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Added by johanlefourbe on 26 Feb 2013 12:20
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A Complete Review of Danny Boyle's work

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Cast : Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Shirley Henderson, Kelly Macdonald

What was it about?
After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.

My two cents:
Eventually, did we really need this sequel? Probably not but was it a bad movie? Certainly not either. Indeed, what made this movie still work was the fact that Danny Boyle was involved and the original cast as well. It was especially really neat to see Ewan McGregor finally working again with this director after 20 long years but the rest of the cast was fine as well. I also enjoyed the fact that they didn't give all these characters some average middle-class lifes with wife, kids and a decent job. Indeed, Spud was still a heroin addict, Simon (AKA Sick boy) kicked off the habit but was still a cocain addict, Begbie spent all these years in prison and Renton who first seemed to have turned around his life eventually didn't have much to brag about either. So, the set-up was pretty good but I'm afraid the makers still struggled to give these characters something interesting to do. Indeed, the whole thing was pretty random and they were several attempts to get them involved in some various sub-plots but these attempts were all rather all-baked. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it was still a decent watch.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 368 Average listal rating (232 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2


Cast : Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

What was it about?
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

My two cents:
When this movie was released, even though it was critically heralded, it turned out to be a box-office flop. Apparently, the audience didn’t care for another Steve Jobs biopic only a couple of years after another one, even if it was apparently much superior than its predecessor. Even so, since it sounded really intriguing and since I have always been a big fan of Danny Boyle's work, I was still really eager to check it out. Well, eventually, I was really impressed. Indeed, I really loved this original approach and I thought it turned out to be a much more effective way to learn about a famous figure that the usual bullet points that you get with this genre. As a result, you really get the opportunity to dive into the psychological complexity of this character, thanks also to another really strong performance by Michael Fassbender who remains one of the best actors of his generation.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 518 Average listal rating (344 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Trance (2013)


Cast : James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson

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

My two cents:
I had some rather huge expectations and, unfortunately, I thought it was slightly disappointing. I mean, don't misunderstand me, I actually enjoyed it and I was entertained throughout the whole thing but it was definitely a weaker effort, especially considering the exceptional track-record of Danny Boyle. Basically, he built up some kind of a maze and even though it was quite intriguing, it was never really convincing. Indeed, I thought that the beginning was rather weak and the last 30 minutes were just an endless succession of the usual preposterous twists. Still, I like the damned thing. Indeed, the cast was solid and some scenes were quite exhilarating. Eventually, even though the story barely made sense (after a while, I just stopped counting the plot-holes), Boyle still managed to make it engaging and to make the most of it, you just have to sit back and enjoy the show without analyzing too much what is actually going on.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 2249 Average listal rating (1401 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
127 Hours (2010)


Cast : James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Treat Williams

What was it about?
A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

My two cents:
First of all, this movie is based on an amazing story, even if the movie would have sucked, the story in itself would still be amazing. Then, my first impression is that I was quite distracted by the uplifting music at the beginning of the movie but I guess the music didn't represent the audience state of mood ("something terrible is going to happen...") but Aaron's state of mood ("I'm going to have a great week-end!"). A part from that, what a trip! I'm still shaken up... The directing by Danny Boyle, as usual, was amazing and, once again, James Franco showed he is one of the most interesting actors around nowadays. Basically, they really succeeded in making you share Aaron's feelings in his terrible ordeal. However, it is definitely not for everyone because there are some very shocking scenes but still, it remains one of the best movies that came out in 2010.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 3959 Average listal rating (2541 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8


Cast : Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

What was it about?
A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.

My two cents:
Apparently, at first, nobody was interested by this project and there were even some rumors that it might end up being released direcly to DVD. Eventually, it managed to get released and the critical and public response was really enthusiast and, coming from nowhere, it was even heralded at the Oscars. Personally, even though I'm a huge cynical, I actually really loved this movie. In my opinion, it is one of the best combinations of drama, realism and entertainment I have ever seen and I think it is a great achievement. Personally, I don't really agree with the people criticizing its happy ending, at least, it didn't bother me. The point is that the whole thing is actually some kind of fairy tale (which explains the musical scene at the end) but it is set into a realistic harsh and grim world and I thought that this mix was amazing and to throw 'Who wants to be a millionaire' on top of that was just masterful.

My rating: 09/10

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People who added this item 1608 Average listal rating (1096 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3


Cast : Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh , Rose Byrne, Mark Strong, Cliff Curtis

What was it about?
A team of astronauts are sent to re-ignite the dying sun 50 years into the future.

My two cents:
Once again, Danny Boyle managed to create a genuine fascinating picture. The point is that it has been criticized because it was supposedly not really original but it didn't bother me whatsoever. I'm a sucker for such stories and I thought that the concept was very well handled. I mean, you can easily figure that, with another director (let's say... Michael Bay for example), there would have been lots of explosions, shootings, chases, whatever... Not here... Indeed, even though the special effects were pretty good, that was not the point of this movie and the plot was really interesting, at least, that's my opinion.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 335 Average listal rating (209 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.9


Cast : James Nesbitt

What was it about?
Ethics, being human and the soul come to the fore when a 7-year old finds a bag of Pounds just days before the currency is switched to Euros and learns what we are really made of.

