Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Mar 21, 2013
    91
    The film's not merely content with being a twisty psycho-thriller. Boyle and Hodge expertly tweak and tinker with your sympathies, and the characters you initially peg as heroes and villains may not be in the same place by the time things wrap up.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Apr 8, 2013
    90
    A devious mind game, Trance is also the most entertaining smart movie so far this year.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Apr 4, 2013
    88
    This exhilarating brain-twister is a nonstop visual, aural and intellectual delight, steeped in movie conventions and yet fizzing with freshness. It’s what happens when film noir goes out to a rave.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 26, 2013
    83
    Boyle's filmmaking style has a marvelous rhythm that weaves pop sensibilities into fluid and persistently exciting narrative experiences; he shakes these ingredients like colored sand in a jar, leading a fascinating degree of discombobulation.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 4, 2013
    80
    A frisky, feisty heist flick with brains and charisma, the movie may make a few errors, but they’re forgotten in the blink of an eye thanks to all the twists, turns and close shaves.
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Mar 23, 2013
    80
    Though it rings ever so slightly hollow as cool shades into callousness, this exercise in sexy suspense and brain-scrambling mystery is a dazzling, absorbing entertainment which shows off Danny Boyle’s mastery of complex storytelling and black, black humour.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Mar 22, 2013
    80
    Sprinting to the edge of preposterousness and back, this deliriously entertaining day-glo noir of fried brains and blown fuses denotes a director at the top of his game.
  8. Reviewed by:  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 11, 2013
    75
    If you can look past the sputtering conclusion — or the pseudo-intellectual banter about memory, modern art, and other assorted nonsense — what you'll find is a brisk, breezy, style-heavy crime flick that happens to be one of the most purely entertaining movies Boyle has made in a long time.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    Trance really belongs to Dawson and Cassel. When Dawson's Elizabeth steps onto the scene, you may be instantly convinced — without the aid of hypnosis, even — that she's surely the most effective hypnotist on the planet.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    Dawson digs deep and nails every nuance, making the dizzying suspense resonate with raw emotion. She is, in a word, electrifying. Even when the wheels come off the too-busy plot, so is the movie.
  11. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Apr 3, 2013
    75
    Narratively, Trance is questionable, but Boyle and Hodges whisk past all the unlikely developments with enough verve and style to keep audiences from thinking too hard until after they’ve left the theater.
  12. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Apr 1, 2013
    75
    For all its plot trickery, mind science and relationship square dancing, Trance doesn’t have the emotional tug or technical pizzaz of Boyle’s best films – “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Trainspotting” or “127 Hours.”
  13. Mar 27, 2013
    75
    The film draws out Danny Boyle's less dazzling commercial side, not to mention his penchant for whirling excess.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 11, 2013
    70
    Yes, in the end, Trance is pretty manipulative. But again, with Boyle behind the camera, it’s a more satisfying experience than it might have been. If we’re going to be manipulated, it might as well be by a master.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    I floated in and out of states that included suspense, surprise, delight and shock, all of them adding up to steady-state enjoyment.
  16. 70
    To like Trance as much as I did, you have to revel in the senseless showmanship — in watching Boyle indulge his taste for cinematic flight, in this case teasing you with the old “Is this real or a dream?” number so artfully that you don’t care that much about the answer.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 21, 2013
    70
    A trippy variation on the dream-within-a-dream movie, Boyle’s return-to-form crimer constantly challenges what audiences think they know, but neglects to establish why they should care.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 5, 2013
    67
    Boyle loads his movie with so many snazzy effects that we lose sight of what it all means – if anything. His showoffiness confuses.
  19. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Apr 11, 2013
    63
    Individually, Dawson and Cassel each generate plenty of screen heat, but, together in that one bedroom scene, their chemistry is downright explosive, so much so that it seems we have strayed into a whole different movie, and dearly want to stay there.
  20. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Apr 11, 2013
    63
    Because Trance is principally about the thrill of the ride rather than the inner lives of the riders, it lacks that outlaw humanism specific to Boyle films such as "Trainspotting," "Slumdog Millionaire," and "Millions." In other words, it's an ingeniously built automaton, sexy as hell, and devoid of a heart.
  21. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 11, 2013
    63
    For a while, Trance had me guessing, and more or less hooked. Then the violence, motivations, double-crosses and fantasy/reality tangles became tedious.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 5, 2013
    63
    The visionary filmmaker's psychological thriller weaves a too-complicated tapestry.
  23. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 4, 2013
    63
    The movie is never boring or uninteresting, but I viewed it from a detached perspective, unable to become involved because I didn't really care about any of the three main characters.
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 12, 2013
    60
    Dawson, who to this point has largely built her career playing supporting characters, seizes the opportunity to stand center-stage, all but taking over the film.
  25. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    For all Mr. Boyle’s labors Trance principally comes off as a showcase for his brio, a spirit that animates all his choices, visual and otherwise.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 12, 2013
    50
    The wrinkles between reality and illusion soon become irritating.
