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

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 178 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: 32 out of 44
  2. Negative: 6 out of 44
  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 21, 2014
    10
    A rapidly paced thriller that has multiple twists. The key to to the plot is difficult to unravel, Boyle tricked me.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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  3. Sep 13, 2014
    10
    Trance is a fantastic thriller that you won't figure out until the action packed epilogue hits the screen.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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  4. Jul 23, 2013
    7
    Danny Boyle makes a film that works as a mind bending thriller that is well acted with great cinematography.
    McAvoy, Dawson, and Cassel are
    all equally great as the three leads. B+ Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2013
    7
    I went to see a new film by Danny Boyle called Trance. This is the guy that made Slumdog and directed the London Olympics opening ceremonies. I thought Slumdog was okay, and since I don’t care for much for ceremonial BS, I think his best work came earlier in his career, specifically, in this order- Trainspotting, 28 days later, 127 hours. He’s like almost a famous respected director, but I don’t think he really gets true credit for being an “artist” from the critics in a way that say, Von Trier does. But I think he makes great, big budget, quasi- mainstream films. Trance is not one of these, but in a good way.

    I am part of this type of film’s built in audience. Just by the fact that it is psychologically manipulative means I like it. The way that the film distorts time is excellent. The first half is straight forward, but the second half starts shifting all over the place. It’s almost completely non-linear. Because of the heavy emphasis on hypnosis we never know if what we are seeing is reality, dream, trance, past, present, future. It is a big, flashy, colorful film but it’s only out in limited release and it’s not very well advertised. After I saw it though I could perhaps see why it didn’t garner too much mainstream attention.

    I heard the late Roger Ebert say what makes a great film is when it does what it sets out to do, with excellence. It needs to be an example of greatness in the category of itself. What this to “do” is is very difficult to define. Is Trance a thriller? It has a heist, it has physiological manipulation, and it has an unorthodox love story, all elements that can make for great thriller, but as they occur on screen they seem too contrived, almost satirical. There are unrealistic, sometimes goofy flaws in the acting and in the characters, and it is not until after the film has laid all its cards on the table that all the little slips that have been happening are forgiven; they make sense in context, but this is a risky move. It requires the audience to recollect. It almost doesn’t work.

    Trance is like a mix of the Inception and Eternal Sunshine, but Trance does not succeed in achieving excellence in the same way these films do; however, it does do something else. I don’t think that Inception or Eternal Sunshine take the chances that Trance does, and so neither of these films make any of the same mistakes or flubs, but this also makes Trance really entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny at times. The problem is that only in retrospect does the film really make any sense. Trance requires a certain level of forgiveness from its audience, and a truly great thriller, I think, would never require such forgiveness.

    The coolest thing about seeing this film on opening night was that Boyle himself did a Q & A afterwards. He took technical questions: Do you prefer film or digital? He likes both, but sees digital as the future. Political questions: Do you think gun violence in film perpetuates real gun violence? He does, but relies on tragic paradox- the fact that we derive satisfaction from tragedy- to justify that we need these stories to be told, and sometimes, they happen to involve guns. Controversial questions: Does the UK (he’s British) do music better than the US? Yes, but since the UK does very so few things well (his words), he has no problem admitting this as one of those few.
    I wanted to ask him what he looked for in a script and if he had any advice for scriptwriters looking to get their scripts made, but he only took questions from the first few rows of the audience, and as usual, I was sitting way at the back.
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  6. 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
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  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 44 User Reviews

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