.Mar 4, 2008
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, 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. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful
7
JackLJul 29, 2007
It is a good movie and surely people love it. Stylish and cool!!! Good cinematography. However, I don't find any new and vibrant concept or message.
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9
AlexS.Mar 16, 2007
It dealt with even the most difficult subjects in a humoristic fashion.
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10
LuiggiR.Feb 16, 2007
Truly an epic film. The soudtrack itself was amazing. All characters were well developed and interesting. A real out of the body experience.
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10
jimm.Dec 29, 2006
Such a great movie for so many different reasons.
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9
AkhilKAug 24, 2005
An absolute blast! McGregor is at his best here and dare i say - in his element? Pun aside, Trainspotting is as funny as it is scary. The nightmare scene itself would give anyone a chill before using the vile drug. It's a tad bit on the An absolute blast! McGregor is at his best here and dare i say - in his element? Pun aside, Trainspotting is as funny as it is scary. The nightmare scene itself would give anyone a chill before using the vile drug. It's a tad bit on the boring side at times, but at its best (which is 99% of the time) the film deserves the acclaim it has received. Expand
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