Out now on dvd/blu-ray

Trance, Movie

Trance 2013

Your Rating/Review

Bring it to me.

From director Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Trainspotting), a psychological thriller following fine art auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) who teams with a criminal gang (led by Vincent Cassel) to steal a valuable Goya painting. When the audacious heist goes wrong and Simon forgets where he stashed the artwork, they turn to a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember. Deep in his jumbled psyche the boundaries between reality and hypnotic suggestion blur.

DVD / Blu-Ray





84 votes / 13 comments The Talk

  • 91 %

    Want to See it

    What say you?

    • mamoore

      Boyle for the next bond movie

    • wolfgang

      looks interesting. james mcavoy is in great form

    • RexH

      Looks good... Plus, Rosario Dawson - what's not to like?

    • lisa


    • George

      Great minds think alike Rex. Rosario Dawson ftw! Looks like a pretty cool thriller flying under the radar.

    • slychick

      Looks like a good one to see

    • Gordon Keay

      Awesome movie with more twists and turns in the plot than a bowl of spaghetti. More captivating entertainment from a good director.

    • Rose-y

      Loved it, , loved the characters and the plot, really enjoyable movie, kept me interested the whole time, Cant wait to see more from DannyO

    • Franky G

      First half, gripping. Second half.. tried to be waaaay too clever by half. A thumbs up all round, but probably only just

    • tankgirl

      great fast paced film, heavy soundtrack!

    • John_S

      Great movie. Really enjoyed it. Plenty of twists and turns. Go out and see it now!

    • Benek

      Forget the faulty premise. It's full of style, great music, a strong cast of believable character, and a psychological trill ride. Loved it.

    • KiwiKid

      SO Excited to see this, move over momento, I think Danny Boyle's got this one down. Great to know good stuff like this is being written


    Want to see it?


Flicks.co.nz Review



  • Karen Mole

    Saw this last night at preview and throughly enjoyed it. You need to pay attention to keep up with all the twists and turns

  • sue

    That's a terrific movie, 24 hours later I am still figuring parts.

comment / reply
Dominic Corry Flicks Writer

Director Danny Boyle's hyper-kinetic filmmaking style has rarely been better applied than in this heady (in every sense of the word) post-Inception thriller. More

An irresistible set-up – London art thief forgets where he stashed a stolen painting and turns to a hypnotherapist to help him remember – plays out with tantalising ambiguity as allegiances shift and reality comes into question.

The main character's fragile mental state is greatly enhanced by the film's visuals, and James McAvoy does a good job of seeming in over his head. Rosario Dawson is positively radiant, and it's very satisfying to see an English-langauge film (Black Swan aside) make proper use of French actor Vincent Cassel for a change. He's marvellously slimy here, and the film delights in playing around with the true nature of his character.

The London presented in Trance feels cinematic in a way that I can't recall experiencing since perhaps Boyle's own 28 Days Later in 2002. This is a Hitchcockian neo-noir in an English setting – I was in movie nerd heaven.

There are elements to Trance that are confusing, but it's a very capable filmmaker pulling the strings and I never once questioned the choices he made.

Trance's resolution is genuinely shocking and perhaps a touch problematic considering what came before, but by that point I was willing to follow the movie anywhere. This is a must-see for anyone who loves having their perception challenged. Hide

The People's Reviews


23 ratings and 28 reviews


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Lands with a thud.

Mark-Roulston Flicks Superstar (?)

Any movie concerning the manipulation of a character's mind is going to present an unreliable narrative. Inevitably the rug is going to be pulled from said character, usually upending the audience as well.

Danny Boyle's latest Trance is but one more film that tries to bait and switch us, but unfortunately the only effective twist in this tale is the rapid deterioration of an illogical but often gripping thriller into a sloppy and occasionally puerile mess, with a third act that lands with such a thud that any goodwill earned early on seems to be a hazy memory of a different film.

Trance tells the story of Simon (James McAvoy), an apparently naive auctioneer caught in the middle of a high stakes art heist who loses his memory after a crack on the head from the heel of a shotgun wielded by thief Franck (Vincent Cassel). Enter Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), the hypnotherapist hired by Franck to break through Simon's amnesia to reveal the location of a £25 million painting that vanished in the robbery.

