Counting down the Oscar-winning director's filmography, from worst to best
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1. "Trainspotting" (1996)
Obvious? Sure. But Boyle's kinetic 1996 lowlife odyssey didn't define an era by accident. From its opening sprint down Edinburgh's Princes Street to the stabbing strains of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" (launching the first in a long line of culturally essential Boyle soundtracks), this urgent, funny, crushing adaptation of Irvine Welsh's singular novel manages a tricky dual feat: it offers a window into a particularly grim subculture while simultaneously voicing the social restlessness of a larger generation that knew nothing of heroin addiction. Vivacious desperation is the tone it nails throughout; so smart, so true and so damn cool even the Academy had to nominate it for something. Tread carefully with that sequel, sir.