Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: April 5, 2013
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 463 Ratings
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Positive:
400
Mixed:
47
Negative:
16
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4
LamontRaymondApr 8, 2013
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.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. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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5
CtheTavApr 8, 2013
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 theThis 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
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7 of 10 users found this helpful73
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6
John_HannanApr 11, 2013
Personally I found this to be quite a decent movie. It was a really gripping movie, and the plot really did tie up nicely my only real qualm was with the post-credits ending, where they just seemed to flip the bird at the rest of the moviePersonally I found this to be quite a decent movie. It was a really gripping movie, and the plot really did tie up nicely my only real qualm was with the post-credits ending, where they just seemed to flip the bird at the rest of the movie and completely alter the mood, as well as making the plot more fallible. The actual ending itself wasn't too bad, however it was nothing extraordinary. To say this movie isn't an interesting watch would be a lie, and to say that it doesn't make you think would be one too, but it's far from a perfect movie. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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4
hoops2448Apr 26, 2013
Danny Boyle is back to playing with your head in his latest feature Trance, a film that blasts out of the gates before it whimpers across the finish due to the films overburdened, twist filled story. Trance follows Simon (James McAvoy), anDanny Boyle is back to playing with your head in his latest feature Trance, a film that blasts out of the gates before it whimpers across the finish due to the films overburdened, twist filled story. Trance follows Simon (James McAvoy), an art exhibitor who gets attacked by robbers during a mid auction robbery when the robbers realize the painting they stole was taken by Simon they must find out where, something a bump on the head seems to have erased. With the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) they might actually discover what happened to it. Despite the strong cast and a career high performance for Dawson, Trance ultimately leaves a bitter taste in your mouth because the high caliber direction and acting being let down by a story so incredibly complicated and far fetched. The film opens with the robbery and everything about it is exhilarating, it is directed with flair and has a killer soundtrack to boot (in fact the movies soundtrack is superb). The problem is that thanks to the truly awesome opening the film never manages to live up to it. Another problem is that the film has something to say about art and obsession but the film is so jumbled and at times confusing that deciphering some kind of meaning or message is nigh on impossible. The film also uses violence (most of it excessive) and nudity (all of it excessive) but its never really necessary, except for one key scene towards the end. When the film does use violence it always feels like its too much and ruins a crime drama that could have used a little more subtlety to say what it wanted instead of trying to shock an audience who came to be entertained, not disturbed. The finale while impressive visually feels forced and oddly safe for a Boyle film. It's a shame that after some time away Danny Boyle has returned with a film on par with the thoroughly disappointing 127 hours. Ultimately its a film built around a premise so complex that when it comes down to it the picture crumbles under the weight of its own plot. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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5
mrniceApr 3, 2014
I struggled to keep up with the plot, and ultimately missed a few major plot points. When I read up on what I 'missed', the movie still seems oddly constructed to conceal that there's not much to it. I doubted that it was a Danny Boyle filmI struggled to keep up with the plot, and ultimately missed a few major plot points. When I read up on what I 'missed', the movie still seems oddly constructed to conceal that there's not much to it. I doubted that it was a Danny Boyle film until the credits where I had to google him asking myself "is this a different Boyle?". Most of the movie is down-to-earth, like a tv drama or something, but in the few explosive action scenes, it gets unnecessarily unpleasant. It feels like they doubted the movie would have a single memorable scene without a few all-out shocking frames. At the end, I question whether I want to remember or forget the movie. I doubt I'm even granted the choice. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
suity_saharAug 6, 2013
Decent movie. Could have been a whole lot better cuz the idea was interesting. However the movie fell flat towards the end and was not really exciting throughout. Good music though. Worst Danny Boyle film I have seen.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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5
CasteAug 10, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I wanted to like the movie but...
Ok, the girl get hurt but she is also guilty, and the movie tries to put her as the 'good guy'.
I don't want to sound troll, but I think the better end should be all of them shattered in pieces :D
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
Prodigy2013Jul 3, 2013
It’s always good to feast your eyes on a pulp inspired film every now and then; and while Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ is much thinner than his morehis more recent outings, it proves to be a trippy good time. The movie stars James McAvoy, as a fineIt’s always good to feast your eyes on a pulp inspired film every now and then; and while Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ is much thinner than his morehis more recent outings, it proves to be a trippy good time. The movie stars James McAvoy, as a fine art auctioneer, who attempts to double-cross the thieves he partnered with in a heist, and pilfer the painting himself. However, after a blow to the head he forgets where he hid the painting and the band of thieves, lead by Vincent Cassel, are not very happy. Twisty isn’t it? And like all good pieces of pulp entertainment, you need a sultry femme fatale to foil the plan of both our misguided hero and scheming villain. Enter Rosario Dawson as Elizabeth, the psychiatrist hired by Franck (Cassel) to probe Simon’s (McAvoy) mind through hypnosis, in order to find out where the painting is hidden. Intriguing isn’t it!? While interesting, the plot was quite convoluted; and as the story progresses the water becomes murkier, making it difficult to distinguish hypnosis induced dreams from reality. This was clearly an over indulgent move on the part of the writer, who attempts to add complexity to the puzzle but lost his way in the process. But thankfully he found his way eventually; and one could even argue that in the end everything adds up, even if it was all a bit of a stretch. And as I implied earlier, all this adds a nice dose of intrigue to the plot. Boyle’s direction is stylish as usual, and complements must be given to the dreamy cinematography and most of all, the edgy film editing. Jon Harris’ editing job was incredibly complex, as it was cool. ‘Trance’ may not be a particularly memorable film, but it worked for me. The positives outweighed the negatives (if even slightly so), and I enjoyed every minute of it. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
DuckNationMay 22, 2014
"Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?"

