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4.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BE A HERO
Simon (James McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who participates as the inside man in an art heist. He double crosses his partners and hides the painting himself. However, due to a nasty bump on the head he gets amnesia and forgets where he stashed the painting. After some unsuccessful torture, his partners in crime take him to see hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson)...
Published 5 months ago by The Movie Guy

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotically dull
Trance is a twisty thriller in which neither the characters nor the audience know what’s going on and by the end it’s clear that neither the characters nor the audience really cares. The plot revolves around the theft of a Goya painting. Simon (James McAvoy) is the insider at a London auction house, Franck (Vincent Cassel) the criminal mastermind and Elizabeth...
Published 4 months ago by boggisbitesvampires


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotically dull, 18 May 2014
This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
Trance is a twisty thriller in which neither the characters nor the audience know what’s going on and by the end it’s clear that neither the characters nor the audience really cares. The plot revolves around the theft of a Goya painting. Simon (James McAvoy) is the insider at a London auction house, Franck (Vincent Cassel) the criminal mastermind and Elizabeth (Rosaria Dawson) the hypnotist drafted in to help McAvoy remember where he put the painting when he forgets.

Hypnotism is the engine that keeps the plot revolving. Early on, Elizabeth states that hypnotism has its limits, but the film forgets this as it lurches from one improbability to another. If it had stuck to its thesis it might have been more interesting, but in a film where one person can make any other think or feel anything, it’s not long before we realise that a world where we can make people do whatever we want is a very dull place. Consequently, the twists come and go like the episodes in a bad dream where what happens next has little connection to what went before. It would be a confusing film if one of the characters didn’t spend half an hour explaining it to the rest. In a better film that wouldn’t have been necessary.

Although the plot isn’t up to much, the film does look good. Reflections and shadows are used to suggest that things are not always as they appear. The characters address their own reflections, or seem to be talking away from each other out into the night. It’s all of a part with the ideas in the silly script, but unfortunately, it seems to serve no greater purpose. There should be more to it, but there’s not. The actors and actresses do what they can with McAvoy in particular doing his best to find an emotion to express that will stick on the glossy façade of the film. He tries a lot, but the one that suits best is genuine puzzlement.

It is depressing to think that this is the kind of film that people will say is intelligent, that it really makes you think. An intelligent person is thinking all the time and a good film should give them something to think about. It should challenge what you are thinking and not at the level of pulling the chair out from under you as you try to sit.

At the end, the film says, “The choice is yours. Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?” I’d rather forget. But I can’t. That’s why life is worth living and this film is a crock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Danny Boyle, the pipes are calling, 29 July 2014
By 
This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
While films like Inception and The Usual Suspects get you guessing, Trance just relentlessy confuses. This isn't helped by the fact that (like Shallow Grave) the film has no sympathetic characters.

B-movies like (for instance) Derailed or Stolen might seem dumb by comparison - but the difference is that they hold the attention. Trance isn't anywhere near as good as either of those. A long, confused slog towards a pitifully weak payoff.

***spoiler warning***

The spinning top at the end of Inception is genius. Franck wondering whether or not to bother clicking Rosario Dawson's iPad app at the end of this is like something out of Eastenders.

Well cast, well acted, expensively photographed. But the good work is wasted. Wasted on what has the feel of a story that's been doctored too much. A pudding of infinite eggs. A broth, infinite cooks. A sea of bathwater in search of a baby.

0/5 rounded up to a 1 for effort. I say 'well acted' but with a script like this, like De Niro and Pacino in Righteous Kill, the actors are reduced to the status of call handlers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BE A HERO, 13 April 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
Simon (James McAvoy) is an art auctioneer who participates as the inside man in an art heist. He double crosses his partners and hides the painting himself. However, due to a nasty bump on the head he gets amnesia and forgets where he stashed the painting. After some unsuccessful torture, his partners in crime take him to see hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) as a way to restore his memory. Elizabeth quickly figures out these guys are the art thieves and wants a piece of the action when they recover the painting.

