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Described by director Steven Soderbergh as "Nashville meets The French Connection," this multi-character drama explores the effects of international drug trafficking on all fronts: from their source, to the U.S. border, to the federal government, to the private lives of users. Based upon a miniseries originally aired on Britain's Channel 4, Traffic divides its time among three main storylines and almost a dozen locales. The first and primary plot thread, set in Ohio and Washington, D.C., concerns freshly-appointed drug czar Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), whose enthusiasm for… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Director Steven Soderbergh is riding one of the hottest streaks in the movie world."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"It is such a complex film yet artfully done in such a way that you cannot help but sit back and admire it."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"A fascinating look at how we're winning and losing the "war" on drugs."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"Soderbergh uses a handheld camera to saturate the film, which he describes as Nashville meets The French Connection, with compelling, docudramatic urgency."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"The promise of Sex, Lies, and Videotape has been fulfilled."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"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."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
"A little masterpiece, at best, but for any other filmmaker, this would be a career highlight, while it's also easy to see how most other filmmakers would turn it into a dull, obvious harangue."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Tons of drug use, violence, and depressing stories."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Le film de Steven Soderbergh et Stephen Gaghan est visiblement le fruit d'un travail de recherche exhaustif et d'une démarche narrative tout aussi réfléchie et cohérente."
‑ Jean-François Vandeuren, Panorama
"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."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It leaves one feeling restless and dissatisfied."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"In terms of modern films, it kicked off a whole list of issue-related multi-character dramas like Syriana, Crash, and Babel -- and it may be the best of all of them, even if some of its stories are stronger than others."
‑ Eric Melin,
""Traffic" leaps into growing gorges between profit and principle and, from a law perspective, questions the sanity of ramming heads into walls of cocaine bricks. It remains one of the Zeroes' preeminent epics even after policy cinema's shift to terrorism."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"Intelligent and highly thought-provoking."
‑ Daniel Etherington, Film4
More reviews for Traffic on Rotten Tomatoes

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