TrafficDirector: Steven Soderbergh
Described by director Steven Soderbergh as "Nashville meets The French Connection, this multi-character drama explores the effects of international drug trafficking on all fronts: from their source, to the U.S. border, to the federal government, to the private lives of users. Based upon a miniseries originally aired on Britain's Channel 4, Traffic divides its time among three main storylines and almost a dozen locales. The first and primary plot thread, set in Ohio and Washington, D.C., concerns freshly-appointed drug czar Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), whose enthusiasm for his new prestige position is quickly offset when he realizes his 16-year-old daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen) is graduating from recreational drug use to habitual abuse -- a secret that his wife, Barbara (Amy Irving), has kept from him. South of the border, Mexican cop Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) attempts to wage his own war on drugs, heading off a cocaine shipment in the middle of the desert with his less-than-virtuous partner Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas). Surrounded by corruption, Javier approaches the drug war with an attitude of patience and compromise, which opens him up to investigation from General Arturo Salazar (Tomas Milian), the country's dubious drug-enforcement liaison to the U.S. Meanwhile, San Diego drug kingpin Carlos Alaya (Steven Bauer) is caught in a sting operation spearheaded by DEA agents Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzman), leaving behind his very pregnant and very oblivious wife, Helena (Catharine Zeta-Jones). At the behest of Carlos' lawyer and shady confidante, Arnie Metzger (Dennis Quaid), Helena decides to carry on the family business -- with tragic consequences. Adapted by Rules of Engagement scribe Stephen Gaghan, Traffic marked Soderbergh's second major release in 2000 after the critical and box-office success of Erin Brockovich, as well as his second feature as cinematographer (credited under the pseudonym Peter Andrews). A favorite with various guild and critics' awards, Traffic won four Academy Awards in 2001, including statues for Best Supporting Actor (Del Toro) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Gaghan), and surprise wins for Steven Mirrone's editing and Soderbergh's direction.
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- [Wide Screen, Color]
- [Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
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Cast & Crew
|Michael Douglas||Robert Wakefield|
|Don Cheadle||Montel Gordon|
|Benicio Del Toro||Javier Rodriguez|
|Luis Guzman||Ray Castro|
|Dennis Quaid||Arnie Metzger|
|Catherine Zeta-Jones||Helena Ayala|
|Erika Christensen||Caroline Wakefield|
|Steven Bauer||Carlos Ayala|
|Benjamin Bratt||Juan Obregon|
|James Brolin||Ralph Landry|
|Clifton Collins||Francisco Flores|
|Miguel Ferrer||Eduardo Ruiz|
|Albert Finney||Chief of Staff|
|Topher Grace||Seth Abrahms|
|Amy Irving||Barbara Wakefield|
|Tomas Milian||Arturo Salazar|
|D.W. Moffett||Jeff Sheridan|
|Marisol Padilla Sanchez||Ana Sanchez|
|Peter Riegert||Attorney Michael Adler|
|Jacob Vargas||Manolo Sanchez|
|Rena Sofer||Helena's Friend|
|Mario Roberts||DEA Agent (Public Storage)|
|Greg Berry||Set Decoration/Design|
|Keith P. Cunningham||Art Director|
|Louise Frogley||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Greg Jacobs||Asst. Director|
|Cameron Jones||Executive Producer|
|Graham King||Executive Producer|
|Andreas Klein||Executive Producer|
|Paul Ledford||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Cliff Martinez||Score Composer|
|Philip Messina||Production Designer|
|Mike Newell||Executive Producer|
|Maya Shimoguchi||Set Decoration/Design|
|Richard Solomon||Executive Producer|
|Barbara Ann Spencer||Set Decoration/Design|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This movie is a great look at the questions surrounding OUR drug problems. It doesn't offer any substancial answers, however, it presents the catch 22 of the situation very well. I was a skeptic about going to another drug related film (been there, done that) but this is worth seeing. Great direction and acting make it a five star feature.
Traffic is little more than an overhyped docu-drama presenting no new issues that any moderately educated person wouldn't already know about concerning the illegal drug market just by reading the paper or watching the news. Urban street low-lifes who sell crack to rich sub-urbanites; rigid drug czars who think that militarizing police departments and expanding the penal system are good ways of battling drugs; corrupt businessmen in the 'coffee business' whose wives are so busy shopping with the illegal dinero that they don't care what business their husbands are in; and, finally corrupt police chiefs and generalisimos who are more than happy in giving directions or giving rides to desert 'coyotes' to help them get around the U.S. Border Patrol. So, in the end one must ask: what's the point of this movie? It neither educates or entertains. Those two elements usually result in one conclusion: boredom. Over 2 hours of predictable snail-paced plots about things people have already seen on countless episodes of Miami Vice, Cops, and Law and Order, to name a few. This movie was made twenty years too late! As a matter of fact; since these problems were already manifest in the 60s, maybe it was made 40 years too late. Save your money and time: rent it if you must. It may interest you if you have no clue as to drug related crimes or drug culture. As I've said though, any person with with a minimal education will find this movie to be a dull rehash of an old story.
Soderbergh's best movie on a political subject. This movie encapsulates everything in the drug culture, where each other's paths sometimes cross. Benicio del Toro does an excellent supporting cast as Rodriguez, a moralistic but poor Mexican agent. Shows the ultimate endless grief of fighting the Drug Wars.
This was an amazing movie. The cinematography, storyline, and acting were great. This was the first lifelike look on the war on drugs I've ever seen. It puts the audience in the movie. This definetely should have won Best Picture.
I had heard alot about Traffic and I thought i would give it a try. I could not pull myself away from the T.V. I love the way the movie was done, the acting was very real, and it had a very real depth to it. It is awesome to watch a movie that deals with current issues in out world today instead of the same old boring epics that always turn out the same.
Traffic is a sublime masterpeice of narrative-focussed cinematography. The characters are gritty and real, but this film transcends the level of actors and characters, delivering a compelling and interwoven story of different individuals roles in the drug trade. The editing is almost uniquely artistic and the cinematography evokes the feel of a documentary but is simultaneously far more beautiful. This film is in a league of its own.
Now, I don't want to speculate, but compared to other crime films, this one is by far the best. The other crime films are great, but they are lacking something . . . emotion. Traffic shows the emotion of not one side, but many. The directing was awsome(and it deserved it's oscar), but I was caught by the overthetop acting. There are so many stars in this movie, but the leading cast always gets credit, I think the true acting comes from the supporting cast. Topher Grace was excellent, his speech to Michael Douglas was one of the best scenes in the movie, and Erica Christiansen was chilling in her portrayal. This movie is worth renting( if not buying), so see it, it will change your life.