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Trance Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Spellbound Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    I love a good mind-bender, but it's getting more common these days to see thrillers that don't so much bend your mind as chop it, smash it, and place it in the Cuisinart. Trance, the new film directed by Danny Boyle is a high-brainiac art-world thriller that wants to do nothing more (or less) than give your head a majorly pleasurable spin.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Danny Boyle has great and plainly evident fun adding twists and curves and tunnels and endless style to his modern London noir Trance, but he makes so many left turns that the film turns in on itself rather than going anywhere.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The visionary filmmaker's psychological thriller weaves a too-complicated tapestry.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    I floated in and out of states that included suspense, surprise, delight and shock, all of them adding up to steady-state enjoyment.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Mind-bending thriller is excessive and violent but artful.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Trance is, like director Danny Boyle's earlier films Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, not for younger viewers. Although it has drawn comparisons to Inception and Memento, this thriller has more sex (including sexual full-frontal nudity) and grisly violence (torture, heads blown up, an innocent person killed) than either of those films. The language is standard for an R-rated movie ("f--k," "s--t," "assh--e"), but it's the frank sex scenes and the cringe-inducing violence (which also includes domestic abuse) throughout that makes this one for very mature teens and adults only.

  • Families can talk about Trance's use of violence. When was it stylized, and when was it realistic? Could you tell the difference between the hypnosis-induced violence and the "real" violence?
  • Were the plot twists and the hypnosis theme confusing for you as a viewer, or did they add to the excitement? Which moments surprised you the most?
  • This is the kind of movie where a spoiler could ruin your experience as a viewer. How do you handle talking about movies with big twists?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The only possible worthwhile takeaway is the warning to never abuse your partner.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Not much role model behavior in this movie, but it does prove that everyone is more complicated than they seem. A thief is more than a thief, and people can be more manipulative than you imagine.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Frequent violence, including scenes of torture (nails being torn off, limbs being broken) that are both real and imagined (under hypnosis). Characters are shot, beaten, burned, hit by a car, and killed. The body count is less than 10, but the deaths/murders are all shown. There are also flashbacks to domestic violence and possessive behavior between lovers.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Full-frontal female nudity, at least two fairly graphic sex scenes, skinny dipping, a discussion of pubic hair (or lack thereof), and a few more passionate kisses, as well as a few dating scenes.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," and more.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink and smoke socially; a man acts drugged, but he's really hypnotized.