• R, 1 hr. 33 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Danny Boyle
    In Theaters:
    Jul 19, 1996 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 24, 1998
  • Miramax Films


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Trainspotting Reviews

Page 1 of 4

TV Guide's Movie Guide

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

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 26, 2013
Ann Hornaday
Baltimore Sun

Brazen, hilarious, disgusting, audacious, altogether fresh.

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun | Original Score: 3/4

June 26, 2013
Neil Jeffries
Empire Magazine

An unprecedented and unrivalled piece of entertainment.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 5/5

June 26, 2013
Jon Fortgang

Funny, disturbing, tragic and deeply addictive.

Full Review Source: Film4

June 26, 2013
Rod Dreher
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 26, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

June 26, 2013
Leah Rozen
People Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

June 26, 2013
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

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.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 26, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 26, 2013
Alan Jones
Radio Times

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

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 5/5

June 26, 2013
Dan Webster
Spokesman-Review (Washington)

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.

Full Review Source: Spokesman-Review (Washington)

June 26, 2013
Michael Wood
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.

Full Review Source: Slate

June 26, 2013
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

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.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor

June 26, 2013
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

June 26, 2013
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

June 26, 2013
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
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.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 26, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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It would be hard to imagine a movie about drugs, depravity, and all-around bad behavior more electrifying than Trainspotting.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

September 7, 2011
Kelly Kessler
Common Sense Media

Graphic look into heroin addiction. Not for kids.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 4/5

January 2, 2011
Derek Elley
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scabrous, brutal and hip, Trainspotting is a Clockwork Orange for the '90s.

Full Review Source: Variety

July 7, 2010
Rob Nelson
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

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."

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

September 1, 2009
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