Trance (2013) ****

Trance is the latest film from acclaimed director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting). We begin the film with a monologue from Simon (James McAvoy), an art curator, who takes us through the steps of the intricate security measures taken when robbers try and steal expensive paintings. We then delve more into his character and discover that he’s well versed with his art and is an addictive gambler. Then, the unthinkable happens. A robbery occurs and Simon goes to hide the most valuable painting there and in the process is hit in the head for trying to be a hero. The first rule he was supposed to learn was “no piece of art is worth a human life”. Guess he doesn’t listen to the rules…

After waking up in the hospital, Simon is informed that he’s suffered amnesia and can’t remember much from the day. We see fragments of memories, but they’re all just blurs. When he returns home, his apartment has been ransacked and he’s taken captive by the same robbers at the bank, led by Franck (Vincent Cassel). They torture Simon for a day because when they went to look at their masterpiece they’d stolen, it was gone! Now, Simon has the location of the painting deep within his memories and is unable to reach them due to his amnesia.

The gang decides to take him to a Hypnotist of his choice, so Simon randomly selects Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a well-practiced hypnotist who is also strikingly beautiful. After a few sessions with her, she reveals what Simon is really after and begins to take part in the whole operation with the gang. The rest of the film I’ll leave for your discovery, but trust me when I say that it’s a wild and trippy ride!

This film is like your average Danny Boyle film. It’s very unique and different from most films from other directors. The style shots and scenes will impress and the depths this film goes to when twisting your thoughts is unbelievable. The film does have some dull moments, however, and it will cease to make sense at some parts. Some scenarios are predictable in this film, but some others will surprise and fascinate! If you’re curious about more of my thoughts on Trance, keep reading for my Top Ten Thoughts!


Our linked subconscious and telekinetic abilities tell us that you think we’re extremely attractive… We know.

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

The camera work in this film is phenomenal.

This film will confuse you for the sake of confusing you.

James McAvoy and his accent are both excellent in this film.

Some events are pretty predictable.

Rosario Dawson is very cunning and extremely convincing.

Graphic nudity is present, so hide your kids!

Vincent Cassel’s villain is so much more than that. His character may be one of the best parts of the movie.

Boyle feels a bit reserved in this film, especially after following 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire.

The colors and textures in this film are breathtakingly beautiful.

Certain instances in the film are completely unnecessary to the plot.

The twists and puzzles in this film are layered very well.

Flashbacks come and go quite frequently. Sometimes, for no reason at all.

Exploring hypnosis was a great part of this film. It’s intriguing and will get you thinking.

Some of the characters motives don’t make a whole lot of sense.

The Trance sequences are masterfully crafted.

I felt like I wanted to see a bit more from McAvoy…

The film feels kind of like a dream.

Certain images are pretty grotesque, so be prepared.

Boyle shows us what he’s amazing at and delivers a fantastic psychological puzzler!

If you don’t like mind games, chances are you’re not going to like Trance one bit.


Trance is a rush of style and confusion that, in the end, will win you over with its hidden secrets. McAvoy and Dawson shine brightly in their roles and lead the cast to great heights. The film can get confusing at times, but it always turns full circle and will have you enjoying it even more than before! Danny Boyle has created yet another great film to add to his already impressive collection. It’s a smaller film that’s lesser known, but is certainly one worth your while!

Trance Trailer

4 STARS!!!

4 / 5 stars     

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