Now at this point the plot develops layers. People go in and out of trances and see things and you try to figure out what is real and not real. This film is a crime/mystery/thriller/drama that keeps you thinking. Franck (Vincent Cassel) is the ring leader and wants the painting. Worth a view.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, full frontal celebrity nudity (Rosario Dawson)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Headtrip that Ultimately Overcooks, 23 Aug 2013
By 
Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
'Trance' is a psychological mystery thriller that released in 2013 to a mixed response. The movie broke even at the box-office.

The film centres around an art auctioneer, Simon Newton (James McAvoy) who gets embroiled in a heist led by a criminal (Vincent Cassel). During the events he loses his memory and an expensive piece of art. He then enlists the help of a mysterious Hypnotherapist to recover the art.

The movie is visually stunning with a mind bending puzzle that makes you think right from the start. Accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack and slick performances, the suspense hits all the right buttons. It was a win-win situation until the final act. The finale is a total mess due to ambiguous possibilities that become too complex for the films own good.

The performances by the James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson (Hypnotherapist) are just classy. My pick of the lot is McAvoy who is getting better by each movie.

The direction by Danny Boyle is complex and superior when talking about the execution. However, a troubled mind trip requires a soothing ending or simply an ending. Not an over extended trance that becomes a headache.

The background music score by Rick Smith is a claustrophobic thrill ride. The tunes are catchy and hypnotic. A perfect score.

'Trance' was mesmerising until the muddled up ending that tries too hard to stimulate the mind.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisty turny thriller, 27 May 2013
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Trance is up there with Danny Boyle's best films and a great very enjoyable thriller. James Mcavoy plays an auctioneer who takes part in an auction robbery stealing a priceless painting for gangster Vincent Cassell only to have an accident and hit over the head which causes him to forget where he has hidden the painting. Cassell and his gangsters then go to a psychiatrist played by Rosario Dawson who hypnotises Mcavoy in an attempt to get him to remember what happened to the painting. Excellent performances throughout though it is Vincent Cassell's menacing gangster that steals the film this has to also go down as one of the all time great British thrillers with nail biting tension and some excellent unexpected twists. Very highly reccommended. A great adult thriller.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What the, Eh?, 15 July 2013
By 
The Noir genre is one of my favourites, films about ambiguous people doing stuff that doesn't make much sense, but you enjoy the process they go through. One of the staples of 40s noir was that the characters had to explain what on Earth was going on in the last reel. Danny Boyle has brought back this noir trope in `Trance', a film that makes about as much sense as a bag full of melted jelly babies, but you will have fun watching it.

James McAvoy plays Simon, a man who works in a prestigious auction house. When the house is attacked, Simon puts the most valuable painting in the safe, but were has it gone? Simon must convince his employees and the criminals that he doesn't know anything. Enter the mysterious hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to unlock his memories. `Trance' is part `Shallow Grave', part `Inception', all kinds of crazy. It is a drama set in the real world, but also the world of potentially false memories. Boyle twists the plot around like a Chubby Checker convention and you don't know if you are coming or going, what is real or not.

In the end, does it really matter? As a fan of the noir genre I was able to glean what was happening and was quite happy with the various dead ends and red herrings the film came up with, but some people will find it very annoying and confusing. It is less about what the journey is and simply enjoying the ride. The actors are on top form, Vincent Cassel oozes charisma, an eye opening performance by Dawson and McAvoy is decent. However, like so many Boyle films it is the director himself who stars - his camera work is a joy to watch. `Trance' is a film for noir fans who don't mind a little confusion in their movies.

A film best suited for BluRay, Boyle uses effects and colour to make the most of the urban setting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As twisty and turny as ..., 6 April 2014
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Trance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
... a twisty turny thing, this rather clever psychological thriller demands very close viewer attention but still manages to blind-side you on several occasions.

