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.
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.
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.