The Top 15 Movies I Reviewed in 2017!

List by Derrick Carter

Throughout the course of 2017, I posted 206 movie reviews on this blog. Though about a quarter of those were rewatches (covering the SAW and CHILD’S PLAY franchises before their latest installments, and also paying tribute to the passing of genre legend George A. Romero), I managed to catch plenty of fresh new films, forgotten flicks, and classics that I simply hadn’t gotten around to watching. As with last year, 2017’s “Best of” list will cover movies that I watched for the first time in my life. This means that old and new films are on the table, regardless of what year they came out. If a film was new to me and I loved it, then I’m including it with my favorite films that I watched in 2017!

Before I get into my 15 favorite films that I reviewed this year, there are some honorable mentions. I had previously seen THE EXORCIST, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, THE THING, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and ALIENS before this year. Otherwise, they would be on this list. As far as first-time watches, I truly enjoyed the groundbreaking drama MOONLIGHT and adored the 80s throwback STRANGER THINGS. Concerning new horror films, THE EYES OF MY MOTHER seriously disturbed me, THE VOID was a phenomenal Lovecraftian nightmare, and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS was one hell of a zombie film! WONDER WOMAN also wound up as my second-favorite superhero film of 2017. As for indie thrillers, WIND RIVER was a gripping ride and GOOD TIME was a neon-lit throwback to Martin Scorsese’s early work.

Now, without further ado, onto my top 15 favorite films that I reviewed during 2017…

15. MY FRIEND DAHMER: Most serial killer films focus on chilling murders of their subjects, but MY FRIEND DAHMER is not like most serial killer films. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, MY FRIEND DAHMER is a chilling drama that chronicles the pre-murderous life of Jeffrey Dahmer and examines him as a high school weirdo. By somewhat “humanizing” this psycho, the film doesn’t attempt to elicit sympathy towards its titular cannibal killer and instead shines a light on the fact that people we went to high school might very well turn into monsters seen in news headlines. Though there isn’t a single (human) murder to be found, MY FRIEND DAHMER joins the ranks among the best films about real-life serial killers (MONSTER, ZODIAC, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, and THE SNOWTOWN MURDERS).

14. FOUR LIONS: The idea of tackling Islamic terrorism through a darkly comic lens might sound completely misguided on paper, but FOUR LIONS is the best comedy that I sat through all year! The film follows four idiotic would-be terrorists as they attempt to execute a devastating attack, but constantly fumble over their own stupidity and reveal themselves to be bumbling morons. In my opinion, painting Islamic terrorists in this ridiculous light strips some of the power away from them in a similar way to what Charlie Chaplin did to Hitler in THE GREAT DICTATOR or what Rogen/Franco did to Kim Jong-Un with THE INTERVIEW. If you’re down for dark comedy and don’t mind totally offensive punchlines, you should give FOUR LIONS a watch in the near future!

13. HARD BOILED: Last year, LADY SNOWBLOOD wound up being one of my favorite movie-going experiences as I saw it in a packed cinema pub screening. This year, that cinema pub moviegoing experience belongs to HARD BOILED. This shoot ’em up actioner is over-the-top to the point of being ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome! Each gun fight plays out like a carefully choreographed dance and the film features one of the most jaw-dropping single take sequences that I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. Though it relies on a few cop movie clichés, it utilizes these in a loving way that makes the familiar material seem fresh. If you’re into action films and you haven’t seen HARD BOILED, then you need to remedy that immediately!

12. T2 TRAINSPOTTING: In all honesty, I didn’t know what exactly to expect from a sequel to TRAINSPOTTING. I love that film and I know that novelist Irvine Welsh wrote a follow-up novel, but I didn’t know how that might translate into a cinematic sequel. Over two decades after its predecessor’s release, T2 TRAINSPOTTING serves as an amazing companion piece to the original. Using the same cast and experimental visual style (albeit through a much more polished lens), TRAINSPOTTING 2 delivers stellar performances and naturally follows the lives of the four ne’er do wells from the previous film. If you loved the first film, then you’ll probably love this one too. For a full experience, it’s best to watch both of them back-to-back in the space of a single night!