The logic of the film is murky from the get go, but Boyle fires Trance out of the gate with such furious pace that allows little time to stop and pick apart the pseudo-scientific aspects of hypnotism as depicted here. Typically of the director, they style seems to take precedence over the substance, and a terrific soundtrack (all the better if you're fortunate enough to see the film in a Dolby Atmos theatre) contributes to the slickness of it all.

Truth be told, there's a lot in Trance that is pretty enjoyable. The cool neo-noir vibe works well despite the obvious cracks in the surface of the script.

Until, that is, the cracks become a gaping crevasse, torn open by the baffling decisions to hang a fairly significant story point on a frankly idiotic idea, and grind the relentless charge toward the climax to a halt with turgid exposition that makes little sense in the context of the story. It's simply bad writing, and the film has no time to recover, left instead with an ending that has zero real impact beyond the crushing confusion of it all.

Trance had the potential to see Danny Boyle to get back on track after a couple of minor works (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) that generated a lot of awards buzz but little enduring quality. It's disappointing to see a filmmaker with such a unique and varied catalogue of work hit a rough patch like this, but if you're waiting for a work that shakes Boyle from his slump, Trance just isn't it.



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Trance runs out of juice...

Dwayne-Kirkwood B-Grader (?)

Trance starts off like a regular heist movie and progressively turned into something else, something less appealing. The pacing was perfect in the first 30 minutes, however as soon as the initial heist is over with everything slows down and meanders along like a senior citizen. There are some thrilling moments and the audience is never entirely sure what turn the story will take next. Those expecting an action-thriller heist movie should brace for more of a psychological-thriller. There is also some graphic violence and nudity that felt a little out of place and unnecessary, like it was only there for the shock value. Could've been a good genre piece, but falls short and turns into an average muddle of a movie.


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Inception-type movie

Krystle-Field Nobody (?)

Although this isnt one of those easy to sit down & watch movies it kept me very entertained trying to work out what was going on. The casting/directing was fantastic. If you like Inception you will like this.


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Absurd & Stylish Thriller left me in a Trance

Simon-Howard A-Lister (?)

Danny Boyle returns to his day-job after the heady success of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. And it's clear he isn't about to let the ball drop with this crazy psychological thriller.

Whilst this is far from his greatest work, it's a sleek and classy piece of cinema. Sexy, intense, dark, and at times hard to follow, Trance succeeds because of three strong lead characters effectively taking us places we never thought we were going.

Rosario Dawson in particular does a sterling job as the hypnotherapist, and whilst I like James McAvoy, his performance did leave a bit to be desired. There's more twists and turns than a corkscrew, which does at times get annoying. But taking it on face value, there's a lot to enjoy here. It's a cool movie.

Did I understand it all? No.
Did I enjoy it? Absolutely!


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Good but not enTranced.

BjPartridge Wannabe (?)

Danny Boyle has always seemed to me to be a film maker who has forgot to take his ritalin. Trance is no exception to this. There are some very cool parts of the movie and yes there are moments that you don't expect. One thing he always does though is get you engaged right from the opening shot.
It is very easy to follow, if you manage to stay awake you will get it, if you fall asleep then you might have an issue.
All of the cast are pretty good, Vincent Cassell is perhaps the most memorable. The chemistry in the cast is pretty good. There is a several concerning elements in the narrative and you would hope never to have a hypnotist like the Harley Street Hypnotist portrayed in the film.
In short, Trance is very enjoyable, if a tad violent in parts. Well worth a cheaper Tuesday ticket.


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Not bad entertainment

hoyinma Nobody (?)

We had big expectation before watching this. It wasnt as good as I thought but not bad entertainment. Storyline was not impressive and acting was just OK.


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The Thomas Crown Inception

AltJacobunny Wannabe (?)

Danny Boyle knows how to put together a great looking and sounding pic but his attempt to create something a little more abstractly philosophical doesn't quite pull together. TRANCE plays a little like a cross between a classic art-heist betrayal flick a la THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR and a philosophical action piece evoking Nolan's dig into mediating reality in INCEPTION with its murky 'Is this real or imagined or does it even matter?' spiral.

TRANCE's art-heist caper starts in promising fashion with some smartly designed and decently paced sequences but the plot threads soon spool out seemingly beyond Boyle's ability to reintegrate them into a cohesive story. That mightn't be so much of a problem if the film was made as a more abstract art piece but it is trying to be something much more approachable and understandably appears to be losing a lot of its intended audience. I'd be interest to see writer Joe Ahearne's 2001 made for TV original but it seems to me that Boyle and returned collaborator John Hodge work better on less ill-defined themes such as the greed-guilt complex in SHALLOW GRAVE rather than the vagaries of memory and reality.

