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Trance (I) (2013)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  27 March 2013 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 86,304 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 206 user | 390 critic | 37 from

An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wahab Sheikh ...
Mark Poltimore ...
Francis Lemaitre
Young Woman in Red Car
Simon Kunz ...
Security Guard #1
Tony Jayawardena ...
Security Guard #2
Vincent Montuel ...
Handsome Waiter
Jai Rajani ...
Car Park Attendant
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Gursharan Chaggar ...


A fine art auctioneer mixed up with a gang joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost painting. As boundaries between desire, reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur the stakes rise faster than anyone could have anticipated. Written by Fox Searchlight

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

27 March 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

En trance  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$131,145 (USA) (5 April 2013)


$2,319,187 (USA) (31 May 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Simon goes to a hypnotherapy session to combat his amnesia, he is given a mobile phone with a ring-tone sounding suspiciously similar to Moby - Extreme Ways, a song made famous by the Bourne films, movies also centred around a brainwashed amnesiac. See more »


When Franck steals the painting from Simon in the beginning, he is not wearing gloves. He continues not wearing gloves until he jumps into the yellow plastic tube from the roof. Suddenly he emerges in the dumpster wearing gloves. See more »


[first lines]
Simon: [auctioneer is barking prices] There is a painting, it's by Rembrandt. 'Storm On The Sea Of Galilee', it's called, and he's in it. Old Rembrandt, he's in the painting. He's in there, right in the middle of the storm, looking straight at you. But... you can't see him. And the reason you can't see him is because the painting has been stolen.
See more »


Hold My Hand
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Written by James Lavelle, Richard File, Chris Goss, David Catching
(contains a sample of "Be My Wife" written by David Bowie)
Courtesy of Surrender All Ltd & RZO Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Boyle Sending Audiences Into A Trance
26 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

2012 was the year that Danny Boyle became a national hero for many in his domestic Britain after masterminding a stunning opening ceremony of the Olympics. Seemingly able to satisfy even the sternest of sceptics with a rabid display of flair and flamboyance, he became elevated to a hallowed level of reverence. In the weeks that followed, he seemed to acquire an approval rating that most politicians would have gawped at, green eyed with envy. He stands tall as an icon of the every man, with an unaffected regional accent and amiable demeanour, with a dose of easy going charm. Beneath this genial appearance is a voracious talent that is testament to many years of hard work alongside any natural ingenuity. Lauded with plaudits and success, it would appear he can do no wrong. Or can he?

Returning to his day job, Boyle re-enters the film arena with Trance, a London-based psychological thriller that rushes around with about as much calm and patience as an ADHD sufferer. He has said that he was finishing this project whilst he was working on the Olympic opening ceremony, and that this should be viewed as its 'dark, evil cousin'.

Starring Vincent Cassel, James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson, Trance undertakes a card shuffling roll call of sympathy and understanding. Early on, McAvoy's Simon misplaces a valuable painting. Under the persuasive encouragement of Cassel's band of criminals, he ends up seeking the counsel and help of hypnotist, Elizabeth (Dawson), to retrace his steps. Although the backdrop for the film is that of a common theme; a heist, it is merely window dressing for what is an indeed dark and, heck, schizophrenic joyride into the mind.

With a nodded cap to the disorientating freewheeling narrative of Nolan's Memento, this film glides along a bumpy path. It takes pleasure in scrutinising the tricks and tics of memory. Boyle plays chess with the players and moves them around with the devilish glee of a ringmaster induced with the cruel egomaniacal urge of a cartoon villain. You can almost hear the grind of his hands rubbing together as he plots each skittish twist and turn. This is aided, helpfully, by Joe Aherne's source material and the screenplay's joyfully itchy nature. The film also has echoes of Inception. But with added sex.

Daring to make this an adult film and not dilute it in order to make it accessible for a wider and broader audience, he does not eschew from graphic and explicit depictions. He performs with the cinematic frisson of a British Tarantino, but without Quentin's fondness for a baggy screenplay. Having said that, and although such comparisons make for neat phrases for critics to write, Danny Boyle is very much his own man. His films are all underpinned by his stylistic stamps of authorship. In fact, as it tends to be a defining quality of all of Boyle's films, this one does not disappoint in its assault on the senses. The thumping soundtrack plays havoc on the ears and the fast cuts fix into the eyes with the precision of a laser beam.

Not everything is welcomed wholeheartedly and with open arms, however. As much as the virtues of Trance are easy to spot and identify, it is also somewhat flawed. So much emphasis seems to be placed on tripping the audience (in every possible sense) that the film renders itself a little distant to the sense of touch. The characters are slippery and the consequence of such skillful toying with the assumed integrity (or lack thereof) of the protagonists leads inevitably to an arms space from empathy.

In addition to this, the relentlessly florid displays of directorial showmanship makes the pacing a little too one-sided. So persistent is the pace that the runtime feels a little longer than the 101 minutes that it forms and you may well emerge exhausted as the lights come up. Maybe the frenetic nature of Trance is a deliberate counterpoint to the relative stasis of 127 Hours. As it stands, this film zips along at a speed that would make even Usain Bolt baulk and cower with fear.

Any quibbles mentioned do not deviate the bottom line verdict. This film is, on balance, a mighty success. It may not be as charming and lovable as the Oscar garnering Slumdog Millionaire, but it is a relentlessly entertaining thrill ride. It stands as an hour and forty minutes at a cinematic equivalent of the best theme park you could name. Hold on tight and buckle in.

116 of 175 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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There should be sexual equality of nudity in films! andrewbanks
R. Dawson miscasted edgemarty-152-556428
Simon wasnt the bad guy I get it now jsr-321
music was awful mayque
If im not intelligent enough then fine... john_lennon
I'm surprised this movie has a 7/10 score mircakes
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