Coming from Danny Boyle i was expecting a lot then this, Trance tries to be like Inception with the psychological thriller feel but the end result isn't up to par with his previous films.
"Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?"

Coming from Danny Boyle i was expecting a lot then this, Trance tries to be like Inception with the psychological thriller feel but the end result isn't up to par with his previous films. The cast was a big selling point for me as James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel are all great actors and they all ended up doing solid performances, actually i thought that James McAvoy did a superb job maybe the best iv'e seen of him. Trance story gets messy at times when it comes to the psychological part whereas Inception's keeps a smooth flow throughout.

The film follows Simon (James McAvoy) a fine art auctioneer with a huge gambling problem, he soon becomes in deep in debt with many people and the only way to pay them off is to trade his debt for a very rich painting to a gang leader. On the day of the auction Simon double-crosses the gang resulting in the gang leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) hitting him over the head with a shotgun causing him to have amnesia. From here the psychological feel takes on a heavy role in the film as the gang takes Simon to go see a hypnotist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) She dissects his mind to make him remember where he put the painting. This happens multiple times taking a psychological tole on Simon to a point to where he doesn't know what's real and what's not.

The pace of the film was also something i didn't like the beginning starts out nice then slows down after that the pace only picks it up for short segments then goes back to slowing down. All this was fine but once they got into the car heading for the painting at the end of the film and Elizabeth is explaining to Simon what really went on, in that really long dawn out scene that we all seen coming anyways, it was just a complete bore to me and i couldn't wait for it to be over. The very last sentence in the movie is Elizabeth saying Do you want to remember or do you want to forget? and the first thing that popped up into my head was forget this disappointing movie.

Overall i give it a 6.0 Oh yeah i totally forgot that Rosario Dawson went fully nude in this, I do have to say it was quite nice.
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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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6
SpangleFeb 8, 2017
Where is the line between a messy and convoluted film and one that is brilliantly mind bending? Danny Boyle's Trance largely walks this line and, at times, proves to be properly phenomenal. At others, the film unravels and shows just how thinWhere is the line between a messy and convoluted film and one that is brilliantly mind bending? Danny Boyle's Trance largely walks this line and, at times, proves to be properly phenomenal. At others, the film unravels and shows just how thin it was stretched by Boyle. Though stylish, compelling, and a truly trippy experience, Trance has some moments that simply do not add up and, even then, its plot is nothing more than Inception by way of Boyle's fast paced point of view. While proving to be a riveting experience at times with how Boyle constantly pulls the rug out from under you, it is merely a slice of entertainment that serves to divert you attention away from the sad twist awaiting you at the end. That said, it is a brilliantly shot film with a terrific visual style. Unfortunately, it simply does not add up to being an equally great film.

