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61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

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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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 39
  2. Negative: 5 out of 39
  1. 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.
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  2. Sep 13, 2014
    10
    One of my favourite thrillers, the movie is very surprising and engrossing. Watch this if you haven't.
    ***********************************************
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  3. Apr 30, 2013
    10
    Trance, Danny Boyle's latest endeavor, is a neo-noir drama thriller that rivals Christopher Nolan's Inception, and captivates you with its mind-bending plot. Simon (James McAvoy) works in a fine art auction house and becomes involved in a heist of the famous "Witches in the Air" by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. During the robbery, Simon's attempt to double-cross the gang's leader, Franck (Vincent Cassel), goes awry when Franck hits him on the head and gives him a concussion. After recovering from his traumatic injury, Simon, much to the dismay of the gang, can no longer remember where he has hidden the painting. Therefore, they turn to Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson), a hypnotherapist, to help Simon recover these hidden memories from the depths of his psyche. It's during these hypnotic sessions that the film comes to life, as the lines between dreams, desires, and reality begin to blur, and the truth becomes increasingly hard to discern.

    In the midst of grappling with issues ranging from identity to moral ambiguity, Trance, like Boyle's other works, is a visually enticing experience with masterful use of highly saturated psychedelic colors. Nicely complementing the mesmerizing cinematography is an equally-engaging soundtrack, featuring an original electronic score composed by Rick Smith of the Underworld and memorable selections of songs, especially the use of "The Day" by Moby. While I admit, Trance requires some leaps of faith with regards to the plot, these leaps hardly pose an issue when viewing the film, and are practically non-existent with strong believable performances from the leads. In particular, Dawson shines as a surprisingly nuanced femme fatale, who straddles the carefully balanced role of both sexually-enticing and empowering.

    And as the layers are peeled away, culminating in a riveting climax that is weirdly cathartic, we ask ourselves whether living in a trance, having forgotten, might be better than facing reality with those memories?
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  4. Sep 10, 2013
    7
    The story is interesting and has some twists, the actors are great, the direction is nice too, but still something is missing, maybe some parts of the story seem irrational to me...hard to tell. But I consider user score 7.0 fair. Expand
  5. Aug 23, 2013
    7
    This mind-spinning thriller is based on bold cinematography, intricate film editing, and fierce acting from all parties, especially the three principal actors James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, and Rosario Dawson. Unfortunately, the film strains credulity a bit, and the basic premise of the film does not hold up under close scrutiny. Nevertheless, it is extremely riveting, if not, how shall I say?--hypnotizing, as long as one does not search too deeply for logic and coherence.

    McAvoy, as Simon, carries most of the film in his role of security guard working for an art auction house. He is trained to protect the masterpieces from armed robbers, and he gives a fascinating voice-over tutorial on how these security procedures are carried out. But despite all the precautions, during the auctioning of Goya’s Witches in the Air, the auction house is robbed. Simon flies into action to rescue the painting, but he is confronted by bad guy Franck (Vincent Cassel) in the bowels of the building. Franck hits him over the head with the barrel of a gun, which causes Simon to have amnesia, not total amnesia, just amnesia about where he hid the painting before he got hit over the head.

    Simon was actually in on the heist because he had gambling debts to pay off. Getting hit over the head convinced all witnesses that Simon tried his hardest to get that painting to safety, and the press hails him as a hero. But Franck tries to remove Simon’s fingernails to get him to confess where the painting is, and realizes that even when screaming with pain, Simon sticks to his story. Simon really does have amnesia. Therefore, what do vulgar, undereducated, gangster-type losers do when confronted with such a dilemma? Naturally, they google all the hypnotherapists in the area and tell Simon to choose one he likes. He picks Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) because he likes the name, or so he says. Thereupon revolves the fragile hinge for the entire plot. Without revealing the whodunit, or the whoforgot-whodunit of this film, it turns out that Simon likes a lot more than the hypnotist’s name.

    Simon falls in love with the hypnotist, who is so good at her job that she can make anyone remember anything, and she can even introduce evil motivations with her skills. The Goya painting, it has been noted by the critics, is the MacGuffin of the film. But thieves who steal great masterpieces of art are presumably art collectors of the most obsessive kind, because it is virtually impossible to sell a stolen masterpiece on the street. Therefore, the greedy and monetary desire to own this painting, when the thugs are kind of stupid, does not make much sense. As was noted by Alfred Hitchc*ck, a MacGuffin that is used to hunt lions in the Scottish Highlands, where there are no lions, is not a MacGuffin.

    Franck the gangster also falls in love with the hypnotist; thus, we have a love triangle, where hypnotized Simon keeps remembering strange things that don’t add up to Elizabeth’s professional image. There are complicated subplots, recurring flashbacks, betrayals, and counter betrayals. The power of Elizabeth Lamb to hypnotize anyone to do her bidding makes her the Evil Mastermind of this film. The problem is that it is well documented that hypnosis cannot force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do--not even to make an unnecessary purchase. And that a hypnosis session is more like an intensely focused conversation with the hypnotist, where a deep state of trance is never actually achieved. Sigmund Freud abandoned hypnosis when he found he could achieve the same results with free association. If in fact we could get everyone to do our bidding with hypnosis, a lot of people would be lining up to pay their tuition at the nearest hypnosis institute, and we would have a hypnotist hanging out her sign on every corner.

    And there goes the plot...
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  6. Jul 3, 2013
    6
    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 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
  7. Dec 4, 2013
    0
    This seemed like an interesting plot of a movie, so much that we chose to watch it among 4 other quite good movies. When the movie started I actually thought it was interesting, nevertheless as time passed the initial good feeling started to become boredom and later dislike.

    This movie is a poor try to confuse your mind into not knowing what is happening in it and it tries so hard that at some point it loses focus and becomes a pointless mixture of scenes.

    When I finished watching it, I thought it was a bad movie, but one day later I realized it was a waste of 1.5 hours of my life.

    Its a shame because the actors that participated were quite good, still it was not enough to save this movie. I almost never give a 0 for score in anything I see, as I value the work put into content, be movies, games or other things, but this movie is one of the 3 that deserves that '0' score
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See all 39 User Reviews

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