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Trainspotting

Trainspotting (1996)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 75
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 8

A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.

91

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 2

A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 308,609

My Rating

Movie Info

Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man with few prospects and fewer ambitions, lives in economically depressed Edinburgh. Like most of his friends, Renton is a heroin addict who loves the drug's blissful nothingness; financing his habit also provides excitement and challenges that his life otherwise lacks. Renton's two best friends are also junkies: Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), a snappy dresser obsessed with James Bond, and Spud (Ewan Bremner), a guileless nerd who suggests Pee Wee Herman's

R,

Drama, Comedy

John Hodge

Mar 24, 1998

Miramax Films

Watch It Now

Cast

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All Critics (75) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (8) | DVD (29)

Trainspotting's saving grace is that there's a heck of a lot of entertainment value in this particular form of shallowness.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Trainspotting, buoyed by a great Brit Pop soundtrack and Brian Tufano's agile cinematography, captures the stoned-out, gut-churning experience of hardcore addiction with hallucinogenic acuity.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters are without recognizable virtues, and neither they nor the movie asks us to like them. But they are full of energy and underplayed wit, endlessly picking themselves up off the filthy floor.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Trainspotting is a searing pop-art portrait of a lost generation blowing out its brains. As they rail, chuckle, shout and dive into darkness, you're trapped yourself between a bellylaugh and a scream.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is about joy -- in conniving and surviving, in connecting with audiences, in its own fizzy, jizzy style. And that's why, compared with it, most other films look zombified.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A cocktail of scuzzy charm, nerve and despair that seduces and repulses in nearly equal proportions. It packs a jolt, all right. But it leaves you with a brutal hangover, too.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By turns cheeky, surreal, exhilarating and stomach-churning.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Brazen, hilarious, disgusting, audacious, altogether fresh.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

An unprecedented and unrivalled piece of entertainment.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Funny, disturbing, tragic and deeply addictive.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A grimy bolt of celluloid lightning unspooling at 24 crackling frames a second, this episodic tale of smart-aleck Scottish lads on heroin is the year's most exciting film -- and surely its most controversial.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

All this doped-up ennui eventually proves wearing. Junkies, given to nodding out and living in squalor, don't make good company for too long.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Heroin, as it turns out, provides the characters in Trainspotting with something the filmmakers can't -- motivation. Without the drug, Boyle can't convincingly explain the actions of Renton and his friends.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Unapologetic and hard-hitting, Irvine Welsh's controversial bestseller is brought to the screen as a dazzling assault on the senses.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

There's no denying that the visual imagery boasted by Danny Boyle's Trainspotting rivals anything you're likely to see on the big screen.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Spokesman-Review (Washington)
Spokesman-Review (Washington)

It's hard to recall a movie that etches the horrors of drug dependence more shatteringly than this British tragicomedy, which Danny Boyle has directed with ferocious energy.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Graphic look into heroin addiction. Not for kids.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A monster hit in Britain, Trainspotting is defiantly contradictory: an exhilarating portrait of heroin use, a black comedy of errors capped off by one character's sarcastic decision to "choose life."

September 1, 2009 Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Audience Reviews for Trainspotting

This feels less of a masterful piece of filmmaking and more of a reminder of the affects of drug use, which in that case the film is a complete triumph. The editing techniques and the way everything is shot is amazing on every level, but the story is simple when it's broken down and it's not very complex in it's characters, but they are developed to the 9's as far as a 90 minute picture can go. I really enjoyed watching what was going to happen to these characters, who would stay bad and if anyone would fix their problems. There are some very terrifying hallucination sequences that will leave you quivering for hours if you really break the scenes down in your head, and for that, it's brilliant. I don't think it's on the level everyone thinks it is, but "Trainspotting" is a solid film about the affects of drug use and the trust of others.
August 19, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Danny Boyle's sophomore bout 'Trainspotting' is a superbly well made film a brisk pace, great performances, and a fully engaging plot. Full of comedy and pathos, 'Trainspotting' is a equal parts satisfying and poignant.
April 13, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

A true sensation that`s awesome, brilliant, electrifying, stylish, hilarious and outstanding. A great and absolutely original triumph. A flat out insane experience. An endlessly enjoyable and unforgettable movie. It packs on amazing power, humor and terrific performances by it's cast. An electrifying film. Director, Danny Boyle has crafted a dazzling film classic that is something of a special masterpiece. A wickedly funny, terrifically compelling and superbly entertaining film. An excellent piece of work that's hip and brutally honest. It has a great soundtrack that has seductive groove all on it`s own.
January 10, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

This is an entertaining debate on the ups and downs of hard drugs, following the story of Mark Renton. Somebody who has a strange and complicated Malcolm McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange", let's say, existence, rather than life. The film is a fantastic debut feature from Danny Boyle. Though it might slip your mind when the harshly dismal and slimy experience of viewing it ends, regardless, whilst your in the company of Trainspotting, you'd think twice about doing anything. And honestly that is a compliment, it is neither an anti drug film, nor a promotion of heroin usage. But rather a truthful insight into the lives of drug addicts during an economically depressed time in 1980's Scotland. Although at times terrifying the black humour nevertheless works. It might seem like niche art house fare, but the comedy can work for pretty much anyone. Danny Boyle's direction is truly outstanding, his inventive script is also fast, witty and deserving of it's Academy Award nomination. Not to mention some great performances from it's fresh cast of actors. Entirely deserving of it's great reputation. As what Boyle has managed to do is change a difficult subject matter and mould it into a hilarious, entertaining, and rightfully scary filmgoing experience. A real eye opener but in addition a piece of aesthetically significant poetry. If you don't like art house, it makes no difference. It's visuals can be a bit too ugly but this minor issue is ultimately forgivable. I'd find it hard to imagine anyone who is unable to identify any of it's various other triumphs.
December 12, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Sick Boy: All I'm trying to do is help you understand that The Name of the Rose is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted downward trajectory.
    2. Mark Renton: What about The Untouchables?
    3. Sick Boy: I don't rate that at all.
    4. Mark Renton: Despite the Academy Award?
    5. Sick Boy: That means fuck all. The sympathy vote.
    – Submitted by Sebastian C (16 months ago)
    1. Mark Renton: Straight away he clocked us for what we were. Small-time wasters with an accidental big deal.
    – Submitted by Ann A (17 months ago)
    1. Mark Renton: Sick Boy is seriously lacking in moral fiber.
    2. Dealer: But he knows a lot about Sean Connery.
    3. Mark Renton: That's hardly a substitute.
    – Submitted by Ann A (17 months ago)
    1. Mark Renton: : It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference.
    – Submitted by Milena K (20 months ago)
    1. Mark Renton: It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference.
    – Submitted by Milena K (20 months ago)
    1. Sick Boy: Personality, I mean that's what counts, right? That's what keeps a relationship going through the years. Like heroin, I mean heroin's got a great fucking personality.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (21 months ago)
View all quotes (18)

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