With a penchant for lens flares during dream/trance sequences, Danny Boyle's Trance is a gorgeous film. The lighting, translucent walls, and vibrant colors adorn this film at every turn and really make it a visually splendid endeavor. Boyle introduces a few oblique angles in this one of an apartment building, hinting at how things may go wrong in this place of residence. A beautifully taken shot, the glowing of the street lights on wet cobblestone and rock exterior of the building is a tremendous film. Even if it is a dangerous place, it is a place that beckons the viewer just as it beckons Simon (James McAvoy). Manipulated, confused, and lost from the very beginning, Simon is a man who is unaware of his past, his present, and what is truly real as a result of the hypnosis, hits on the head, and actions of his past. McAvoy is good in the role, even if it does not come close to the brilliance of his turn in Split. Alongside him, Vincent Cassel is slippery as an eel and Naomie Harris goes fully nude (even down below) in a good role that, again, does not reach the level of his 2016 performance in Moonlight. Thus, the film is not just a mishmash of colors, but also a great opportunity for these actors and one they take full advantage of throughout.

Boyle infuses the film with his usual style. His fast paced film editing technique comes in handy here with quick cuts and a lot of panache behind the camera. Yet, the very peak of this film is the opening. The heist sequence during the art auction is brilliant. It is plotted out well, incredibly well captured, and drop dead tense. This is a film that comes out firing on all cylinders with a compelling first act that sets the entire plot into motion. Boyle also has considerable fun with the plot itself, allowing it to spiral out of control at times and become borderline messy and too convoluted. He embraces this and paints the film as a beautiful disaster at times to varying effect. That said, even when the film becomes too much and makes no sense, it is fun to watch Boyle fling everything at the wall without a care for what sticks and what does not stick. As a talented director, he is in full control of this insanity and, likely, a lot of it does not make sense to him either, but to try and understand this one would lead to simply not understanding the purpose of the film. It is a film that puts you in a trance and leads you down various allies. It is not to be understood, but rather, it is an exercise in visual style and fully dynamic.

SPOILERS

Unfortunately, the film does not always quite add up plot-wise. The biggest issue in Trance is the ending. The twist reveals that it was Elizabeth (Naomie Harris) who had put Simon in a trance and led to him assisting in the art theft. She manipulated him and made him forget his past relationship with her in order to end his obsession and get rich off of the deal regardless. Yet, in the beginning, we see she does not know Simon. She plays it off that she does not in front of him, yes, but Boyle includes a scene where she looks up Simon on the internet and investigates recent news stories about him, including one about the heist. She acts like she does not know who he is, because if she knew who he was, she would have known about the heist and who Simon was without the help of Google. This is not something that is rectified and is something that seems odd. The film is subversive and tries to distract the viewer from fully understanding, but it becomes clear that the twist is added for shock value, rather than it actually making any sense with the rest of the film. There are hints - restaurant, the book, etc. - that do add up to the ending, but that internet search sequence is glaring and problematic.

END SPOILERS

Hypnotic, confusing, and a visual feast for the eyes, Danny Boyle's Trance does not always work, but it is a riveting film that provides solid entertainment throughout. It is a film that seems to be making things up as it goes, but for his part, Danny Boyle infuses incredible style and has a lot of fun with the mind bending psychological thriller.
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6
callumjsouthDec 13, 2014
Refreshing, the film was able to keep me entertained throughout. The combination of classic film elements such as mystery, drama and action makes for a diverse experience within an original and actually quite captivating story. The lack ofRefreshing, the film was able to keep me entertained throughout. The combination of classic film elements such as mystery, drama and action makes for a diverse experience within an original and actually quite captivating story. The lack of predictability is always nice to see, as is a strong performance from James McAvoy. The inclusion of strongly emphasised mystery can cause it to stall at times though which is the only major frustration. Minor flaws come in the form of the amateur cinematic feel and a slight lack of direction. Whichever genre you are into, Trance may cause you to further look into the mystery one. Expand
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6
ryanneevmanNov 22, 2014
The film just does not offer a lot. It has lots of little amounts of things: some good acting, some likableness of the characters, and some actually entertaining moments. Overall, Trance paints itself into a corner of just soley telling aThe film just does not offer a lot. It has lots of little amounts of things: some good acting, some likableness of the characters, and some actually entertaining moments. Overall, Trance paints itself into a corner of just soley telling a story, and rushing past everything else. Expand
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5
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
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.