11. NORTH BY NORTHWEST: This may be blasphemy for a cinephile, but I actually haven’t seen many Alfred Hitchcock films. I love PSYCHO, THE BIRDS, and DIAL M FOR MURDER, but the rest of his filmography is basically a mystery to my movie-craving eyes. My first viewing of NORTH BY NORTHWEST took place in the best possible environment (a packed movie theater) and I was blown away by how thrilling this film is. This is basically a James Bond film before Bond ever hit the screen. Cary Grant serves as a charismatic leading man who’s on the run for a murder he didn’t commit. Over the space of his death-defying adventure, we gets lots of suspense, action, and unexpected plot twists. I was on the edge of my seat for this entire film and walked away extremely satisfied. If the rest of Hitchcock’s filmography is anywhere near this great, then I’m in for a real treat as I continue to watch his work.

10. I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE: Blending a Coen brothers style of humor with indie thriller sensibilities, I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE might just be the most underseen and underrated film of 2017! This movie won an audience award at Sundance and then went directly to Netflix, where some people talked about for a couple of weeks and then it just kind of seemed to vanish out of the public eye. This is a vigilante thriller that’s believable in how inept real-life wannabe vigilantes might be and frequently dishes out shocking spurts of graphic violence. This might be the best Coen brothers film that the Coen brothers never made and I can’t wait to see what first-time director/writer Macon Blair cooks up next!

9. BABY DRIVER: What can I say? Edgar Wright consistently makes great films. BABY DRIVER is a passion project that Wright had in the works for years. In a similar fashion to how George Miller carefully planned out every scene, shot, and effect in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Wright constantly lets the viewer know that they’re in the hands of a visionary storyteller. This stylish crime tale about a getaway driver who (ironically enough) wants to get away from his criminal lifestyle is loaded with colorful characters, hilarious humor, and adrenaline-pumping action that’s synced up to one of the best damn soundtracks you’ll hear all year. I gushed over this movie back in June and I am still gushing about it now. If you want a joy ride of pure fun, BABY DRIVER will satisfy your cinematic craving!

8. THE DISASTER ARTIST: Never in a million years did I think that anything to do with Tommy Wiseau’s so-bad-it’s-good THE ROOM would ever wind up on any “Best of” list. Yet, here we are. James Franco lovingly adapts the nonfiction book about the creation of THE ROOM to the big screen in a way that’s not only hilarious, but also genuinely touching. THE DISASTER ARTIST doesn’t take the easy route of being a goofy comedy about a loser who fails so spectacularly that he kind of succeeds. Instead, this film takes a more complicated drama-comedy approach and shows us the more serious side of oddball Tommy Wiseau…and his strange friendship with would-be aspiring actor Greg Sestero. THE DISASTER ARTIST is a moving must-see for ROOM fans and cinephiles who just love great movies in general.

7. BLADE RUNNER 2049: I’m saying it right now, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is one of the best sequels to ever hit the silver screen. Over three decades after its predecessor’s debut, BLADE RUNNER 2049 recaptures the bleak sci-fi/noir spark that made the original into the cult classic that it is today. 2049’s cast all deliver amazing performances across the board, with supporting actors making the biggest impressions in their small minutes of screen time and Ryan Gosling serving as a fascinating new antihero. Besides delivering a complex mystery that unpredictably shifts directions as it goes along, 2049 also has one of the most beautiful romantic subplots in years and it features a literal “one-dimensional” character. For those who were bummed out by this film’s disappointing box office returns, remember that the first BLADE RUNNER was a box office flop and is now considered to be one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time. A similar classic status will undoubtedly follow BLADE RUNNER 2049 in future years!

6. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: Seven years ago, if you had told me that a PLANET OF THE APES prequel trilogy would be one of the best cinematic trilogies ever, I would have laughed in your face. It turns out that’s exactly the case though. 2014’s DAWN drastically improved upon the minor flaws of 2011’s RISE, but 2017’s WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is stellar storytelling from beginning to end. Themes of revenge, survival, and forgiveness are examined throughout the film’s ever-changing plot. Performance wise, WAR fully shapes out intelligent ape Caesar (played wonderfully by Andy Serkis) as animal protagonist who’s more compelling than most human protagonists in films and also introduces Woody Harrelson as a monstrous villain who we want to see die in the most painful way possible. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES was the best possible way to conclude the APES prequel trilogy and is one of the best summer blockbusters I’ve ever sat through!

