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Traffic (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 January 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 163,523 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 865 user | 222 critic | 34 from

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.



(miniseries Traffik), (screenplay)
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Title: Traffic (2000)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 80 wins & 69 nominations. See more awards »



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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
Lorene Hetherington ...
State Capitol Reporter #1
Eric Collins ...
State Capitol Reporter #2
DEA Agent - CalTrans
Peter Stader ...
DEA Agent - CalTrans
DEA Agent - CalTrans


A modern day look at America's war on drugs told through four separate stories that are connected in one way or another. A conservative judge who's just been appointed as the US drug czar learns that his teenage honor student daughter is a drug addict. A beautiful trophy wife struggles to save her wealthy husband's drug business, while two DEA agents protect a witness with inside knowledge of the spouse's business. In Mexico, a slightly corrupt, yet dedicated cop struggles with his conscience when he learns that his new boss may not be the anti-drug official he made himself out to be. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No One Gets Away Clean


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

5 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Traffik  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$124,107,476 (USA) (6 July 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When director Steven Soderbergh turned in his second and final cut for theatrical release, USA Films was concerned that the graphic drug content would earn the film an NC-17, and Soderberg was prepared to release it with that rating. Fortunately, the MPAA approved the film with an R. See more »


In Wakefield's meeting with the Chief of Staff, he's told his first media briefing will be in a month. One of movie's final scenes is that media briefing. Meaning the time frame from arrest to trial for Carlos Ayala is less than a month. That's highly unlikely, in fact almost impossible, for a major criminal trial. See more »


[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

F****d up Bowman: Corey Spears See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.72 (2011) See more »


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

Great film-making, acted out brilliantly.
6 March 2001 | by (Delft, Holland) – See all my reviews

Traffic is a fantastic movie. Let's start with saying that.

I just got back from seeing it, and it certainly rates as one of the best story-based drama's I've ever seen. Being a big fan of movies with different storylines overlapping (as Magnolia) I was highly anticipating this movie. And of course the big oscar nominations and the prizes it already won made it even more desirable.

It didn't let me down one bit. The different story's were all excellent. Being that the mexican one was in my opinion the best one. Especially Benicio Del Toro (remember him in Fear and Loathing in Las vegas, the BEST drugs movie ever) being absolutely brilliant. But also the storyline involving Michael Douglas with his problems dealing with a daughter on drugs (well acted out by newcomer Erika Christensen) is remarkable. The topic drugs is clearly highly talked about especially in the United States, and this is actually the first movie which shows all aspects of it. The dealing and smuggling, the addiction, the risks of being a narcotics agent and the political point of view. It's hard to find a film that's so complete, everyone will feel connected to one of the storylines because everyone deals with or has dealt with drugs before, even if it's just a one time mariuhana use. That's why this movie will appeal to a very large crowd.

Anyway when you look at the flaws then maybe some will say that it takes too long, or that some of the scenes are a bit slow. But does everything go fastpaced in real life? It just tries to sketch a realistic view of handling with drugs. And maybe there isn't a lot of action going on, but that's not the goal of the movie.

The only thing I found when watching the movie was that the switching between movielines happened a little too often. I'd preferred if it stayed with one story a little longer. Just a tiny flaw that I personally noted.

Traffic is a film that has to sink in, when you start to think about it it just gets better and better. I can't wait for the official release here in Holland, so that I can see it again.

Oscar for Del Toro in any case !!!!!! And throw in an oscar for best film too. It deserves it.

29 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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