16 Movies Like Trainspotting That Will Blow Your Mind

Trainspotting is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mind-blowing cinema experiences. If you're hooked on the gritty drama, the allure of addiction, and the captivating influence of friends, then you're in for a treat. We've curated a list of 16 movies that will take you on an equally wild ride, making you question everything you thought you knew about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

1) T2 Trainspotting

T2 Trainspotting, the sequel to Trainspotting, takes us on a nostalgic journey back to Scotland after 20 years. Mark Renton returns and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie. While the first film focused on Renton's struggle to escape the drug scene, T2 Trainspotting explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the repetition of life choices. The chemistry between the characters remains as beautiful as in the original, providing scenes of pure comedy genius and others of emotion and absolute anger. This film encapsulates the left-over stories from the first book and large portions of 'Porno', the following book. While the cinematography has improved, the transition shots make you wait a little longer, but it's worth it as you get to enjoy some of the best views Scotland has to offer. T2 Trainspotting is essential viewing for anyone who has seen the first film or read the books.

Release date: March, 2017
IMDB Rating: 7.2

2) Looking After Jo Jo

Looking After Jo Jo, set in 1980's Edinburgh, shares similarities with Trainspotting. Both films explore the dark underbelly of drug culture, but in different ways. While Trainspotting is a fast-paced, gritty portrayal of addiction, Jo Jo presents a more character-oriented, leisurely look at the human cost of drug addiction. Jo Jo's journey from a petty thief to a drug dealer is painful to watch yet very moving. The performances, especially Robert Carlyle's, are extraordinarily complex and textured. Although not as well-known as Trainspotting, Looking After Jo Jo offers a unique perspective on the devastating effects of drugs, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in the subject matter.

Release date: January, 1998
IMDB Rating: 8.2

3) Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its ability to captivate the viewer from start to finish. While Trainspotting delves into the gritty world of drug addiction in Edinburgh, Black Hawk Down thrusts us into the chaotic battlefields of Somalia. Both movies masterfully capture the essence of their respective settings, immersing the audience in the raw emotions and intense situations faced by the characters. Trainspotting's exploration of friendship, addiction, and redemption is mirrored in Black Hawk Down's depiction of camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice amidst the horrors of war. However, the two movies differ in their genres, with Trainspotting being a drama and Black Hawk Down encompassing action, drama, history, and war. While Trainspotting focuses on personal struggles, Black Hawk Down showcases the larger impact of war on both soldiers and civilians.

Release date: March, 2002
IMDB Rating: 7.7

4) The Book Group

The Book Group" is reminiscent of Trainspotting, but with a comedic twist. While Trainspotting delves into the gritty world of drugs and addiction in Scotland, The Book Group takes a lighter approach and follows an American who forms a dysfunctional book group in Glasgow as a way to make friends. Both films explore the theme of loneliness, with characters seeking connection and companionship in unconventional ways. However, while Trainspotting is a drama that immerses viewers in the depths of addiction, The Book Group offers a dark comedy that combines sarcasm and black humor to find hilarity in the sadness. With its unique humor and commitment to evolving storylines, The Book Group may not appeal to everyone, but for those willing to embrace its unconventional charm, it offers a delightful and funny exploration of friendship and self-discovery.

Release date: April, 2002
IMDB Rating: 7.6

5) Two Thousand Acres of Sky

Two Thousand Acres of Sky tells the story of single mum Abby Wallace, who escapes her inner city lifestyle with her two children to a small Scottish village. While Trainspotting might seem like an odd comparison, both films share a common thread: Scotland. However, that's where the similarities end. Trainspotting delves into the gritty world of drugs and addiction, showcasing the struggles of its characters. On the other hand, Two Thousand Acres of Sky takes a lighter approach with a mix of comedy, drama, and romance. It offers a charming escape to a picturesque Scottish village, where Abby and her children find a new life. So, if you've enjoyed the raw intensity of Trainspotting and crave a change of pace, Two Thousand Acres of Sky is the perfect choice to transport you to a beautiful and heartwarming Scottish setting.

