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
1,644 ( 78)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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
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
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
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon
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
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 affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
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
Babel I (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal
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
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
Che: Part One (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1956, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and a band of Castro-led Cuban exiles mobilize an army to topple the regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Julia Ormond, Benicio Del Toro, Oscar Isaac
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

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 <MonkeyKingMA@aol.com>

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:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On the first day of production of Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) - Steven Soderbergh's first film - the producers of that movie sent a telegram to Soderbergh. They teased him good-naturedly, telling him they'd heard reports he "couldn't direct traffic". Twelve years later, Soderbergh won an Oscar - for directing "Traffic". See more »

Goofs

The accents of the supposedly "Mexican" characters are clearly not Mexican. This is pretty distinctive to any Spanish native. 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

Master of the 4-string Electric Bassius O' Phellius - Flea See more »

Connections

References Hardcore (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Give The Po' Man A Break
Written by Fatboy Slim (as Norman Cook)
Performed by Fatboy Slim
Courtesy of Astralwerks Records
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
Benecio /Quade/Bauer Ensemble Cast Elite Haasdas
Discuss Traffic (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?