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Showing 1-10 of 277 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 636 reviews
on May 11, 2015
Trainspotting is an unusually realistic movie. There’s no sugarcoating as it presents the awful truths of drug abuse and addiction. It’s a nasty brutish tale told through the legitimate and uplifting context of youthful exuberance. Because that’s how drug addiction works, you have to be youthfully strong (or at least stubborn), hopeful, and naive to stay on such a losing path. The result is a story of dark humor and hilarious ironic mirth as we watch a horrifying march to bad ends. This is some of Ewan McGregor’s earliest work, and it’s Kelly Macdonald’s first film. Both are beautiful and brilliant, glowing with youth that blithely explains bad life choices. Robert Carlyle plays a psychopath who bizarrely fits into his low society so well that he becomes something of an older and wiser mentor to his “mates” who pump heroin into their veins. The whole film is a glorious saga of a social train wreck. The only shortcomings of Trainspotting are practical. The film is set in Edinburgh, so nearly everyone speaks in thick Scottish accents. Be prepared to rewind and read captions in some critical scenes. And of course, be prepared to be disgusted, because heroin addiction is disgusting. Trainspotting is funny and smart, lyric and poignant, thoughtful, exciting with an incredible soundtrack (including Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life), enthralling, and even somewhat hopeful in key scenes (possibly including the end). But the overall impression is disgust and despair at lives wasted. True stuff. Watch this movie.
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on January 20, 2016
While I would say that this film's present day status is as the film that put Ewan McGregor on the map, it is, naturally, so much more than that. It's a film about a group of listless, angry, and disenfranchised addicts living life.

This movie doesn't glorify drugs. A lot of media at the time of both the book and film's release accused it of such, but I don't see it. A lot of the character do drugs of various kinds in the film, yes, but it's never portrayed as something that is helping them in any way. Actually, there is a major plot point devoted to one of the main characters attempting to kick heroin, and is responsible for probably the most famous moment in this film. So no, this does not glorify drugs at all, and it's probably not going to normalize any of the negative behavior that you see in this movie, just because you've seen it in this movie.

Anyway, as far as the actual film goes, it's very well done. It's an intimate and personal film for the characters involved, but it doesn't feel like a cheap film just because of that. And even though there's a lot of character dialogue, it never gets boring. There is always something going on, or something to lead into with the plot of this movie.

There are also reasons to care about the characters. And while the characters do tend to fall into archtypes, there's enough actual personality to them to actually make them feel like real characters, instead of what they need to be for the sake of the plot.

The cast as a whole does a really good job of bringing these characters to life, and everyone just feels real. Though the accents might be a bit impenetrable on your first viewing, this is also somewhat by design. The book famously has all of it's character dialogue written in dialects too. It's all part of the story. Even if you don't get it, you'll likely get the gist of it anyways.

While it's the drug use that's really front and center in this film, it's really the characters, their lives and interactions, and motivations that drive this film. It's just a nice intimate character film when you remove the overall framing device of the drug use. And in the end, it's one of the best films of the 90's.
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on June 14, 2014
Adopted from the "Trainspotting" novel by Irvine Welsh, this film was directed by Danny Boyle and stars Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle. Set in a low class part of Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1980s, this film revolves around themes of drug addiction, betrayal, illness, and poverty.
Trainspotting is certainly not the type of movie to watch if you need cheering up and an extra dose of optimism. The film details the consequences of the characters' mistakes extremely bluntly; therefore, I do not recommend this to anyone with a weak stomach. It does have its moments of well-fit in British humor, and at many points, we simply want to dish out hugs of sympathy to some of the characters. Two thumbs up to Jonny Lee Miller's amoral, Sean Connery obsessed character, "Sick Boy."
The soundtrack is worth checking out too, featuring hits from Iggy Pop, Heaven 17, Underworld, Joy Division, and many more.
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on April 29, 2017
I did like this movie, quite a bit actually, but it's not for everyone. As other reviews mention, it's kind of the 1990s British version of the Outsiders. The first half of the movie is dominated by needle/drug use, if that's not your fancy, skip to the last half of the movie, you won't miss much of the plot.

Understanding the spoken words by these Scottish punks was difficult for this American small town kid, mostly due to the thick accent, as well as, lots of regional slang that was mostly lost on me, but I was able to get the gist of what was being said. But, it gives reason to watch this more than once...I suspect that is what has elevated this 20 year old flick to cult status. I have just watched this for the first time, this week. I had never even heard of it before.

I liked the cinematography, the images of run down buildings, and the over feel of misery...really it's great Art. I believe overal, that this movie is well done for what it is and I enjoyed the story line, but 80% of the drug use in the first half of the movie seemed gratuitous to me...hence the downgrade to 3 stars.

As to this DVD set, There have been a few different releases, I always seek out films with lots of bonus features/featurettes. This one (Directors cut, collectors edition) has a lot of bonus features/featurettes. If this is your type of movie and if you are like me and like all that crap, , , this is definitely the DVD package you want.
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on August 31, 2013
Sort of the UK version of "The Outsiders", as far as introducing a vital new generation of actors goes: Ewan MacGregor of course, and Jonny Lee Miller, and Kelly MacDonald, and Kevin McKidd, and Robert Carlyle. The milieu is junkiedom in Edinborough, mid-90s. Tip for American audiences: turn on the Closed Captioning. Also: if you can get past the scene, 10 minutes in, of the "Worst Toilet in Scotland", then you'll be rewarded with a pretty solid cinematic experience. If your gorge starts rising, however, when MacGregor starts fishing around for his heroin suppositories in the toilet water -- after using the toilet -- then you'd better just move along. Because it gets worse. I'm talking dead bloated babies on the ceiling worse.

Despite the "resulting depravity" of heroin use, the movie also happens to be quite funny. Depraved and funny: "Trainspotting" is kinda like life in that way. Enjoy, I guess.
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on April 22, 2017
I did not see this movie when it came out originally, 20 years ago, because it seemed to be marketed so specifically to people who identify with heroin use. (Not my thing.) However, I have recently seen a trailer for the sequel, Trainspotting 2, and I was intrigued so I thought I would give the first installment a try. Glad I did. It is more of a cautionary tale than I imagined it would be, and did not at all idealize drug use. In fact, it was unflinching in its depiction of the nightmares that result from addiction. It was an eye opener for this admittedly naive woman.
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on August 29, 2016
Hard to watch for it's gritty realism but too fascinating to turn away. Good balance of action, humor, humanity, and heartbreak. The sequel is coming out in Jan and I wanted to refresh my memories. As with all Robert Carlyle movies, don't hesitate, just watch the movie, then decide. His acting alone makes the movie worth watching. Very strong cast.
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on July 9, 2016
Trainspotting is one of my favorite movies. Meaning character Renton played by Ewan McGregor. Story is baaaased on book by Irvine Welsh. It's story of group friends in Scotland dealing with heroine, addiction & bleakness if their lives in Scotland. Movie is interesting and your pulled into their world. It's like your part of their group. An awesome movie and a must see.
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on December 2, 2016
There are many things to enjoy about Trainspotting, but, simply put, I fell in love with the words. I've watched it several times over the years and it continues to enthrall me with some hypnotic mixture of awe and disgust.
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on April 28, 2017
It was cool to see the deleted scenes. Hoping they come out with a super Collector's Edition down the road that combines both T1 & T2. I'll wait for that one to come out and buy it too.

Surprisingly this movie is not dated and still looks great.
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