My two cents:
One thing that always impressed me with Danny Boyle, is that he keeps tackling new genre, new themes with every single movie and he is usually pretty successful. This time around, he made a family feature and I thought it was once again pretty amazing. Basically, it is a very touching modern tale with some very good directing and solid acting, especially by the young kids involved. Above all, contrary to most family features, it is absolutely never condescending to children, something I always find infuriating concerning this genre, and they treat children as smart individuals who deserve to be treated with respect. My only complain would be that I’m no sure if young kids would really enjoy it though. But, on the other hand, you should never underestimate their comprehensive skills.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 3580 Average listal rating (2348 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6


Cast : Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, Christopher Eccleston

What was it about?
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

My two cents:
I remember perfectly when I watched this movie the first time. Back then, I was just living in the Netherlands and I wanted to go to the movies. I saw that there was a new movie directed by Danny Boyle so I went to watch it without a shred of information about it. Once again, he really impressed me. Indeed, even though I'm not a fan of the genre, it is easily one of my favorite zombie movies, perhaps even the best one. I mean, the directing was really solid, the acting as well with a breakthough performance by Cillian Murphy and the whole thing was just damned entertaining. I know, the die-hard fans of this genre would say that it is nothing really original but it didn't matter to me and I really enjoyed it.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 2337 Average listal rating (1472 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.6


Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume Canet, Robert Carlyle, Tilda Swinton

What was it about?
Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

My two cents:
It is probably the least regarded movie made by Danny Boyle but even though it is indeed flawed, I actually enjoyed it. The point is that, the first time I watched it, it was in the theater, I was just 20 years old, just like the main character and I was in the heyday of my weed smoking days, so, of course, as you can imagine, I completely identified myself with the protagonists. Seriously, it is actually a pretty cool story but, indeed, the plot was a little bit uneven. In my opinion, many viewers dismissed this flick because it was the first thing DiCaprio did after 'Titanic' and, for many of us, it was still really hard to take him seriously. It was also the first Hollywood production made by Danny Boyle (and the only one so far) so maybe it wasn't the best environment for him as he seemed rather creatively crippled. Still, even though it is definitely a mixed-bag and a downright flop when it was released, I thought it was pretty good though.

My rating: 07/10

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People who added this item 676 Average listal rating (368 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.4


Cast : Ewan McGregor, Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter, Delroy Lindo, Dan Hedaya, Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Holm

What was it about?
Ewan McGregor stars as a cleaning man in L.A. who takes his boss' daughter hostage after being fired and replaced by a robot. Two "angels" who are in charge of human relationships on earth, offer some unsolicited help to bring this unlikely couple together.

My two cents:
This one must be the most obscure movie directed by Danny Boyle. It was also the last one he did with McGregor and since then, they have never worked together again which is quite a shame (Apparently, Ewan McGregor was Danny Boyle's first choice to play the main character for 'The Beach'. However, the studio wanted Leonardo DiCaprio and cast him before Boyle could intervene. While McGregor has blamed the studio, he has reportedly not spoken to Boyle since.) Anyway, in my opinion, the biggest challenge for this movie was to come after such amazing movies like 'Trainspotting' and 'Shallow Grave'. Indeed, it is far from reaching that level of awesomness but it was never meant to do so in the first place. It is pretty obvious that, this time, they just wanted to have some fun and Boyle made in the process his most frivolous picture so far which was definitely not a bad thing. In my opinion, it is a light but entertaining feature, visually quite interesting, and it should not be overlooked.

My rating: 07/10

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Cast : Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, Shirley Henderson

What was it about?
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.

My two cents:
It is probably the most influential British feature made in the 90's and it has become since a huge classic. Personally, I had the luck to watch it in the theater when it was released and I definitely had a great time. However, since then, I have been thinking about this movie and I always had some mixed feelings about it. I mean, don't get me wrong, the directing, the acting, the music were just terrific but I 'm not so sure about its attitude towards drugs in general. Basically, you do have some really gloomy scenes but, very often, it seems that those guys really have a great time. The point is that if you watch this movie only from the surface, it is very well made and terribly entertaining, but when you think about it, it is not really deap whatsoever. At least, that's my opinion.

My rating: 08/10

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People who added this item 665 Average listal rating (408 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3


Cast : Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, Peter Mullan

What was it about?
Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

My two cents:
I just loved this movie so much. I saw it when it was released in the theater and, later on, my sister bought the VHS, so I have watched it many times. In my opinion, it is such a flawless and fascinating feature and it is even more remarkable when you think that it was Danny Boyle's directing debut. This movie was definitely a milestone in my movie watching. Not only I became an instant fan of Danny Boyle for life but it was the proof that a thriller could have a fascinating plot, some 3 dimensional characters without relying upon some stupid twists. Even though Danny Boyle will be always remembered for 'Trainspotting', in my opinion, this underrated gem is actually his ultimate masterpiece.

My rating: 09/10

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The 17th list in this serie wil focus on Danny Boyle. He is definitely easily one of the best British directors since the mid-90's and I always loved his work. Enjoy!

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A Complete Review of various directors' work (53 lists)
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Published 6 years, 3 months ago 7 comments



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