Trainspotting (1996)

9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun young actors, stylish, great soundtrack

Yeah that baby looks fake, thick accents might be hard for some viewers

Movie Info

Movie Name: Trainspotting

Studio: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s): February 23, 1996

MPAA Rating: R


In a big country…dreams stay with me

Choose life. Choose a career. Choose a job. Choose a family. These are all ideas floating around the head of twenty something heroin addict Rent (Ewan McGregor) as he slums around Edinburgh, Scotland. Flanked by his “friends” and fellow addicts, Rent has some deciding to do. Can he escape the hell he’s created for himself or is he destine to be a junkie for life?

Trainspotting really shot director Danny Boyle to stardom. Having directed Shallow Grave (1994) with a lot of critical acclaim, Boyle took on Irvine Welsh’s book about heroin addicts. The book had more characters, even more dialect, and a bit less of a central theme, but the smart script really did work to capture the novel.


I’m ten seconds away from punching you!

What really works about Trainspotting is the strong cast. Ewan McGregor (who starred in Boyle’s previous movie Shallow Grave) shot to stardom as Rent, but he had a great supporting cast as well. Tommy (Kevin McKidd) as the clean cut soccer fan that gets the fatal addiction to heroin due to Rent’s actions. Spud (Ewan Bremner) as the innocent, likable character who always seems to take the fall. Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) as the slick Sean Connery imitating guy who less into the addiction and more into the quest for money. The topper of the group of course is Begbie (Robert Carlyle) as the rough “likes to fight” guy who does no wrong in his own eyes. These together made a strong cast that was hip and current.


My mom said I’d fall in if I left the seat up!

The film was ultra-cool when it came out. Like Pulp Fiction, it seemed to have a cult following even before the release. The difference (in my opinion) is that Trainspotting holds up much better. You put Trainspotting next to Pulp Fiction in 1996, Pulp Fiction is the better movie, but due to overplaying, over quoting, and copycat movies, Trainspotting seems to have held up better…yeah the baby on the ceiling still looks fake, but it is a fevered dream.

Trainspotting is a great movie with a pumping soundtrack. Some people might have problems following the thick accents (especially Begbie) but it is worth trying. It is another movie that if you didn’t like it the first time, you should maybe give it a second chance (I was kind of tepid the first viewing but hooked after a second viewing). The cast, for the most part, went on to bigger thing and many became break-out actors. It is fun to go back and revisit them when they were young and new to the scene…Choose life!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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