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Traffic (HD-DVD, 2006)
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Traffic (HD DVD, 2006)
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Movie synopsis
Steven Soderbergh followed up his critical and commercial smash ERIN BROCKOVICH with this wildly exhilarating exploration of the complex, multilayered international drug problem. The film tells three seemingly disparate stories that loosely intersect and overlap, unfurling at a frantic, relentless pace. In the first, a well-intentioned Mexican police officer, Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro), comes face-to-face with the hypocrisy and hopelessness of his situation after he learns that his superior, General Salazar (Tomas Milian), isn't the law-abiding officer he claims to be. In the second, Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), a conservative Supreme Court judge from Ohio, takes a position as the president's new drug czar. What he doesn't realize is that his teenage daughter, Caroline (Erika Christensen), is falling prey to the dangerous narcotics that he has been hired to eradicate. In the third section, federal agents Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle) and Ray Castro (Luis Guzm�n) are baby-sitting Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel Ferrer), a drug smuggler who is about to testify against the wealthy Carlos Ayala (Steven Bauer). When Ayala's pregnant wife, Helena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), learns of her husband's illegal activities, she takes her family's future into her own hands. Soderbergh's bold decision to photograph the film using three strikingly different visual schemes adds even greater punch to TRAFFIC, which stands firmly as one of 2000's most stirring motion picture events.

Product Details
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 025193128522

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:HD-DVD

eBay Product ID: EPID54313267

Editorial reviews

Ranked #3 in Entertainment Weekly's "Owen Gleiberman's BEST MOVIES OF 2000"
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman (12/22/2000)

"...Multi-layered plotting and plenty of pleasing technical flourishes....Douglas is superb..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Total Film - Andy Lowe (02/01/2001)

"...Its vigorous, unjaded rush of imagery and story makes for an exciting visual experience..."
Sight and Sound - Andrew O'Hehir (02/01/2001)

"...Soderbergh deftly weaves together four stories depicting the causes and effects of the illegal drug trade..."
Box Office - Jordan Reed (02/01/2001)

"...The whole thing feels remarkably fresh, vibrant and new....The movie is adult, intelligent, sweeping yet intimate, nail-bitingly suspenseful, buoyed by an impeccable, uniformly powerhouse cast, and it provides a real perspective on a real issue..."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (02/01/2001)

"...A mosaic of heightened reality....A picture fascinating in its complexit....The technical contributions are adroit and stylish..."
Hollywood Reporter - Kirk Honeycutt (12/12/2000)

"...Complex and ambitious....Yet another indication of how accomplished a filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has become..."
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (12/27/2001)

"...A consistently credible drama..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
USA Today - Mike Clark (12/27/2000)

"Steven Soderbergh's great, despairing squall of a film infuses epic cinematic form with jittery new rhythms and a fresh, acid-washed palette....The performances, by an ensemble from which not a false note issues, have the clarity and force of pithy instrumental solos insistently piercing through a dense cacaphony..."
New York Times - Stephen Holden (12/27/2000)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 33 user reviews

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of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 06/17/09

No One Gets Away Clean

Traffic' takes a look at the world of drugs through the stories and lives of different characters. Some are loosely connected to one another; some are not. There is the story of Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro), a Mexican policeman struggling to keep his distance from the corruption that seems to follow him everywhere; there is the story of Ray Castro (Luis Guzman) and Montel Gordon (Don Cheadle), two DEA agents trying to turn the low-level drug dealer Eduardo Ruiz (Miguel Ferrer) against his drug cartel boss; there's the story of Helena Ayala (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the unsuspecting wife of the drug cartel boss who suddenly learns who her husband really is and what he does for a living; and then there's the new head of the DEA, Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), a man so wrapped up in his mission to stop the war on drug, he fails to notice that his own daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen) is becoming addicted to crack. Much like in the real world, the events of each story directly or indirectly affect the events of the others, leaving all the characters to consider their roles in the drug culture . . . and what, if anything, they can do to change those roles.

In terms of story, `Traffic' is absolutely brilliant. I'm still amazed that the film could cover so many plotlines and dozens of characters so effortlessly. Each story -- whether it's Helena assuming the role of her drug-dealing husband, or Robert canceling DEA meetings so he can deal with his drug-addicted daughter -- is powerful and brutally honest. `Traffic' isn't afraid to look at tough or uncomfortable issues. `Traffic', somewhat surprisingly, never preaches, either -- while it's safe to say that the message of the film is essentially anti-drug, it never comes out and outright says that message. A lesser film would've had some grandiose speech imbedded somewhere in the film denouncing the use of drugs -- not `Traffic'. It's wise enough to let the viewer take what messages they want from the film, without ever preaching. (A minor quibble -- did Michael Douglas' character really have to be the new drug czar of the United States? The fact that he was the top law enforcement drug official in the U.S., and that his daughter was addicted to drug . . . well, it seemed a little too far-fetched, and a little too movie-like. If Mr. Douglas had been playing ONE of the top drug officials in the federal government, instead of THE top official, I would've found his character to be infinitely more believable.)

