I've never been too impressed with Danny Boyle, primarily because he rarely makes movies that don't sh*t the bed in the third act. From 28 Days Later to (especially) Sunshine, Boyle just doesn't seem capable of not botching his stories when they should be paying off. Trance only breaks the usual "2/3rds decent until it falls apart" formula by disintegrating halfway through the proceedings.
James McAvoy stars as a high-end art auction house employee who was acting as an inside man for a heist of a Goya worth tens of millions of pounds (because it's England) by a gang led by Vincent Cassel. However, he has double-crossed his partners and stolen the painting for himself. The problem is that during the heist, Cassel cracked his skull with a shotgun butt and McAvoy can't remember where he hid the painting. In order to recover his memories and the painting he goes to hypnotherapist Rosario Dawson under the close watch of the gang. Stupidity ensues.
While the early portrayals of the hypnosis are interestingly surreal, about halfway through Dawson starts shagging the ringleaders which slows the momentum to a crawl and tips us off that there's going to be a bunch of what Boyle thinks are clever twists ahead, but we can figure them out easily. With the "truth" constantly being messed with, it's hard to stay engaged because it's no longer a story about identifiable characters but just a series of rugs being pulled out despite our having seen the threat and sidestepped them entirely.
Well-shot with enough metaphoric glass walls and reflective surfaces to make even me able to get the joke, Trance is a good-looking flick, but with little under its shiny, cold exterior. While Dawson gives up very brief full-frontal nudity (hardwood floors!) and is good in the role, it's underwritten along with everything else. Trance is a doze.
Score: 3/10. Skip it.