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Trainspotting (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  9 August 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 435,983 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 500 user | 128 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #155 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Vidler ...
Pauline Lynch ...
Gavin / US Tourist
Mikey Forrester
Dale Winton ...
Game Show Host


A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who's never touched drugs but can't help being curious about them... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic heroin use and resulting depravity, strong language, sex, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ferrovipathes  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,703,433 (UK) (15 March 1996)


$16,501,785 (USA) (13 December 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "Choose Life" monologue was originally planned for the middle of the film. Danny Boyle and his writer John Hodge were struggling to find a suitable opening when they hit on the idea of moving the monologue to the beginning. An iconic moment was born by that one simple act. See more »


After Renton has sex with Diane, he has nothing on his penis, but once he gets kicked out into the hallway, we see him pull a condom off. See more »


[first lines]
Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: [narrating] Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Profile pictures of the cast are shown during the beginning of the end credits. See more »


Performed by Kelly Macdonald
(when Diane is sitting on Rentons bed during his hallucinations)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest British Movie of All Time
28 February 2004 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

This film became almost a cultural phenomenon as soon as it was released in Britain in February 1996.

Adapted from the first (and best) book by Irvine Welsh, the film shows the lives of a group of Edinburgh heroin addicts.

The film is a black comedy, at times hilarious, tragic, surreal, brutal and uplifting. The film is full of memorable moments such as the chase down Edinburgh's Princes Street which opens the film (I happened to be there when they were filming that scene) and Ewan McGregor diving down the "Worst Toilet in Scotland" headfirst.

The film doesn't condemn drug addicts, but it is probably more effective then any amount of preachy moralising as it depicts the devastating consequences that can happen to drug users.

The film is well acted by a cast who have (mostly) become pretty famous since. Especially memorable is Robert Carlyle as the violent Begbie.

I have seen this film many times. It is an instant classic. Go check it out.

213 of 263 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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