5. IRREVERSIBLE: I originally heard about Gaspar Noe’s rape-revenge drama from a podcast in 2008, but hadn’t bothered to give it a look until earlier this year. Though not strictly a horror film by any means, IRREVERSIBLE is a terrifying cinematic experience as events are told backwards. Unlike other linear rape-revenge stories, we see the revenge come first and travel backwards through the moments that eventually lead up to the violent act of justice. As the film plays out in reverse (ironic considering its title), we put pieces of this depressing puzzle together for ourselves and this already tragic event becomes even more tragic with each new revelation. This isn’t a film for the faint-hearted and it’s about as bleak as they come, but IRREVERSIBLE is an uncompromising masterpiece that deserves to be seen by anybody who loves the serious artistic side of cinema!

4. LOGAN: There will never be a better Wolverine than Hugh Jackman. I’m saying that right now. Over a decade has been spent watching Jackman in the role of this weaponized mutant, so LOGAN serves as a suitable final chapter for Jackman’s reluctant do-gooder. The future X-MEN films have a tough act to follow, because LOGAN is a special kind of superhero story. Relationships between the small cast of characters drives the emotional core of this film forward, whilst the R rating finally delivers something that X-MEN fans have wanted to see since 2000: a bad-ass Wolverine slicing and dicing his way through bad guys. This film also has shades of Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD crossed with a comic book story that’s about as unconventional as they come. Now that Disney is in talks to own the X-MEN franchise, we likely won’t see another film like LOGAN coming from this mutant-based series. LOGAN is a one-of-a-kind superhero film and one of the best comic book movies ever made!

3. EYES WIDE SHUT: Stanley Kubrick’s final film is an underrated masterpiece about the way in which people delude themselves into believing that they’re happy…and also there’s a creepy sex cult involved too. The entire film has a dream-like atmosphere as we watch the main character (Tom Cruise) venture through a single night odyssey that explores the sexual possibilities of cheating on his wife. Kubrick masterfully shows the dire consequences that might result from following our instinctual desires, whilst also putting us into the place of Cruise’s character. This is especially true of the ending which offers two distinct possibilities: one of them is easy and comforting…and the other one is ambiguous and dangerous. Whatever you might think of it or how you might interpret it, EYES WIDE SHUT is sure to keep you talking about it long after it’s over.

2. YOUR NAME: Eat your heart out Studio Ghibli! YOUR NAME just might be one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever sat through. This film has gorgeous animation from beginning to end, while also delivering an entrancing tale of emotions and body-swapping. It’s initial set-up sounds like the anime equivalent of FREAKY FRIDAY, but drastically becomes something far more charming and moving as its complex plot moves along. This might be one of the strangest love stories ever put to the screen, but its emotional resonance is undeniable! The characters are all built up to the point where the viewer feels for their struggles and deeply cares about them. This makes the film’s final third into a very suspenseful and gripping ride. Also, the climax is utterly perfect. YOUR NAME is a masterpiece and deserves every bit of praise it has received so far (and will continue to receive)!

1. MOTHER!: Much like my favorite film of 2016 (HIGH-RISE), I know that there will be people who loathe and downright detest MOTHER! Some will hate it for its sheer artsy nightmare-logic style and others will despise its controversial message, but I adored every single frame of this fucked-up little ditty. The film follows a woman and her husband in an isolated countryside house. After a strange couple pop in and just decide to stay, their lives are shifted in horrifying ways. I can’t get too into details, because it would spoil some of the film’s nasty surprises and metaphorical madness. I will say that MOTHER! is my favorite horror film of the 2010s so far and one of the ballsiest films to ever receive a nationwide theatrical release. People either really love this film or totally hate it. There isn’t much middle ground to be found and you will likely walk away with a very strong opinion about it. One of the film’s trailers promised that “you’ll never forget where you were the first time you saw MOTHER!” and that statement is completely accurate. I’ve been thinking about this unforgettable horror film since its release and I can’t wait to dive into it again and again in future years to come!