Boyle's new movie has a typically strong aesthetic style - lots of similar, stylised-modern architectural forms in the limited range of sets - but this style seems a little at odds with many of the characters, for example the central gang of thieves who are occasionally fish out of water in the given settings. Even so performances are generally good with the central trio of McAvoy, Dawson, and Cassel instilling their characters with plenty of depth and interest. TRANCE has enough appeal to be watchable and at turns pretty interesting it just doesn't achieve an overall synergy and left me without much to take away.


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Fantastic - recommended

Jardisliketardis Nobody (?)

Riveting. Reminded me of watching Shallow Grave for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the performances of the three leads. Great to see James McAvoy playing against type.


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Worth a Watch

KathyBolt Nobody (?)

I didn't know too much about the film before I saw it which is sometimes good - no expectations! I did enjoy it, I was never bored or particularly confused, although you do need to be on the ball while watching it and you end up constantly second guessing what is real or imagined. I pretty much guessed th final twist reasonably early on but it was interesting to see how it played out and the full ins and outs of the plot.


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Dusty Nobody (?)

Loved It. Keeps you guessing and slowing piecing everything together to all come together at the end. A definate go-see!


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Complex but good

ADHjorring Nobody (?)

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and it's not the sort of thing I would normally watch. At times it was overly complicated and confusing. I'm still not 100% sure that all of the loose ends were tied up and a couple of things still seem pretty implausible, but overall it was really entertaining.


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Some scenes went on way to long

Karalou A-Lister (?)

This was just an OK movie for me. They spent too much time explaining things and I got a bit bored. James McAvoy was good in this movie though. Would I recommend it for others to see at the movies, probably not.


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Like Tofu- nourishing, but not quite filling.

Zac-Young A-Lister (?)

I'm somewhat conflicted when reviewing this film, on the one hand, I can't say it's the best movie I've seen this year whilst on the other - it's certainly not the worst.
It's a clever way of breathing life into the traditional heist film but from the start it's fairly clear where it's going to end up. The twists are a little too easy to spot and the hypnotism is unfortunately explored just enough to be interesting, yet not enough to be believable.
Now, I know that's a slightly unfair statement, but for some reason it just didn't strike me as believable - perhaps this is as a result of my own mental block brought on by a rogue hypnotist of my own...you never know.
Whilst the 'Hitchcockian Tilts' and the dreamlike quality to the shots as some faintly swam were a nice touch, it just didn't hit the mark. It was all there, but like waking up from a dream it left me feeling slightly empty, as if something was missing...for the life of me however, I just can't tell you what.

Verdict - definitely worth a watch, just not necessarily at the cinemas.


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Messes with your head in the best way

Gareth-Davies A-Lister (?)

Enthralling from the get go. Loved the performances and how each of three leads got a good share of the screen time. Smarmy, ultra-cool Vincent Cassel is great, Rosario Dawson has never been better and McAvoy is superb playing a character who gains and loses viewer sympathy with regular monotony. Fantastic soundtrack and a plot with so many surprises and turns that even if you pick one it is still three twists ahead of you. Great


  • cliomuse

    A fine film - James MacAvoy's best performance, stunning cinematography, and a great mixture of Hitchcock and film noir.

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Intense and Interesting

hristina Nobody (?)

Great movie, fast pace kept you interested and a suprising twist at the end. Likeable characters. A thoroughly enjoyable movie.


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Cool movie!

Fiona-Crawford Nobody (?)

What a great entertaining film, kept you really engaged and great levels within the film.
Cool movie!


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More twists than a rollercoaster

kiwimrsmac Wannabe (?)

With an abrupt start, this movie took the viewer on a roller coaster ride through reality: real and imagined. Director Danny Boyle is a genius. The cinematography is a visual feast. The small cast range from being loveable to misunderstood to hateful, and that in itself is disturbing! The superb soundtrack helps move this movie into the genre of The Game and The 13th Floor. The bad reviews are certainly a surprise as I loved it. The plot twists and turns were artfully done. With the end result unanticipated. Loved it.


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clever plot keeps you guessing

Lisa-Pedersen A-Lister (?)

Really enjoyed this and surprised at the bad reviews. Sure it was complex but kind of clever & I certainly didn't see how it would end. If anything my one criticism would be of the overly arty lighting and colour schemes. And as always Vincent Cassel shines... what a hunk


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Rob-Wylie A-Lister (?)