Soderbergh's also at the top of his game with his direction of `Traffic'. The film is virtually filmed entirely with hand-held camera, giving each and every scene an up-close-and-personal feel. There's also a distinct lack of background music, which lets the viewer feel like they're eavesdropping on real-life scenes, and not just watching a movie. These techniques make for a very personal, intense experience. Soderbergh also uses a technique he's used in some of his other films (Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich) -- certain scenes are filtered a specific color, to heighten a mood or a sense of awareness of what's about to happen. The scenes in Mexico featuring the Mexican detective Javier, for example, are all filmed in a very bright, almost disorienting yellow. It's a technique that can be irritating at times, but for the most part, it serves a bold purpose that truly adds to the film.

As for the characters, and the acting . . . jeez, `Traffic' is without a doubt one of the best-

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 09/19/09

Traffic

Traffic is actually three short stories smoothly rolled into one
movie-and it makes for a great flix. It offers disturbing snapshots
of America's drug war when Drug czar Michael Douglas sees his life
turned upside down when the drug problem hits home when his daughter
becomes a drug addict. It weaves into a seperate plot showing a
Tijuana cop, Benicio Del Toro who is trying to keep his hands clean-
and stay alive when all around him become involved in drugs. The
third plot shows the drug growers side as DEA operatives arrest a
major dealer and grower, and this forces his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
to take over the family business. This film won 4 Academy Awards in
2000 and director Steven Soderbergh has a large number of hits to add
too (The 2009 hit- The Informant, Che, Oceans 11, Oceans 12, Oceans 13,
etc) and does it easily. A great movie that drama devotees will enjoy,
as well as a nice mix of action that keeps the movie moving smoothly.
Certainly will provide a good evening of entertainment for most people
to enjoy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/17/08

It's A Sad Sad State Of Affairs

This film delves deeply into the world of drugs..Michael Douglas is wonderful as a drug czar out to end the drug trade sadly his own daughter is deeply affected should he put the world first or his family?..Then there's dea enforcers on the same side of the coin trying to do the very thing we are trying to do in our own homes everyday save our children..watch as they deal with drugs bribes corruption..oh the dangers of drugs..then there is the filp side of the coin..when a wealthy drug lord is arrested his very pregnant wife played by Catherine Zeta Jones takes over her hubbys cartel and we find out she's not as sweet and innocent as we think..makes you wonder what she would think of her hubby if their own children started taking drugs..it's a lose lose situation and sadly it's the little ones who suffer! This film did get confusing with the switching back and forth of the two storylines viewers must watch closely or risk being lost in this maze of a movie..I give this film 3 out of 5 stars!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 03/11/09

*~*~ POWERFUL MOVIE offering 100% REALITY ~*~*

We cannot recall TRAFFIC coming out in 2001, but we recently ran across it and bought it. We are quite pleased with this movie. It offers a reality look into the current drug trafficking between the US and Mexico, and how it affects our very own neighborhoods.

The movie is split between taking place in Tijuana(Mexico) and the US(Ohio, Washington D.C., etc). The US Drug Enforcement Agency works to set up and contain the large Drug Cardtels, while the drugs are being distributed/used on our own streets by teens, including the teens of high-profile US Professionals.

A VERY GOOD MOVIE! Straightforward and Real.

The coloring of the film switches as they show scenes in the US and scenes in Mexico. Offers a Great Acting Cast. Ebert & Roeper gave it "Two BIG Thumbs Up".

POWERFUL EPIC

We were glad to add this movie to our DVD Collection. We have watched it several times over since we bought it.

Our Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 07/20/07

A mix of subtlety and obvious contrasts

This is a tour de force by Steven Soderbergh, presenting hypocrisy and corruption in high places both north and south of the Rio Grande. Occasionally straying into the sentimental, the film succeeds as an exposé of the conflicts that face anti-drug crusaders - from the huge money involved to callous indifference and the ultimate recognition that the DEA is fighting a losing battle.

The parallel wars on drugs in the US and Mexico are subtly contrasted and the similarities in the two countries are exposed. Realism, dark humour and piercing social comment combine with fast-moving action to make a splendid film.

Great performances from Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Benicio del Toro.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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