  27. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 11, 2013
    50
    There’s a little too much happening in the film’s violent, frenetic conclusion, which involves the retrieval of fractured memories, the confession of betrayals and so many narrative loops within loops that the film’s big reveals never make perfect, deeply satisfying sense. Maybe it’s not supposed to.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 11, 2013
    50
    With Trance, story becomes just another element in Boyle’s commercial pop-Cubism, and the results are nearly fatal.
  29. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Apr 10, 2013
    50
    I suspect a second viewing would uncover more information embedded in the mise-en-scène; had Trance – tonally a jumble and disorienting to the point of distraction – rewarded the audience with the pure perfection of a Keyser Söze-like reveal, I’d be more inclined to make the return trip.
  30. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    Boyle is genial, eager, and prolific, and his effusion has ignited films like "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire," yet for every blaze that excites us there has been another that burns itself out without leaving a mark, let alone a scar, on our emotions. So it is with Trance. [8 April 2013, p.88]
  31. Reviewed by: Zachary Wigon
    Apr 2, 2013
    50
    Trance packs many reveals, and the guessing game of who's who and what's what continues throughout. But with its terribly campy setup (hypnotherapy and gangsters? One's inner child and murderous showdowns?), Trance could have gotten some mileage out of comedy
  32. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 21, 2013
    50
    Danny Boyle has great and plainly evident fun adding twists and curves and tunnels and endless style to his modern London noir Trance, but he makes so many left turns that the film turns in on itself rather than going anywhere.
  33. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 4, 2013
    40
    It starts out like a house afire, but by the time it's over we're the ones feeling burned. A slick heist tale with more twists than sense, this is one movie that ends up outsmarting itself.
  34. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 2, 2013
    40
    The film plays like something Boyle could kick out in his sleep, all his supercool devices listlessly deployed in service of a mediocre wet dream.
  35. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 21, 2013
    40
    Trance is a disappointment: a strident, chaotic, frantically overcooked film with an almost deafeningly intrusive ambient soundtrack. There is some embarrassing, eyeball-swivelling acting from the male leads, and the elegance of the film's premise is quite obliterated by its crude and misjudged violence.
  36. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Apr 1, 2013
    35
    A shapelessly propulsive mess of pop psychology and poor drama.
  37. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 3, 2013
    33
    I love a good mind-bender, but it's getting more common these days to see thrillers that don't so much bend your mind as chop it, smash it, and place it in the Cuisinart. Trance, the new film directed by Danny Boyle is a high-brainiac art-world thriller that wants to do nothing more (or less) than give your head a majorly pleasurable spin.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33
  1. Apr 8, 2013
    5
    This film is touted as a mind bending thriller the likes of Inception. It sadly falls very short of greatness. This film tries to mess with the audiences head and then gives up half way through before dumping major plot points in the audiences lap. The story follows James Macavoys' character who has helped in the theft of a painting but after a bump on the head can't remember where he left it. Que hypnotism and wandering what is real and what isn't if it were achieved properly(it isn't). This film is ultimately let down by a simple plot masquerading as a complex and deep psychological thriller.
    Rating 5 out of 10
    This film is more unnecessary subtext than substance
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 8, 2013
    4
    I had such high hopes for this film, and the first 25 minutes or so really deliver. But after that, it becomes a disorganized mess and it lacks focus. About half way through, I started checking my watch, which is a bummer in a thriller. Some compare it to Inception, but that's an insult to the latter. I mean, you figure out all the "facts" of this story by the end, but it's told with such recklessness that blaming it on the "trance" or "dream" method is really just a cop-out. Full Review »
  3. Jul 12, 2013
    10
    Trance is a new mind-bending thriller, thought provoking and absorbing, with lots of chills, thrills, good performances and good story. It was a great film with an exquisite, first rate art direction and twists. Danny Boyle delivers a new type of original cinematic experience in which audiences are absorbed and worried for whats going to happen next.

    Read the following:
    Trance is a new mind-bending thriller, thought provoking and absorbing, with lots of chills, thrills, good performances and good story. It was a great film with an exquisite, first rate art direction and twists. Danny Boyle delivers a new type of Trance is a new mind-bending thriller, thought provoking and absorbing, with lots of chills, thrills, good performances and good story. It was a great film with an exquisite, first rate art direction and twists. Danny Boyle delivers a new type of original cinematic experience in which audiences are absorbed and worried for Trance is a new mind-bending thriller, thought provoking and absorbing, with lots of chills, thrills, good performances and good story. It was a great film with an exquisite, first rate art direction and twists. Danny Boyle delivers a new type of original cinematic experience in which audiences are absorbed and worried for whats going to happen next.whats going to happen next. original cinematic experience in which audiences are absorbed and worried for whats going to happen next.

    That's what Trance is like, points in points, which is really cool and clever. For Example: then you get to know what you read is one paragraph with one point.
    Full Review »