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Trainspotting (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  23 February 1996 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 428,193 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 500 user | 128 critic | 27 from

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 250 Movies #155 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <>

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:

23 February 1996 (UK)  »

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 biggest grossing British film of 1996. See more »


When Diane meets Spud lying comatose on the street, a bus passes by in the background. The bus is orange, which is the colour of Glasgow City buses, but the movie is set in Edinburgh where the buses are maroon and cream. 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

The voice-over during the end of the end credits cites the seven movies in which Sean Connery played "James Bond". See more »


Referenced in Human Traffic (1999) See more »


Performed by Iggy Pop
Words and Music by Iggy Pop / David Bowie
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd/EMI Virgin Music Ltd/Tintoretto Music
Administered by RZO Music
Courtesy of Virgin Records America Inc
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sublimely excellent
10 December 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

After reading some of the reviews that trash this film I had to speak up.

This film is gritty and dirty. There is content which is not pleasant, swearing and violence amounts other things. What else would you expect a film about drug addiction to be about? Well more than that actually, it about choices and what you Choose! Never at any point did this film make drugs look at all appealing to me in any way, I never did understand why so many people thought that it did. At no point did it ever say "Look at this, its cool." For those who think the level of swearing in this film is too much then they clearly haven't spent any time with working class people in Britain, not just Scotland. I being one of them can say its fairly accurate in that account.

That being said, those things do not take anything away from the film, the quality of plot and story, or the acting which is Stunning! Robert Carlise as Begbe was excellent, and Ewan MacGregor shined. Also the character Spud was worth a mention he really was quite good.

This film is in my Opinion a work of Genius, that represents the book accurately.

280 of 324 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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