A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.

Director:

Writers:

(miniseries Traffik), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,350 ( 181)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 4 Oscars. Another 69 wins & 83 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

21 Grams (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Munich (2005)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A borderline personality disordered defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Syriana (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A politically-charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved and effected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
The Fugitive (1993)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly accused of murdering his wife, must find the real killer while being the target of a nationwide manhunt.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey
Out of Sight (1998)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career bank robber breaks out of jail and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a US Marshall he has kidnapped.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames
Wall Street (1987)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie
Crash I (2004)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Andrew Chavez ...
Desert Truck Driver
...
Desert Truck Driver
...
General Arturo Salazar
...
Salazar Soldier / The Torturer
...
Salazar Soldier #2
...
Lawyer Rodman
...
...
Clerk
Lorene Hetherington ...
State Capitol Reporter #1
Eric Collins ...
State Capitol Reporter #2
...
DEA Agent - CalTrans
Peter Stader ...
DEA Agent - CalTrans
...
DEA Agent - CalTrans
Edit

Storyline

An intertwined drama about the United States' war on drugs, seen through the eyes of a once conservative judge, now newly-appointed drug czar, his crack-addicted daughter, two DEA agents, a jailed drug kingpin's wife, and a Mexican cop who begins to question his boss's motives.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No One Gets Away Clean See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug content, strong language, violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traffik  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,517,549 (USA) (5 January 2001)

Gross:

$124,107,476 (USA) (6 July 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has 135 speaking parts and was shot in over 110 locations in eight different cities. See more »

Goofs

At one point on the movie Manolo Sanchez says "castiga a mi" instead of "castigame a mi". No native-Spanish-speaker would make this mistake. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Javier Rodriguez: [in Spanish] Last night I had an ugly nightmare.
Manolo Sanchez: [in Spanish] Oh yeah? What happened, man?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits except for the film's title in the lower left corner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Zero to Murder in Sixty Seconds (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Rhodes Again
Written by Skye Edwards, Paul Godfrey and Ross Godfrey
Performed by Morcheeba
Courtesy of Sire Records Group/Warner Music U.K. Ltd
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best movies of the year, but not worthy of ALL of its praise. ***1/2 (out of four)

TRAFFIC / (2000) ***1/2 (out of four)

"Traffic" caught some of the most gratifying praise in the year 2000. Does the production live up to its expectations? To some extent. It is not a movie to take the family to on a Sunday afternoon, nor is it an "entertaining" popcorn extravaganza. "Traffic" is one of the best films of the year, but it is not a movie for everyone. I had my fair share of disappointments, and I think many audiences will walk away unsatisfied by its documentary-like style and unusual structure. "Traffic" is still a great achievement in filmmaking and visual style-worthy of some, but not quite all, of its great acclamation.

The movie's director, Steven Soderbergh, won Oscar nominations for both of his movies last year: "Erin Brockovich" starring Julia Roberts, and this epic about the never ending war on drugs. That first film is entertaining and charming, but this is far more complex in its story. There are actually three separate plots here, the first detailing two Tijuana cops (Benicio Del Toro and Jacob Vargas) who find themselves in the middle of a corrupt police force, working for Gereal Arturo Salazar (Thomas Milian), Mexico's top drug aggressor who wants to shut down the Tijuana drug cartel by capturing a notorious assassin (Clifton Collins Jr.).

The second story has Michael Douglas as a conservative Ohio State Supreme Court Judge turned nation's new drug czar. He has a savage job, as we can see, but it is even more difficult being the father of a 16-year-old daughter (Erika Christensen), who gets straight A's in school, but uses heavy drugs and eventually prostitutes herself for them when the supply runs low. Amy Irving plays her mother whom herself tried every kind of drug in the market when she was young and thinks her daughter should be given more freedom in this area of maturing. Her husband strongly disagrees.

The third story is a bit more complicated, dealing with the reactions of a typical pregnant homemaker, Helena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), when she finds out her husband, Carlos Ayala (Steven Bauer), is not an executive, but a high-powered drug lord. He is taken into custody when undercover DEA agents Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luiz Guzman) crack a disreputable drug cartel led by Juan Orbergon (Benjamin Bratt). Helena, with the help from her attorney (Dennis Quaid), must deal with the pressures by her husband's demanding enemies, as well as the DEA. Miguel Ferrer plays the middle-run drug dealer who is captured by the DEA agents and wants immunity for testifying against the high-powered bosses for whom he works.

"Traffic" does not have the harrowing, compassionate, hard-to-watch tone that "Requiem for a Dream" had earlier last year, which also contained three different although parallel stories. That film depicted drug use as personal success followed by desolation and punishment. "Traffic" doesn't really make drugs personal, although the plot featuring Michael Douglas' drug addicted daughter touches on the idea, and the actors do a good job of making the character's attitudes hit home, but the film is more about the war on drugs within America as a country, and how it is a battle not likely to be won anytime soon. The picture does not capture the feeling of the characters like "Requiem for a Dream" did with its highly elaborate styles and camera effects. "Traffic" just isn't as emotionally profound as the much more worthy "Requiem for a Dream."

Steven Soderbergh does manage to capture an inciting style with grainy, high contrast photography exploring the atmosphere of Mexico. He pays attention to even the smallest scenes. Take a scene where the Benicio De Toro character encounters a young married couple who complain about their stolen car. Many directors would have left this scene on the editing tables, or paid less courtesy to it because it is not as important as many other scenes. He gets the right mood, confusion of the characters, all while furthering the development of De Toro's character. Each individual scene here is interesting on its own merit.

A top notch cast contributes superb performances in "Traffic." We expect and receive good performances from actors like Michael Douglas, Amy Irving, Dennis Quaid, Benicio Del Toro, and Albert Finney, but there are also some newcomers who shine with their material, including Erika Christensen and Topher Gracer. The actors really hold our attention, and with a running time of nearly 150 minutes, that is imperative. This film is greatly constructed and perfectly cast-it is the kind of movie in which you walk out of the theater wanting to discuss your opinions about it.


51 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
sicario Josue_olivas-1
Woefully dated red95king
Ending meaning? joedogfox28
Subtitles ttfreckleton
Cheadle walking away at the end jawebster2000
Original "Traffik" much more darker and less hopeful JayHysterio
Discuss Traffic (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?