Release date: January, 2001
IMDB Rating: 8.2

6) Braveheart

Braveheart. Scottish warrior William Wallace leads his countrymen in a rebellion to free his homeland from the tyranny of King Edward I of England. While Trainspotting explores the dark underbelly of Edinburgh's drug scene, Braveheart takes us back in time to Scotland's fight for independence. Both films are set in Scotland and delve into themes of struggle and defiance. However, where Trainspotting focuses on the individual battles of addiction, Braveheart portrays a larger battle for freedom and justice. Mel Gibson's intense performance as William Wallace is gripping, and his actions throughout the film are completely justified. The film is a powerful epic that will leave you rooting for the brave Scottish warriors. If you enjoyed the raw intensity of Trainspotting, Braveheart is a must-watch for its captivating historical context and the inspiring tale of a hero fighting against tyranny.

Release date: September, 1995
IMDB Rating: 8.3
10 Must-Watch Movies Like Braveheart That Will Thrill You

7) Rob Roy

Rob Roy is reminiscent of Trainspotting due to its Scottish setting and exploration of the consequences of one's actions. While Trainspotting delves into the drug scene in Edinburgh, Rob Roy takes us back to 18th-century Scotland, where Rob Roy MacGregor seeks revenge after being wronged by a nobleman. Both films showcase the struggles and challenges faced by their protagonists, highlighting the complexity of human nature. However, Rob Roy distinguishes itself through its adventure and historical elements, giving us a thrilling tale of outlawry, swordplay, and the fight for justice. If you enjoyed the raw intensity of Trainspotting, you'll find yourself captivated by Rob Roy's gripping story and exceptional performances.

Release date: June, 1995
IMDB Rating: 6.9

8) A Shot at Glory

A Shot at Glory is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its portrayal of Scotland. While Trainspotting explores the dark underbelly of the Edinburgh drug scene, A Shot at Glory delves into the world of Scottish football. Both movies capture the unique essence of Scotland, showcasing its passionate and fiercely loyal people. However, their similarities end there. Trainspotting is a gritty drama that delves into the depths of addiction, while A Shot at Glory is a sports movie that follows the journey of a football team. Despite their differences, if you enjoyed the raw and authentic depiction of Scotland in Trainspotting, you might find yourself intrigued by the charming and heartwarming story of A Shot at Glory.

Release date: July, 2002
IMDB Rating: 6.2

9) Man to Man

Man to Man is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its exploration of human behavior and the consequences of our choices. While Trainspotting delves into the depths of addiction in the Edinburgh drug scene, Man to Man takes a different approach by focusing on the relationship between British anthropologists and pygmies from Africa. Both films raise thought-provoking questions about morality and the human condition. Trainspotting showcases the allure of drugs and the influence of friends, while Man to Man examines the line between scientific curiosity and the exploitation of "exotic" individuals. The performances in both films are commendable, with Ewan McGregor and Joseph Fiennes delivering compelling portrayals. Although they tackle different subject matters, both movies leave a lasting impact and prompt viewers to reflect on the intricacies of life. Watch Man to Man to experience a captivating story that challenges your perspective on humanity and the ethics of scientific exploration.

Release date: April, 2005
IMDB Rating: 6.5

10) Six Four

Six Four is reminiscent of Trainspotting because both movies take place in Scotland and explore the gritty underbelly of the country. While Trainspotting delves into the drug scene of Edinburgh, Six Four focuses on a police detective and his wife, a former undercover officer, as they search for their missing daughter. Both films offer a glimpse into the dark and complex world of Scotland, highlighting the struggles and challenges faced by its characters. However, they differ in terms of genre, with Trainspotting being a drama and Six Four combining crime, drama, and thriller elements. Additionally, Trainspotting received numerous nominations and wins, reflecting its critical acclaim, while Six Four has yet to receive any accolades. Despite their differences, fans of Trainspotting should consider watching Six Four for its engaging storyline and the opportunity to enjoy a Scottish drama with recognizable locations and impressive performances by actors such as James Cosmo and Kevin McKidd.