Well, 2017 was a wild year for me…both on this site and in my personal life. I’m currently in the process of moving, so reviews will resume sometime in January! I plan to keep this little movie blog rolling, with plenty of reviews (both old and new) being pumped out on a mostly regular basis! A huge “thank you” to anyone who’s read this blog at all during the past year or any new readers who are discovering it for the first time. There was plenty to love in the world of film during 2017 and here’s to a just as great (if not better) 2018!

T2 TRAINSPOTTING (2017)

Review by Derrick Carter

Running Time: 1 hour 57 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for Drug Use, Language throughout, Strong Sexual Content, Graphic Nudity and some Violence

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Written by: John Hodge

(based on the novels TRAINSPOTTING and PORNO by Irvine Welsh)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Kevin McKidd, Kyle Fitzpatrick & Anjela Nedyalkova

Danny Boyle has been attempting to get a TRAINSPOTTING sequel off the ground for the better part of the last decade. He encountered problems in adapting Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel PORNO, which didn’t seem to work as its own movie. His original plan for TRAINSPOTTING 2 took place 9 years later and this eventually transformed into 20 years. It was a risky move to say the least. Would Danny Boyle be able to recapture the magic of TRAINSPOTTING? Would the cast be able to come back convincingly as their unforgettably colorful characters? Would T2 serve as a worthy successor to one of the best films from the 90s? Well, T2 TRAINSPOTTING is a movie miracle because the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “Yes!” This sequel is every bit as great as its predecessor.

Two decades after the first film’s events, reformed-junkie-turned-thief Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s not surprising that Renton’s friends don’t exactly give him a warm welcome, because he did steal 16 thousand pounds from them and was living off of it in Amsterdam. Spud (Ewen Bremner) is still a junkie and has become suicidal, so Renton attempts to clean him up and channel his addiction elsewhere. Meanwhile, Renton finds a business opportunity with opportunistic scumbag Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and his dominatrix girlfriend Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). Things seem to be looking up, but violent psychopath Begbe (Robert Carlyle) has escaped from prison and is hellbent on getting bloody revenge on Renton for screwing him over.

Over two decades have passed since TRAINSPOTTING’s release, but the returning cast members feel completely natural in this sequel. It’s as if they were anxiously awaiting the chance to play these characters again. Ewan McGregor is likable as Renton and attempts to turn his life around for the better, in the aftermath of many mistakes and disappointments. Meanwhile, Jonny Lee Miller is a perfect as Sick Boy. He’s both devious and very fun to watch. Ewen Bremner elicits the most sympathy from the viewer as Spud, who’s trying to kick his drug addiction for good and ultimately winds up with the film’s most heartfelt moments. Robert Carlyle is fantastic as Begbe, coming across as both a scary villain and a tragic antagonist (receiving a surprisingly emotional bit in the final third).

Much like the performances, TRAINSPOTTING 2’s plot feels as if this was the exact way things were intended to go from the beginning. That’s quite an achievement when you consider that Danny Boyle, Irvine Welsh, and John Hodge constructed this story from bits and pieces of two novels (TRAINSPOTTING and PORNO) alongside lots of original material. This sequel also creatively incorporates callbacks to the first film in ways that don’t distract from the proceedings. There are occasional echoes of the predecessor’s soundtrack and a minute of footage from that film is brilliantly brought into the proceedings. I loved how this follow-up was able to naturally connect to the original in a way that didn’t seem forced at all.

TRAINSPOTTING 2’s soundtrack is just as phenomenal as the first film’s unforgettable selection of songs. From a remixed version of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” to oldies and new wave tunes alike, I’ve been rocking this soundtrack on my headphones since I watched this film and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Though TRAINSPOTTING 2’s narrative is brilliant in that it furthers along these characters and ties up loose ends from the last film, Danny Boyle also seems to be having a field day with this sequel’s style. He plays with the camera in fun ways and seems to be outright experimenting in certain scenes. For the most part (much like the first film’s wild execution), it works damn near flawlessly. However, I have one gripe in that some childhood flashbacks seemed like a bit too much. It’s a minor complaint with an otherwise phenomenal film.

T2 TRAINSPOTTING is a rare sequel that works on the same level of its predecessor and serves as a brilliant companion piece to that film. Watching the first TRAINSPOTTING and this sequel should make for a fantastic viewing experience that I highly recommend, especially if you haven’t seen either of these films. TRAINSPOTTING 2 is an incredibly written, visually stunning, and deeply emotional experience that will keep the viewer thinking about it long after it’s over. Here’s hoping that we eventually get a TRAINSPOTTING 3 in another 15-20 years, though these two films make a perfect double feature.

