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Showing 1-10 of 225 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 288 reviews
on July 28, 2015
I was not familiar with these actors and actresses. In fact the biggest name seems to be the director Danny Boyle, whom I didn’t really know either. This is basically a suspense story, involving the theft of a very valuable piece of art. The auctioneer, who is knocked out during the theft, is believed to know where the painting actually went, because when the thieves open the packing, only the frame is in it. Despite some torture and the threat of death, he just doesn’t remember what happened after he was knocked out. So they end up hiring a hypnotist, to see if she can help him recall [“they” being the thieves]. James McAvoy, who appeared in X-Men First Class, has the lead role as the auctioneer and Rosario Dawson, who appeared in Sin City, is the hypnotist who purely HAPPENS to also be knockout beautiful. And yes, there’s one full-frontal nudity scene with her, which I’d have to say was gratuitous, not that I’m complaining of course. This is one of those puzzler films in which the plot keeps twisting and turning, but the main plot device here is hypnosis, so after a while you have to start asking what is real, what is hypnotically induced memory, or just plain fake, and just whose story is it, actually? It’s fair; I give it a B-.
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on April 6, 2014
A giant mind game of a film, combining a beautiful psychiatrist who is an expert in hypnosis, a quirky gang of thugs who’ve robbed an art auction, and one of their group who was in a car accident right after the robbery, and can’t remember where he hid the multi-million dollar painting. There are twists upon twists, and multiple levels of reality, memory and dreams going on one right after another. Sort of like ‘Inception’, but smaller, more intimate, and revolving around a heist.

I can see why some might not like it. It (intentionally) gets outright confusing for stretches, and there are admittedly few cheats in the logic, though far fewer than most films of this type. But I had a great time; the energy is high, the photography is excellent (Boyle used multiple types of cameras and color schemes to highlight the different realities), the acting is fun, and I found myself more emotionally involved with the characters and more invested in the outcome than I expected for a ‘head-trip’ type of film. One of those rare films where I really had no idea at all how things were going to turn out – the price of a lifetime of watching too many movies! I could see the flaws, and I don’t blame you if they make you want to scream in frustration at times, but they just didn’t bother me, I was having too much fun.
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on August 9, 2013
Five stars - 100% - is high praise. This is obviously not Godfather, nor does it aim to be. But as a tantalizing, rich sensory experience, it is spectacular. Excellent work by McAvoy as an apparently easy-going Auctioneer haunted by deadly secrets, and Dawson as a continuously hypnotizing presence on screen (pun intended). Sound and cinematics complement them beautifully.

Much like Memento, in the end, everything (the main plotline anyway) becomes clear. There are sequences in the middle that continuously trick the viewer - one must simply sit back and enjoy. But contrary to some reviews here, there are no major lingering questions like at the end of Inception. It's actually wrapped up surprisingly neatly. That is, until you start thinking about it...
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on October 1, 2014
Well done English production with an international cast. McAvoy (English), Cassel (French) and Dawson (American) together with a intriguing and original plot is what makes this film interesting to watch. However, I have to say that I watched better performances by both McAvoy and Cassel. It is definitely not McAvoy's and Cassel's best. About the film. This is not a typical heist flick, and it certainly can not be compared to other films that deal with art stealing. I can not think of any other movie I could compare this one to. At first the plot might seem very familiar and even cliché, but as the movie progresses and reaches its climax it will surprise you. It is nearly impossible to guess the ending, it sort of borderlines with something that Hitchcock would think of. Those who are interested in hypnosis will probably find something that will interest them. As for the rest of you, if you like surprise endings, complex stories, and films with multiple protagonists than this film is definitely for you.

Basically the film is about a young and cunning security guard for one of the London's high-end auction houses played by McAvoy.
At the start of the film it seems that he is the main protagonist. Than we quickly find out that he is mixed up with the wrong kind of people led by Cassel, who lets just say do not believe in honest living and 9 to 5 work. Soon afterwards, we are introduced to the third main character Dawson, a sexy female psychiatrist who specializes in hypnotherapy. All three want one thing, and that is a painting worth few million English pounds, but only one of them knows where it is hidden, the problem is---------- he does not remember...
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on August 29, 2014
Trance is a gem of a movie that unfortunately was not widely appreciated. Its visually mesmerizing ( like the title) Academy Award winning Director Danny Boyle puts together a stylish updated film Noir all set in the world of high price Art .James McAvoy Rosario Dawson (who looks like she could have been a subject for a classic art painting with her beauty ) she makes a compelling updated femme fatale .. with two men in love with her. The plot is that McAvoy is in on a 27 million dollar Art museum robbery but gets wounded with a head injury before he can tell anyone what he's done with the painting . After being tortured he still can't remember where the masterpiece is hidden. Dawson is the therapist that specializes in hypnotic suggestions that might jar him into remembering . Time is running out for everyone in this stunning movie as Vincent Cassel ( the heist leader) is desperate to get his hands on this painting. Danny Boyle the director sets the trance like mood of this great movie in the use of color, objects, music, and artwork to enhance the story of this hypnotic thriller.we the viewer embark on this ride with twist and turn as the plot thicken with a shock ending. This definitely on it way to being a classic like Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo which wasn't well received when first release only to become one of the best movies ever made.
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on November 22, 2013
This is an engaging movie. The acting is brilliant, the plot is complicated, and the effects are attractive. The psychological twists do leave you wondering what is real and what is not, but the story isn't too hard to follow IMHO. The twists are unpredictable (save for the fact that the nature of the story lets you know there WILL be twists) and intriguing.

