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Trade (2007)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 48

With an exploitative style that seems more suited for TV shows like CSI, Trade's message about the reality of child exploitation is easily lost.


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 19

With an exploitative style that seems more suited for TV shows like CSI, Trade's message about the reality of child exploitation is easily lost.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 27,043

My Rating

Movie Info

After his 13-year-old sister is abducted by sex traffickers, a determined Mexican teen travels from the barrios of Mexico City to a run-down stash house in New Jersey in a desperate attempt to rescue the frightened girl before she is swallowed whole by one of the criminal underworld's darkest secrets. Jorge's (Cesar Ramos) adolescent sister, Adriana (Paulina Gaitan), has been kidnapped and thrust into a lucrative underground trade in which young girls are bought and sold to the highest bidder.


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Jose Rivera

Jan 29, 2008


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All Critics (69) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (48) | DVD (3)

As cinema, 'Trade' is flawed: the script is functional and the dry characters are hemmed in by the machinations of an unremarkable plot.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A documentary about sex trafficking might have been more powerful. Dramatizing the subject in this fashion, with a race-against-time road trip, breathless online bidding and a couple of different happy endings, simply cheapens it.

December 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Associated Press | Comment (1)
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmaker tries to keep the energy up and the audience engaged by incorporating stylistic touches from the Michael Bay 101 crib sheet, whirling the camera around characters in crisis and lacing scenes with hack guitar rock.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grim, hard to take, and nightmare-producing, Trade is not for the faint of heart.

October 3, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I was moved.

October 1, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Trade has telegraphed the most sordid examples of the international child sex trade into a small, somewhat exploitative thriller.

September 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A brutal, shattering story of child trafficking that is intended to deliver a sobering punch about the global human trafficking trade, Marco Kreutzpaintner's powerful drama is in fact based on investigative reports in the New York Times.

July 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

If only the whole matched the power and potency of the details. Masquerades as a searing exposé, but turns out to be a lurid and overwrought account.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Such difficult subject matter requires a harder-edged delivery, but hopefully this accessible drama will therefore get its message across to a wider audience.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

This cockeyed odd-couple road movie is well-intentioned, but it comes perilously close to feeding off the crimes it condemns.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Is it possible to agree with what a film is saying while disliking the way it says it? Trade leaves no arm untwisted and no message unrammed.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Kline and the talented Gaitan do their best to engage on a human level, but ending with various sobering stats about the global sex trade only underlines the film's woefully misplaced dramatic emphasis.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Jose Rivera's script plays uneasily, as do some of the directorial flourishes: the shots of rose stems and caged birds are galumphingly emphatic at moments that need no underlining.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent

With terrific performances and strong direction throughout, this hard-hitting thriller delivers a powerful wake-up call.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

This involving film is weakened by a script that tries to create a formulaic thriller out of an important subject matter.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall | Comment (1)
Shadows on the Wall

Trade is a dreadfully hollow film, empty of everything except pretension and self-importance posing as art.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

Just misses making its urgent point, which was surely the purpose of this emotionally stirring, troubling film, by turning up the excessively convoluted melodrama, and turning its eyes away from the sociopolitical issues that sex slavery thrives on.

January 20, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

Yes, a conventional documentary about sex slavery would probably be more illuminating. It would also be more unbearable.

October 26, 2007 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Trade has cojones for trying to lay the kind of political guilt trip it does on us with its sham aesthetics and lurid telenovela-writ-large storyline.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

What ultimately tips the scales is its determination to avoid sentimentality.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Tremendously sincere but at times brutal drama.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

incredible -- in the literal, non-complimentary sense...

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Audience Reviews for Trade

The less you know about this film, the more it hits you like a hammer. It follows a desperate Mexican boy who's adorable sister has been kidnapped into the USA, presumably as sex slave. After teaming up with cop Ray his chances get better, but it's still a hopeless race against time. The outstanding acting, cinematography and overall atmosphere of the film make for a highly uncomfortable feeling, intentionally so, of course. You can't help but hope for everything to turn out at least okay, but every set back makes you less optimistic about it. Thankfully, the film never gets preachy or dramatic just for drama's sake. For the longest time it's even painfully realistic, even if one of the later twists may be a tad too much. Still, this is gloomy, enthralling and disenchanting look on sex trafficking that should leave no one untouched.
January 6, 2012

Super Reviewer

Awesome movie about Child abduction and sexual slave trade that goes on throughout the world. This is about a 13 year old Mexican Girl who is abducted and what her 16 year old brother does to save her. Very enjoyable and eye opener. 5 stars
February 16, 2011
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Great movie showing the darkness people are capable of doing to others. Very well acted and a sweet story of a brother doing all he can to help his sister with the help of a stranger. Tough to watch a few scenes, but it brings the necessary emotions.
December 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Trade - Willkommen in Amerika (DE)
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