Traffic

Critics Consensus

Soderbergh successfully pulls off the highly ambitious Traffic, a movie with three different stories and a very large cast. The issues of ethics are gray rather than black-and-white, with no clear-cut good guys. Terrific acting all around.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 162

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 190,387

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Movie Info

A contemporary thriller set in the world of drug trafficking. Traffic evokes the high stakes and high risks of the drug trade, as seen through a series of interrelated stories, some of which are highly personal and some of which are filled with intrigue and danger.

Cast & Crew

Michael Douglas
Robert Wakefield
Don Cheadle
Montel Gordon
Benicio Del Toro
Javier Rodriguez
Luis Guzmán
Ray Castro
Dennis Quaid
Arnie Metzger
Steven Bauer
Carlos Ayala
Benjamin Bratt
Juan Obregon
James Brolin
General Ralph Landry
Erika Christensen
Caroline Wakefield
Simon Moore
Screenwriter
Stephen Gaghan
Screenwriter
Cameron Jones
Executive Producer
Graham King
Executive Producer
Andreas Klein
Executive Producer
Mike Newell
Executive Producer
Richard Solomon
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Traffic

Critic Reviews for Traffic

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (12)

  • 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.

    May 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The promise of Sex, Lies, and Videotape has been fulfilled.

    April 27, 2007 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • It's wise about different kinds of addiction and concepts of family, about the folly, futility and hypocrisy of anti-drug 'wars', and about the awful human cost of it all. And it grips like a vice from start to end.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Director Steven Soderbergh is riding one of the hottest streaks in the movie world.

    April 25, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Soderbergh's jazzed stylistics can be smartly entertaining. Without them, an uneven movie like Traffic might seem more of a mélange than it already is.

    September 26, 2002
  • A sprawling, artistic, superbly acted, informative, and mainstream Hollywood movie.

    April 16, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Ben Falk

    BBC.com
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Traffic

  • Aug 28, 2016
    The sprawling nature of Gaghan's screenplay means that some characters are inevitably going to get lost in the shuffle but Soderbergh does his damnedest to make it work and for certain stretches the film comes together in remarkable ways (i.e the changing color plates, anytime Del Toro is onscreen).
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2016
    Traffic was directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars too many people to list here. There are three distinct storylines, intersecting at times and all dealing with the war on drugs. Soderbergh has, in my opinion, put out a LOT of solid material, and Traffic stands out as one of his finest movies and one where his creative touch is used perfectly. The three storylines are easily kept separate thanks to the different type of film used in the cameras (each storyline is either gritty, blue-hued, or normal), making its 2+ hour run time easy to digest. The cinematography is excellent as well - Soderbergh would commonly hold the camera, getting up close and personal to his actors. Speaking of the actors, everybody in this ensemble cast is terrific. From Michael Douglas to Benicio del Toro to Catherine Zeta-Jones, the whole gang puts on a show. While the storylines are dark and few characters are actually good people, the movie keeps your attention and interest thanks to excellent editing. If you enjoy crime dramas or Steven Soderbergh, you have to see this 2000 hit. Traffic is a very entertaining and enjoyable(?) watch. Final grade: A -Ben
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2016
    Excellent acting and a well-crafted script make Traffic a worthwhile watch, even if in retrospect the film's early-2000s-feel and film editing makes it feel dated.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2016
    Traffic did fairly well on the themes of drug abuse, and all the blurred lines separating good from bad, corrupt from principled, and love for family from call of duty when the former goes against the latter. I just didn't find it that compelling.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer

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