Release date: March, 2023
IMDB Rating: 6.1

11) Shallow Grave

Release date: July, 1995
IMDB Rating: 7.3

12) American Pastoral

American Pastoral is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its exploration of flawed characters and the consequences of their choices. While Trainspotting delves into the dark world of drug addiction in Scotland, American Pastoral examines the disintegration of an idyllic American family during the tumultuous 1960s. Both movies feature protagonists who are initially drawn in by the allure of their respective worlds, only to find themselves struggling to reconcile their desires with the harsh realities they face. However, the similarities end there. Trainspotting is gritty and fast-paced, immersing the audience in the chaotic lives of its characters, while American Pastoral takes a more contemplative approach, focusing on the repercussions of the characters' actions. Despite their differences, both films captivate viewers with their raw portrayals of human nature, making American Pastoral a must-watch for fans of Trainspotting seeking a thought-provoking exploration of a different era.

Release date: January, 2017
IMDB Rating: 6.1

13) Crime

Crime: When an Edinburgh schoolgirl is abducted, DI Ray Lennox investigates her disappearance whilst confronting his own past trauma. While "Crime" may share some similarities with "Trainspotting" such as the Scottish setting and themes of drugs and Scotland, the two movies diverge in their genres and overall tone. "Trainspotting" is a gripping drama that delves into the dark world of drug addiction, showcasing the struggles and aspirations of its characters. On the other hand, "Crime" falls into the crime, drama, and mystery genres, focusing on a detective's investigation into a missing girl. While "Trainspotting" captivates with its raw intensity, "Crime" offers a different experience, combining a moody detective with past trauma and a feminist sidekick. Despite the mixed reviews, "Crime" does offer the visually stunning backdrop of Scotland, painting a beautiful picture of the country.

Release date: November, 2021
IMDB Rating: 7.2

14) Wetlands

Wetlands is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its exploration of taboo subjects and its ability to shock and provoke. Both films delve into the grittier aspects of human experience, with Trainspotting focusing on the drug scene in Edinburgh and Wetlands centering around an eccentric girl's strange attitudes towards hygiene and sexuality. While Trainspotting is known for its portrayal of addiction and the struggles of its characters, Wetlands takes a unique approach by delving into the mysteries of the female anatomy and exploring themes of voyeurism and divorced parents. Despite their differences in plot and setting, both films manage to captivate and intrigue their audiences. So, if you're a fan of Trainspotting's raw and unapologetic storytelling, you'll definitely find Wetlands to be a wild and original ride.

Release date: June, 2014
IMDB Rating: 5.8

15) Miami Vice

Miami Vice, released in 1989, is reminiscent of Trainspotting in its portrayal of a gritty and immersive world. While Trainspotting dives into the drug scene of Edinburgh, Miami Vice takes us through the mean streets of Miami, Florida. Both films capture the essence of their respective locations, with Miami Vice showcasing the authentic 1980s music, fashion, and vibe. Trainspotting and Miami Vice also explore the theme of undercover work, with Renton and his friends navigating the influence of drugs and Crockett and Tubbs going deep undercover as detectives. However, the two movies differ in their genres, as Trainspotting falls under the drama genre while Miami Vice combines action, crime, drama, mystery, and thriller. Additionally, Trainspotting is a cinema movie with a longer runtime, while Miami Vice is a series with shorter episodes.

Release date: August, 1989
IMDB Rating: 7.5

16) Cop Rock

Cop Rock is reminiscent of Trainspotting because both movies explore unconventional genres and combine them with dramatic storytelling. While Trainspotting delves into the gritty world of drug addiction in Scotland, Cop Rock takes an unexpected twist by presenting a police drama as a musical. The similarities lie in their ability to captivate viewers with unique narratives that challenge traditional storytelling norms. However, the differences between the two movies are evident in their tones and settings. Trainspotting is a dark and intense drama set in the drug-infested streets of Edinburgh, while Cop Rock offers a comedic and musical take on the police procedural genre in an American setting. Despite their divergent approaches, both movies push boundaries and provide audiences with a refreshing and unconventional viewing experience.

Release date: September, 1990
IMDB Rating: 4.5

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