Liked the film. Think I would like to see again, to get every clue. Was a film that I never got bored in...


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Karen-Mole B-Grader (?)

Really enjoyed this - you can't watch this passively or you'll miss the twists and turns. James McEvoy is at his best and why wouldn't he be with the clever cast and writing to play with and great directing. Not for the feint hearted at times and one scene made all the guys in the audience whimper en masse.


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Intense and frenetic.

Dean-Hewison B-Grader (?)

Danny Boyle's style suited this kind of story perfectly - the film was intense and engrossing. It tied itself up into a knot or two but just before I gave up on it, it untied itself and revealed its hand in a deeply satisfying way.


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Confused but captivated

Candi-Fletcher Wannabe (?)

I enjoyed this movie. I sat there for a lot of it thinking, "what the hell?", but it played out quite well. I'll agree with the others that the story and the twists were a bit over the top, but it kept me hooked until I found out what was actually going on, and even then I had to process what had happened. A good thinking movie. Thanks Flick for the preview :)


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Zee B-Grader (?)

While I agree that the story line was overtly complex, I actually quite enjoyed it. I can normally pick a twist but I didn't see this one coming and it left me rethinking the whole movie. To top it all off the direction was done beautifully I walked away quite a pleased patron!

Oh and thank you Flicks for the free preview much appreciated!!


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nice idea for a heist gone wrong movie

amc32 Flicks Superstar (?)

but go so overly complicated and twisted with roshamon-style changes that it lost it's cohesiveness as a story and eventually disappeared up itself a bit.
good twist in the motivation for the theft, but it was an entirely unrealistic [therefore implausable] scheme.
it'll be on sky's channel 20 in about 9-12 months. might as well wait until then. it's not a must see.


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Was looking forward to this

Tania1 A-Lister (?)

and then I saw it I agree with others it has a complex story line its not a movie that I;m recommending


  • Rose-y

    Perhaps im biased, i imagined i would enjoy it and i did.

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Awful movie

Miranda Wannabe (?)

Awful awful movie - we were ready to walk out after an hour. It's like they gave up writing a cohesive script and thought that the final blow-them-up scene would suffice. I'm struggling to find anything at all good to say about this movie - I guess some of the filming techniques were nice, especially in the apartments. But still, not enough to redeem this movie from being truly truly awful.


  • tankgirl

    Lots of twists & turns sure, but not so overly complicated that it couldn't be followed by someone of average intelligence.

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Not as good as the critics suggest

Red Flicks Superstar (?)

I'm surprised with all the positive reviews. The story was pointlessly complex, adding up to not much. The series of revelations were lame. The performances over the top. Skip it.


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Press Reviews

69% of critics recommend

Consensus: "As stylish as ever, director Danny Boyle seems to be treading water with the surprisingly thinly written Trance -- but for fans of Boyle's work, it should still prove a trippily entertaining distraction."

ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE. Read more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
Empire (UK)

Though it rings ever so slightly hollow as cool shades into callousness, this exercise in sexy suspense and brain-scrambling mystery is a dazzling, absorbing entertainment which shows off Danny Boyle’s mastery of complex storytelling and black, black humour. Full review.

Guardian (UK)

Trance is a disappointment: a strident, chaotic, frantically overcooked film with an almost deafeningly intrusive ambient soundtrack. Full review.

Hollywood Reporter

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. Full review.

Total Film (UK)

Sprinting to the edge of preposterousness and back, this deliriously entertaining day-glo noir of fried brains and blown fuses denotes a director at the top of his game. Full review.

Variety (USA)

A trippy variation on the dream-within-a-dream movie, Boyle’s return-to-form crimer constantly challenges what audiences think they know, but neglects to establish why they should care. Full review.

Time Out New York

The film plays like something Boyle could kick out in his sleep, all his supercool devices listlessly deployed in service of a mediocre wet dream. Full review.

AV Club (USA)

Narratively, Trance is questionable, but Boyle and Hodges whisk past all the unlikely developments with enough verve and style to keep audiences from thinking too hard. Full review.

Los Angeles Times

A slick heist tale with more twists than sense. Full review.

New York Times

Mr. Boyle is a flamboyant visual stylist with a punk rocker's delight in anarchic jolts. His is a cinema of attraction and repulsion. Full review.