Grade: A

HACKERS (1995)

Review by Derrick Carter

Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some Sexuality and brief Strong Language

Hackers poster

Directed by: Iain Softley

Written by: Rafael Moreu

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Fisher Stevens, Lorraine Bracco, Matthew Lillard, Jesse Bradford, Laurence Mason & Renoly Santiago

Ah, the 90’s. A decade where the futuristic capabilities of technology seemed boundless. In the 80’s, Hoverboards graced the screen in BACK TO THE FUTURE Part II. In the 90’s, we now had computers that were seemingly capable of anything and everything. HACKERS is the epitome of dated 90’s clichés mixed with a techno-thriller in the same vein as WARGAMES. While there is definitely cheesy so-bad-it’s-funny pleasure to be taken out of this teenage oriented comedy-thriller, HACKERS is a film that’s riddled with style over substance, half-baked writing, and a running time that feels entirely too long for its skeleton of a plot.

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Dade Murphy (a.k.a. Zero Cool) is a notorious hacker who was arrested at the age of eleven for crashing over 1,500 systems in a single day. Now legally an adult, Dade has finally been allowed near a computer again and is hacking away at his leisure. Straight from the often-used well of teenage movie tropes, Dade finds himself relocated to a new high school where he makes enemies with a female rival hacker, Kate (a.k.a. Acid Burn). Though he finds himself at odds with the hackers in the school, he begins to blend in with their clique. The group of teenage cyberpunks find themselves in hot water when a newbie accidentally hacks into the files of a corrupt businessman and a world-threatening computer virus is unleashed with a ticking clock. It’s up to Zero Cool, Acid Burn, Phantom Phreak, Cereal Killer, and a bunch of other walking 90’s clichés with silly handles to save the day.

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The intentions behind making HACKERS were reasonable enough. Rafael Moreu was inspired to pen the screenplay when he saw hackers evolving as an entirely new clique in society and police cracking down harder on cyber crimes. For the most part, he’s sort of right in that both senses. You hear stories about Anonymous and their secret society way of doing things (hacktivist movements which I mostly find to be downright admirable). Meanwhile, Lizard Squad and the Deep Web resulted in a whole lot of arrests. In general, hackers have definitely gotten to a point in society where Moreu was predicting they might end up. That being said, I find this film’s annoying too-cool-for-school style and by-the-numbers plot to be rather dull. HACKERS is a movie that cares more about how it looks than what it’s about. While certain visually engrossing movies have succeeded without a clear defined plot, HACKERS mistakes clichés for style.

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The 90’s is my personal favorite decade in cinema, but this time period definitely had its fair share of flops and misses. HACKERS falls into that latter category of 90’s filmmaking. The style is forced to a point where it’s simply unbelievable and unintentionally hilarious. There’s a constant techno-soundtrack running in background that has a couple of good songs, but mostly sounds repetitive. This film also has tons of establishing shots, annoying montages (using old movie clips to convey emotions of a character as opposed to convincing performances or good writing), and pointless dream sequences (from three different characters). These three annoyances comprise about 25% of the running time. The rest is designated to these characters playing video games, ogling laptops, rollerblading through traffic, and pulling pranks on each other to win a competition. Oh, there’s also a good vs. evil plot somewhere in there, but that makes up 30 or 40 minutes of the actual film. It’s a shame too, because the goofy villain (played by Fisher Stevens) is probably the cast’s biggest highlight.

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While it’s certainly fun to watch young Jonny Lee Miller and barely legal Angelina Jolie trying to take this film seriously, the nearly two-hour long running time is still a drag to get through. The plot is a jumbled mess of 90’s styles, teenage clichés, and a ticking clock plot that occasionally pops in. The movie does have an undeniable cheesy charm to it, but the obnoxious style (movie clips, montages, and dream sequences) kills a lot of the momentum. As this year’s hacker thriller BLACKHAT demonstrated, colorful visuals and “intense” scenes of people typing away at a computer screen are not going to help your movie if the characters are bland and the writing sucks. While I think HACKERS is a slight step above that dull as dirt would-be thriller, I still recommend that you pass on it. The only circumstances where I’d recommend watching this movie are if you have a bunch of sarcastic friends who enjoy so-bad-they’re-good movies as well as a steady supply of beer and pizza. In that case, go for it. Otherwise, skip HACKERS.

