Trainspotting Image
Metascore
83

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

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 154 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. 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. Expand
  2. Jun 28, 2014
    10
    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
  3. May 28, 2012
    10
    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
  4. Oct 6, 2011
    9
    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. Expand
  5. Aug 21, 2013
    9
    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
  6. 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, 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. 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, 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