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Contraband (2012)



Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 156
Fresh: 79 | Rotten: 77

It's more entertaining than your average January action thriller, but that isn't enough to excuse Contraband's lack of originality and unnecessarily convoluted plot.


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 17

It's more entertaining than your average January action thriller, but that isn't enough to excuse Contraband's lack of originality and unnecessarily convoluted plot.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 69,047

My Rating

Movie Info

Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best- running contraband-to settle Andy's debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), for one final run to Panama and back, hoping to return with millions in counterfeit bills.

Apr 24, 2012


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April 24, 2012:
RT on DVD & Blu-ray: Contraband and The Innkeepers
This is, quite possibly, one of the thinnest weeks for DVD releases that we've ever seen. If TV...
January 15, 2012:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Contraband Steals Box Office Crown
Mark Wahlberg's action-thriller Contraband took control of the box office this weekend, while the...


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All Critics (157) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (77) | DVD (4)

The result is unlikely to linger long in the memory, but it's enormous fun while it lasts...

March 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A winter-season product, but perfectly absorbing once it gets going.

January 24, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a good, chugging caper movie for the most part.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Comment (1)
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wahlberg could sleepwalk through this role, and does. See this movie and you'll surely follow his lead.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Comments (5)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Contraband" comes off the factory floor with its engine running and ready to drive. But the ride feels overly familiar.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Frankly, Wahlberg has outgrown movies like this. And so have we.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (5)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We are left to ponder why Andy is any less culpable or any more worth saving than anyone else.

December 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

It may not exactly be an original story, but when a little effort is put into a film like this, it can be done pretty well.

September 17, 2012 Full Review Source:

Contraband is a decent action film but none of the cast can do anything to elevate the material beyond what it is: a January movie from top to bottom.

September 17, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Plays like conventional Hollywood genre entertainment even though all the actual events in movie feel like they belong in a Michael Mann joint.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline

With its dim lighting and handheld camerawork, the director's 'realistic' visual approach is arguably bogus, but it pays dividends as the narrative becomes increasingly grim.

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Wahlberg delivers in this sometimes tense, enjoyable, but morally muddy heist thriller.

April 17, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comment (1)

Mark Wahlberg plays another working class action hero in this gritty but convoluted story about double-dealing smugglers, wharfside corruption and family revenge.

April 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Screenwize

Mark Wahlberg delivers the goods in Contraband, a B-movie about smuggling in boozy, corrupt New Orleans.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Comment (1)
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A-Team rules apply: this is a gore-free zone that, in common with ye Lethal Weapon movies of yore, yokes family values to gunplay.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

Ends up just another dumber than average caper.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman | Comment (1)

Sound familiar? Of course it does, and not just because it's a remake of the 2008 film Reykjavik-Rotterdam.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Conventional, fairly exciting stuff, its most distinctive feature perhaps is the realistic, atmospheric photography by Ken Loach's regular collaborator, Barry Ackroyd.

March 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

A typical Hollywood excuse for stringing together violent action sequences which are individually exciting enough but collectively unable to sustain any palpable tension.

March 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail | Comment (1)
Birmingham Mail

How this confused and mediocre heist-cum-action movie reached - albeit briefly - the top spot in the US box-office ratings passes all understanding.

March 16, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London | Comment (1)
This is London

Ultimately, it's not going to win any awards for originality but this is an entertaining crime thriller nonetheless.

March 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Gritty, slick and maybe a bit too serious, Contraband may be predictable, but it is solid action entertainment.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

It's a thriller in which the twists become so absurd that it becomes a kind of caper, but without the humour.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comments (2)

It is criminal that a director of Kormakur's talent should make the run from the gloomy authenticity of Jar City to this bland Hollywood fare.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4

Mark Wahlberg is back in action-man mode in this skilfully shot if slightly uneven thriller.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

[A] thick-cut, crusts-left-on smuggling thriller directed by the Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for Contraband

A good action film with lots of twists, although none are especially striking. Wahlberg continues to disappoint by playing a tough guy role when he doesn't have the grittiness to pull it off. Still, it's a fun film.
August 4, 2013

Super Reviewer

A good mix of action, heist and thriller with a good cast line-up make this a better than average film. It didn't have anything particularly new or original about it, but if you like those genre of films then you should enjoy this.
January 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

Another great film with Mark Wahlberg in, Movie is full of action, drama and excitment. Worth watching anytime. 4 1/2 stars
September 18, 2012
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

There is nothing new about Baltasar Kormakur's Contraband, but it has enough to moderately satisfy.Spanning a good 105 minutes, Contraband plays out partially like a heist flick, which works in its favor. Aside from that, the villains are cliched, side characters lack sufficient background, and the smuggling crime itself isn't exactly edge of the seat thrilling.With the way the story goes, this isn't a film where the action comes first. Yes, it has its share of violence; however, this is more of a crime thriller than an action adventure. As mentioned earlier, this works out for the better.Mark Wahlberg plays a confident master criminal with no problems. Extraordinary? No. Good enough for a hero? Yes. Kate Beckinsale seems underused, but becomes a satisfaction to see in a film full of male criminals.Contraband isn't a must see in any way shape or form. It is a watchable picture however.
July 19, 2012
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

    1. Chris Farraday: Takes money to make money.
    – Submitted by Amanda R (2 years ago)
    1. Tim Briggs: Tell him not to dump it in the water!
    – Submitted by Alex A (2 years ago)
    1. Chris Farraday: This is no fucking bueno.
    – Submitted by Jenny A (2 years ago)
    1. Chris Farraday: I would love to help you but I don't know what you are talking about.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Chris Farraday: You think you're the only guy with a gun?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Contraband (Luca il contrabbandiere) (DE)
  • Contraband (UK)
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