It's a fascinating and quite chilling premise: imagine if a skilled hypnotherapist used their formidable abilities to nefarious ends. Well Derren Brown's entertaining shows have revealed the potential to do evil as well as good so, I guess the events in this movie, whilst seemingly far-fetched, are just about within the realms of possibility.

It all kicks off in semi-jokey, lock-stock style with the very public theft of an extremely valuable painting. Watch very carefully though as some clues will come back to haunt you later! Things soon morph into a rather nasty and definitely wince-making torture scene and then, soon after, you get the first of many hints that things may not be what they seem and the viewer may struggle to decide what is real and what is imaginary.

There are hints of Inception, The Illusionist and Memento in here, but I don't want to give the impression that Trance is derivative.
Solidly acted by all the protagonists, whilst never going to be Oscar material, this is a very clever and stylish movie that keeps you guessing (literally) up to the final moment.

Contains, strong language, strobe lights (briefly), violence (some very surreal, some gruesomely realistic) and a courageously explicit full-frontal courtesy of Ms Dawson!

Now look into my eyes (the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes) and repeat "Trance is a definite 4-star movie and I must give this review a positive vote!".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trance, 9 Dec 2013
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Trance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Danny Boyle continues hopping from one genre to the next with this beguiling, classy thriller. A hapless gambler takes one chance two many when he seemingly double crosses a gangster by hiding an almost priceless piece of art during a meticulously planned heist.

Trance has many twists and from one moment to the next you will be wondering who is double crossing who. It isn't as simple as it at first seems but it is to Boyles credit that it never gets boring or pretentious. It is a joy to have the rug pulled from under you just as you think you have every strand connected.

A masterfully written story masks some minor cliches but otherwise this gloriously entertaining and superbly paced film deserves to be watched several times.

Drenched in a neon glow throughout, James MacAvoy once again turns in a blistering performance. At once edgy and cool whilst seemingly on the edge of a panic attack he guides us through every twist and turn the story takes.

Trance is a mind melter and you do have to follow it to make sense of it, but the action is fast and brutal. Boyle made the film in record time and that really translates to the screen. Fast and frantic throughout there is not a moment wasted.

A real class act to add to Boyles ever growing back catalogue. Where will he go next?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trance-incidental?, 25 Aug 2013
This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
Danny Boyle certainly makes interesting directing choices. He's not your average Hollywood type and continually stretches our film-eye to accept a new and fresh look at genre.
The first 30 minutes of this offering had fixated my interest, which usually is the benchmark for any film, as this goalpost usually means that the film will take you on a ride for the remaining 90 minutes or so.
Discovering where Boyle was going with the plot held my attention throughout and he used the idea of a trance-like state effectively , as the audience is torn between what we perceive as reality and fantasy- and we are kept teetering on a visual bridge between the two.
This effect is quite clever, yet frustrating, giving the audience sympatico with the on-screen characters, however far into the film we are still kept in the dark as to the exact point of the narrative and it seems to get muddled with the films need to be visually captivating , rather than a great story.
All of this dreaminess comes to a head in the last ten minutes of the film, where we are taken on a surprise sub-plot that certainly was unexpected, but it was delivered so quickly and without any resemblance to where the direction originally focused , that it seemed unbelievable and contrived rather than incidental.
What was perceived as a mysterious theft plot turns into a revenge one; so points on the pivotal plot device , but minus- on not caring at all about the revenge, due to its sudden reveal.
Vincent Cassell steals the show, as he always seems immersed in anything he does. Rosario Dawson is one of my favourite actors and is superb here.
I would call this a conversation piece- but would never sit through it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: Trance [DVD] (DVD)
Too confusing for its own good I expected a lot more from a Danny Boyle movie not up to his previous work cannot recommend
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Trance [DVD]
Trance [DVD] by Danny Boyle (DVD - 2013)
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