Trainspotting Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 177 Ratings

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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    80
    Ewan McGregor in a raw, funny, star-making performance.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]

See all 27 Critic Reviews

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 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
  2. May 28, 2012
    10
    With the extraordinarily talented Danny Boyle at the helm, unflinchingly honest social commentary, a great cast and a fantastically funnyWith 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. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    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 toThe 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. Expand
  4. AlexS.
    Mar 16, 2007
    9
    It dealt with even the most difficult subjects in a humoristic fashion.
  5. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    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, theDespite 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
  6. 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,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. Expand
  7. May 4, 2014
    1
    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,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. Expand

See all 39 User Reviews