Grade: D+

TRAINSPOTTING (1996)

Review by Derrick Carter

Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for Graphic Heroin Use and Resulting Depravity, Strong Language, Sex, Nudity, and some Violence

Trainspotting poster

Directed by: Danny Boyle

Written by: John Hodge

(based on the novel TRAINSPOTTING by Irvine Welsh)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald & Peter Mullan

In 1996, Danny Boyle blew the sensibilities of European and American audiences with this little film. In many ways, TRAINSPOTTING seems like the 90’s equivalent of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and that’s some high praise. Based on Irvine Welsh’s acclaimed novel, TRAINSPOTTING centers on a group of junkies through the poverty-stricken areas of Scotland. Though it could be an unbearably bleak experience, there’s a dark sense of humor thrown into this film that keeps things from getting too depressing. TRAINSPOTTING pretty much lives up to all the acclaim I’ve been hearing about for years.

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Renton is a heroin addict struggling to get clean with his junkie buddies. This proves to be a more difficult task than he originally imagined as hardships, failed attempts at romance, and sheer temptation keeps dragging him through the ins-and-outs of addiction. He’s not alone as his motley crew of mates (which includes dim-witted Spud, crooked Sick Boy, clean-cut Tommy, and psychopathic Begbie) all navigate through various ups-and-downs that life generally throws at everyone (love, death, financial hardships). The key difference is that this group’s ups-and-downs also involve criminal activity, constant use of heroin and a whole lot of tragic circumstances.

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The plot of TRAINSPOTTING isn’t simply about the viewer following around a group of addicts, because the film takes plenty of shifts throughout the storyline. These plot points range from downright heart-breaking to darkly hilarious. Sometimes, they’re a blend of both. However, the characters are what really sell this film. Though the movie mainly focuses on Renton (a star-making performance from Ewan McGregor), the entire cast is filled with colorful individuals. Spud (Ewen Brenner) is an idiot who finds himself in horrible situations (one scene involving dirty bed sheets is hilarious and stomach-churning), but there’s a genuine sympathetic side to him. Jonny Lee Miller is slightly underused as Sick Boy, but makes the most of the screen time he’s given. Then there’s Robert Carlyle as Begbie. This psychotic character is much like the Irish version of Joe Pesci’s gangster in GOODFELLAS. He’s funny during one scene and terrifying in the next.

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Danny Boyle uses a lot of various editing tricks (crisply connecting different scenes with different characters), colorful visuals, an awesome soundtrack (I plan on playing these songs on my iPod for the foreseeable future), and a gritty atmosphere. There’s this almost indescribable dirty quality to the film that lends so much to the nature of the story being told. This is especially present during key moments, including a toilet scene near the beginning. The mix of humor and serious drama works out well in keeping the film from getting too damned bleak and unpleasant, but not so much to negate the devastating blow of heartbreaking moments. Danny Boyle and the cast tackle all the controversial subject matter with unapologetic glee.

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If there is any complaint to be had with TRAINSPOTTING, it would be that the pacing varies from place to place. The film begins in a rapid fire way that had me wondering if these 94 minutes were just going to fly by and leave me wanting a little more. However, the film slows down significantly as the plot proceeds. One might argue that it almost gets down to a crawl in a stretch involving Renton and Begbie stuck in the same apartment. This being said, the movie never lost my attention or did anything that could be considered a fault in my eyes. The ending is so satisfying that it left me completely happy. This is a pretty amazing topsy-turvy flick about drug addiction, criminal activity, and friendship.

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It’s no wonder that TRAINSPOTTING became such a hit upon its release! You cannot necessarily narrow this film into one clear category. Shocking, depraved, compelling, disturbing, darkly hilarious, and downright awesome! There’s not much else that I can say about TRAINSPOTTING that hasn’t already been said. If you haven’t seen this flick yet, go buy it now (it’s one you’ll want to own in your collection, that is if you don’t already have it)!

Grade: A

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