he
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.

he trickiness of this tale of a big-time art heist and its aftermath generates intrigue; the visual and aural flash is seductive; and then there is Rosario Dawson, who has never been as dazzling or dominant onscreen as she is in this central performance. But in the end this head trip about thieves, treachery and memory recovery seems more ornamental than substantial, a sleight-of-hand piece that leaves you with that empty feeling. Commercial prospects internationally seem good with edge- and hip-seeking young audiences, not so hot with the rest.
At the crux of the knotty screenplay by Joe Ahearne (who wrote and directed the little-seen 2001 British TV movie of the same name) and John Hodge (who scripted Boyle's first four films, beginning with Shallow Grave and Trainspotting) is the inability of one robber to remember where he might have left a Goya painting after the gang successfully lifts it from a tightly secured auction where “Witches in the Air” had just sold for £27.5 million (in real life, the painting resides in the Prado in Madrid).

And why can't Simon (James McAvoy) recall where he hid the painting? Because his cohort Francis (Vincent Cassel), suspecting betrayal, cracked him on the cranium during the job. For a film built on the premise of continual revelations of new levels of awareness, complicity, intentions and motivations, it's not too much to disclose that the heist is an inside job perpetrated by Francis and three thugs in cahoots with auction house employee Simon, who firmly believes in his company's motto, “No piece of art is worth a human life.”
Enduring torture before convincing Francis that he truly doesn't know the whereabouts of the 1797 painting, which depicts a gang of evil-doers in the act of a snatching, Simon agrees to undergo hypnosis therapy in the hope of disinterring the crucial bit of memory. This takes on a comical dimension when the distractingly beautiful American therapist Dr. Elizabeth Lamb (Dawson), upon discovering that Simon's crew is listening in, insists that they join in for group sessions. Once she realizes what the stakes are, she wants an equal piece of the action.
And so it goes from there, as the film sails off in a swirl of one-upmanship, mutual suspicions, sexual competitiveness and ever-morphing personal geometry that depends most of all upon who's thinking more moves ahead in the game than anyone. At first, Elizabeth appears to be firmly in the driver's seat, as she alone seems to hold the key that will unlock Simon's mind. This impression is enormously boosted by Dawson's powerful presence; Elizabeth's mental capacity registers as all the more formidable thanks to the personal confidence Dawson conveys, which in turn is multiplied by the palpable erotic allure she exudes at every moment to those around her.

Thanks to Boyle's aggressive direction and Anthony Dod Mantle's vibrantly colored cinematography, which combine for a more deliberately consistent and glowing look than they did in Slumdog Millionaire, the film possesses a robust physicality that constantly engages, whether it's patently artificial, as in the look of a club where some of the interrogations take place, or emphatically natural, as when Dawson strides toward the camera in a spectacularly surprising nude scene.

McAvoy and Cassel also are shot in a way that makes them pop, and both actors are completely alive to every moment of their scenes.

Trance is not precisely a case of all style and no substance, as Boyle and his writers are, in fact, trying to deepen and, in certain ways, humanize hardboiled crime drama by introducing multiple layers of meaning, emotion and insight; enough pieces of the puzzle fit that the story, if one straightens the sequencing and psychology out in one's mind, seems to make sense.

All the same, the overriding impression is one of a game in which the narrative tricks and amped-up pulse dominate over all other concerns. It's as if the challenge the filmmakers set for themselves was not so much to tell a story as to discover how many clever and devious ways they could disguise and hide what's coming, to the point that the subject seems to serve the style rather than the other way around.

A super-stylish modern noir that's rather too clever for its own good.
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