7.6/10
194,406
899 user 203 critic

Traffic (2000)

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:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Simon Moore (miniseries Traffik), Stephen Gaghan (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,840 ( 87)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 70 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Benicio Del Toro ... Javier Rodriguez
Jacob Vargas ... Manolo Sanchez
Andrew Chavez Andrew Chavez ... Desert Truck Driver
Michael Saucedo ... Desert Truck Driver
Tomas Milian ... General Arturo Salazar
Jose Yenque ... Salazar Soldier / The Torturer
Emilio Rivera ... Salazar Soldier #2
Michael O'Neill ... Lawyer Rodman
Michael Douglas ... Robert Wakefield
Russell G. Jones ... Clerk
Lorene Hetherington Lorene Hetherington ... State Capitol Reporter #1
Eric Collins Eric Collins ... State Capitol Reporter #2
Beau Holden ... DEA Agent - CalTrans
Peter Stader Peter Stader ... DEA Agent - CalTrans
James Lew ... DEA Agent - CalTrans
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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 heroin-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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Costner was reportedly also offered the Judge Wakefield part. See more »

Goofs

During the woman's speech in the courtroom, you can clearly see the microphone switch to be in the off position. 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?
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The European DVD features 24 deleted scenes, including:
  • A scene at Manolo's house. Manolo is paranoid that the Cartel is after him
  • An extended scene between Manolo and Javier in the car, where Javier asks Manolo to keep his mouth shut about the Cartel
  • The assassin buying some hi-tech gadgets, including a cell-phone that can not be tapped (probably the one he later uses to communicate with Helena during his assassination attempt)
  • A scene where Judge Wakefield and Carlos Ayala's defence attorney meet at the congress party, showing that the two are old friends
  • A sequence of Helena going to a fancy party
  • An extended scene between Helena and Arnie Metzger
  • Two short scenes involving Manolo and Javier bringing Salma Hayek to the drug lord
  • An alternate scene of Helena visiting Carlos in prison
  • A scene where Helena tries to pawn her paintings
  • A scene where Helena discusses something over her cell-phone
  • An alternate sequence of Judge Wakefield looking for Caroline, involving Seth.
  • A scene where Helena asks Arnie to introduce her to the Obregón Cartel
  • A scene where Helena visits the factory where the cocaine dolls are made
  • A scene where Judge Wakefield searches Caroline's room for drugs, finding some in her diary
  • Three scenes involving Helena having to smuggle drugs into the US, as a test for the Obregón Cartel. She ends up not doing it.
  • Helena meeting the Obregón assassin at the playground
  • Judge Wakefield taking a stoned Caroline home after he found her. She tells him that she did it all because of a 'school assignment'.
  • Javier meeting Judge Wakefield after the drug bust
  • Javier meeting with Obregón, asking him for lights at baseball fields. He agrees.
  • Gordon sitting in the surveillance van in front of the Ayala residence with his new partner, listening to Carlos telling someone over the phone that they are 'back in business' and 'completely untouchable'
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

An Ending (Ascent)
Written and Performed by Brian Eno
Courtesy of Astralwerks Records
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User Reviews

 
decent!
18 February 2012 | by sharkie-294-946704See all my reviews

I've been remiss in not discussing the acting earlier. This film has an amazing ensemble cast where everybody is working at the top of their game. However, Benicio Del Toro definitely stands out with the breakthrough performance. I don't think it's accidental that the movie begins and ends with shots of him. He plays Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican police officer caught in a futile and corrupt system, and it's as compelling of a character as Michael Corleone. Del Toro is exceptionally relaxed and subtle, keeping his thoughts and feelings private from the other characters in the films, but sharing it with the camera. Del Toro navigates the audience through a world of impossible choices and moral corruption, quietly simmering with intense conflict just beneath the surface. Benicio's been an indie stalwart for years, but this film should shoot his stock through the roof. If there's justice in this world, he'll be rewarded with Best Actor Awards aplenty.

Michael Douglas is also terrific, adding another strong performance to his gallery of flawed men in power. He shows genuine fear and vulnerability in a harrowing scene in which he searches for his daughter in a drug dealer's den. I've never seen Erika Christensen before, but she makes an impressive debut. Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman (they should star as a team in every movie!) are as loose, limber and spontaneous as ever, providing plenty of comic relief as well as keeping it real. Catherine Zeta-Jones takes a complete 180 from her past roles and admirably plays against her looks, appearing very pregnant while thrown into gritty surroundings. Dennis Quaid is appropriately slimy as a corrupt lawyer.

Anyway, film geeks and anybody else starved for a genuine piece of filmmaking should breathe a sigh of relief and give thanks that Soderbergh has come to save the day.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Traffik See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$184,725, 31 December 2000

Gross USA:

$124,115,725

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$207,515,725
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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