Critic Reviews



Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Contraband, while often grungy and far-fetched, does keep you watching. And in January, that's recommendation enough.
Contraband is a tidy little thriller that makes up in execution what it lacks in originality.
I don't know that a lot of Contraband makes sense. But I'm not sure that it has to. The director Baltasar Kormákur carries the movie off with efficiency, brutality, and humor.
Village Voice
No one, however, could mistake Contraband for anything but what it is: a shift-job genre movie - not a bad day's work, content to match the blocky trudge of its star rather than attempt panache.
The lead role of a working class former smuggler who dirties his hands again to save his family fits Mark Wahlberg like a glove.
This solid if disposable genre exercise maintains a hard-driving line of action and a commitment to one-damned-thing-after-another storytelling that carries it past any number of narrative speedbumps and preposterous detours.
Ribisi has become the go-to guy for movie psychos, giving everything to performances like this one or as Moburg, the dissolute reporter in "The Rum Diary."
Boxoffice Magazine
This Americanized version of the 2008 Nordic thriller "Reykjavik Rotterdam" transfers the original's gritty, violent action into an entertaining and intense starring role for Mark Wahlberg.
Contraband is based on an Icelandic thriller named "Reykjavik-Rotterdam," which leads you to suspect that neither New Orleans nor Panama City is particularly essential to the plot. That film starred Baltasar Kormakur, who is the director of this one, perhaps as a demonstration that many stars believe they could direct this crap themselves if they ever had the chance.
Slant Magazine
Heist, swindle, and other like-minded genre films thrive or flounder on the mechanics of their story's dangerously elaborate scheme, a fact ably proven by Contraband, a tale of high-seas smuggling without a clever thought in its leaden, derivative head.

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