Despite a first-rate all-star cast, the stories never connect or illuminate.
| Original Score: 3/5
I was hard pressed to find any new insights into the world of drug trafficking.
Traffic is one of those square-up-the-middle tracts that make people think they're thinking.
| Original Score: 3/5
I don't see this slightly better-than-average drug thriller, with slightly better-than-average direction by Steven Soderbergh, as anything more than a routine rubber-stamping of genre reflexes.
This multi-narrative message-heavy epic is often ... busy peddling smug political proclamations and milking dubious (nee implausible) melodramatic ironies.
| Original Score: 2/4
The film soft pedals any advocacy for legalizing drugs and offers no hard-hitting critique of current policies, except to say it doesn't work.
| Original Score: C+
It leaves one feeling restless and dissatisfied.
Resisting making a movie about characters instead of sweeping generalizations on the wide world of illegal drugs, [Soderbergh] fails to come up with a point.
| Original Score: C
Traffic is a failure of a very high order -- a movie that takes a gutsy stand and displays real filmmaking savvy but simply isn't as exciting as it should be to watch.
Traffic has potent moments and that old reliable, a 'powerhouse cast,' but after about half of its 147 minutes the thought was nibbling on me: Why is this not cohering as a really major work?
Both the film and the drug war are rife with moral ambiguity and contradictions that doom them to ultimate failure.
Although its vigorous, unjaded rush of imagery and story makes for an exciting visual experience, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic is in the end a fatally sober film about drugs.
The movie is powerful precisely because it doesn't preach.
| Original Score: 4/4
The narrative pallet of Traffic is rich, tightly woven, and consistently involving, with characters that are as well developed as their necessarily limited screen time allows.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Tons of drug use, violence, and depressing stories.
The acting is crisp all around, and Douglas' war-weary heaviness speaks volumes.
Simply put: This is the best American film since The Godfather.
| Original Score: 5/5
A picture fascinating in both its complexity and absurdity.
As exhaustively researched and carefully planned as it is, Traffic is also quite entertaining.
| Original Score: 9/10