Spoiler alert!

So why only three stars? Because the characters are TERRIBLE people. Don't get me wrong, the actors did a fantastic job. They are supposed to be terrible people. At the beginning of the film, I liked some of them and distrusted others (as was appropriate for the plot line). I found James McAvoy's hapless Simon to be particularly endearing. But as the film progresses and secrets are revealed, you find out those people who seemed to be the 'good guys' aren't so good. In fact, they aren't good AT ALL. And I'm not talking about relatively normal people having a dark side or character flaws. They are just bad people. By the end of the film, I didn't really like any of them, which it made me hard to care about what happened to any of them. The last scene of the film involves my two least favorite characters (by that point) having what I guess is supposed to be a sweet, romantic moment--but it really rang sour for me because I'd been rooting against them.

But that might not bother some viewers. I was raised on a steady Hollywood diet of heroes and happy endings, but I know some people prefer darker characters and darker stories. If that's you, Trance might be just the movie for you.

Update:
The film stuck with me, I'll give it that. I wrote the initial review right after watching the film, but I've continued to think about it in the days since. The more I think about it, the sorrier I feel for McAvoy's Simon and the less I like Dawson's Elizabeth. The film now feels more a tragedy with a psychological aspect than a thriller for me so, again, if you like dark tragedies, I recommend this film. If you would prefer a happier ending, maybe not so much.
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on July 1, 2013
It's not often I'm left unsure of how I feel about something. I think most people much like myself will waver between two opinions--either this movie is needlessly confusing/tedious and the director was just getting off on being clever, or this movie is a fantastic graphic psychological thriller. After having mulled on this for a while though, I've decided that I am in the latter camp.

British director Danny Boyle of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting" has created a world that is both paradoxically grounded in a gritty R rated visual, yet is on a whole different dimension when it comes to the plot and sequencing of events. Much like "Inception," "Trance" can be interpreted several different ways. The time frame of events, what is actually real, and who is "telling" the story are all subject to discussion. Unlike "Memento" where the story is clearly told backwards, it's possible that "Trance" is not linear either backwards or forwards. But at the same time, it could be. This is both part of the fun, as well as part of the frustration I felt when watching for the first time.

I tend to gravitate towards mysteries or plot twists that are shocking due to their relationship to the rest of the story, yet "Trance" is different. Its plot twists are not something that you can definitively figure out like a good mystery, nor are they related to the story so much as the very method of filming. There was a point while watching the movie though, where I just accepted the complexities and relaxed into enjoying the stylish and dream like narrative though. Strangely, once I let go of forcing things to make sense--the movie actually picked up and I started really noticing details that helped in my understanding.

James McAvoy as the intriguing art auctioneer who comes by a head injury/amnesia, and Rosario Dawson as his hypnotist with ulterior motives absolutely nail their respective roles. Their minute facial expressions and body language are spot on, and really push depth into the script and into their characters. The soundtrack by Rick Smith is appropriately scattered and the electronic edge serves the mood of the movie as well.

At the end of the day, this movie really stuck with me despite having seen it a while ago. While it didn't really effect me emotionally, it was mentally interesting enough that I kept going through the events in my head and wanting to discuss my latest theories with my friends. Visually and musically, it's a feast. I would highly recommend this movie to people who enjoy movies like "Inception", "Memento" or even "Donnie Darko." If you're willing to go along with the ride, that ride can take you places no other movie I've seen this year has been able to do.
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on August 21, 2014
I really and truly loved this movie. It reaches the level of "Twilight Zone" thriller, which is always what I am looking for. I like the fact that the plot twist is definitely different and unexpected (you may want to see this one more than once to fully pick up all that is going on)...and of course one can't look past the nice eye candy of James McAvoy and his fantastic acting style in the role of Simon. But of course McAvoy wasn't the only good job in this film...everyone put up a great performance. Believability....well...I will say that is where this falls short. I doubt anything like this could happen - particularly the fact that in the movie, the crooks do NOT do poor Simon in early on. However, if you can enjoy a movie like "Face/Off"...suspend a little disbelief and enjoy it on its face...AND you like movies with some action, drama...and yes, of course the few gratuitous sex scenes thrown in...you will like this film. Thumbs up from here!
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on September 21, 2017
An excellent film, full of twists, surprises and a STELLAR cast!!! Saying more is difficult without giving too much away-- AVOIDING SPOILERS!!! Trance was cast extremely well, with excellent performances. And leaves one pondering possibilities . . . .
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on June 27, 2016
I had an issue with my prime at first and couldn't see the movie. I thought it was some new fangled mess and didn't get it. I was able to fix the centering problem and wa-lah I could actually see the movie and not just hear voices and see faces at crazy angles and half an eyeball. Once I could see it, I really enjoyed it and could concentrate on the movie. It took me by surprise and the acting was superb. Great chemistry between the performers and I'm really a fan of James McAvoy so that made it that much better. Definitely check it out, I don't have a problem with the accents but some people might get confused but you do have to pay attention which I like. Great film, suspenseful and entertaining.
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