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Contraband (2012)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  13 January 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 97,675 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 159 user | 268 critic | 38 from

To protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord, a former smuggler heads to Panama to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills.



(screenplay), (film "Reykjavik-Rotterdam"), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Bryce
Paul LeBlanc ...
CBP Official
Amber Gaiennie ...
Danny's Bride


Chris Faraday once smuggled illegal items or contraband into the country on freighters. He left that life behind, got married, has a family and went legit. But when his brother-in-law got involved with Briggs, a drug dealer and when he blew a deal, Briggs demands restitution which he can't deliver. So Chris offers to find a way to pay Briggs but then he threatens Chris' family if he doesn't deliver. So he gets on a freighter destined for Panama and he sets out to bring back some counterfeit currency. Briggs "goes to see" Chris' family. When Chris learns of this he asks his friend Sebastian to take care of them which he does. He tells Chris that it would be better to bring drugs instead of the cash. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What would you hide to protect your family?

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, pervasive language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


| |



Release Date:

13 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contrabando  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,349,815 (USA) (13 January 2012)


$66,489,425 (USA) (9 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir also edited the original Reykjavik-Rotterdam (2008). Ólafur Darri Ólafsson had a role in both films, too. See more »


During the freighter crash there is prop wash which indicates the boat is under power. The alleged problem would not preclude stopping the engine and propeller. See more »


Andy: Don't act like you don't like this shit.
Chris Farraday: Why, is that obvious? I know but don't tell your sister.
See more »


References The Italian Job (2003) See more »


Written by Neiver A Alvarez and Daniel Indart
Performed by Neiver A Alvarez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Mark Walberg is Great in Intense Contraband
13 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Contraband is a well-made action film with strong acting, good directing, and great cinematography that draws you into New Orleans, Panama, and their freight ship. Mark Walberg plays a man pulled back into his smuggling past to right the wrongs of his naive brother-in-law and protect his family.

Mark Walberg is excellent as the lead character. He is strong in the action scenes on his smuggling trip to Panama , and he is just as good in dramatic scenes calling his wife to help her back home. He is a strong protagonist who is likable and draws a lot of empathy as he tries to fight the bad guys and save his family.

Walberg is supported by a strong cast. Giovannis Ribisi does well as a dirty, corrupt smuggler who terrorizes his family, Ben Foster is excellent as Walberg's recovering addict and alcoholic ex-smuggling parter who struggles to do the right thing. And, Kate Beckinsale is great as Walberg's wife, who also must fight to protect her family.

The director does a great job of building intensity throughout the film. He brings the audience into the smuggling trade in a realistic and believable manner. And, the director effectively engages the audience in the drama and action at three locations simultaneously as the film builds to its resolution back in New Orleans.

Overall, the film is a strong action film. If you dismiss the standard plot and some lapses of reality, you'll enjoy the intense action, strong acting, and great scenery. Catch Contraband in the theaters to enjoy it on the big screen.

Just be careful about smuggling your own candy into the theater.

75 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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just how pervasive is the language grobanite2004
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