Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    Soderbergh's story, from a screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, cuts between these characters so smoothly that even a fairly complex scenario remains clear and charged with tension.
  2. It's a thriller that really thrills, a drama that really engages, a portrait of a world and system out of joint that is painfully convincing and totally engrossing from the first simmering minute to the last explosive second.
  3. Borderline brilliant. Tackles the war on drugs from a kaleidoscope of perspectives.
  4. A flat-out electrifying experience.
  5. Explosive entertainment, with the tension and volatility of its subject matter.
  6. The rare Hollywood epic that dares to entertain an audience by engaging the world.
  7. There's not a smarter, more demanding American film from the past year.
  8. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    100
    In the scorching new film Traffic, director Steven Soderbergh captures the hypocrisy -- and tragedy -- of the nation's unwinnable war on drugs. Traffic is a huge, determined movie in every way.
  9. 100
    It is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking, a beautiful and brutal work.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    100
    Enormously ambitious and masterfully made, Traffic represents docudrama-style storytelling at a very high level.
  11. 94
    Traffic is a riveting, semi-documentary drama, and yet calling it that is a disservice to just how suspenseful and stylish an entertainment it is.
  12. 90
    His (Soderbergh's) work has taken on echoes of a classier, bygone age of cinema, at once more literate and lighthearted.
  13. 90
    Traffic is not just an ultra-procedural--it's the Big Picture, the Whole Enchilada, complete with a complicated war between two Mexican drug cartels.
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    90
    Movie excitement from beginning to end.
  15. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    90
    One of the things that makes Traffic so very good is the wry humor that's laced throughout the film. It's a funny movie.
  16. May be the first Hollywood movie since Robert Altman's "Nashville" to infuse epic cinematic form with jittery new rhythms and a fresh, acid- washed palette.
  17. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Traffic doesn’t quite come to a full emotional boil at the end. Soderbergh is too knowing to offer easy solutions. But what a journey it takes us on: disturbing, exciting, completely absorbing.
  18. Sinfully watchable ensemble movie.
  19. 89
    It's a thrilling, powerful movie, and one that certain people in certain quarters may have at one time called dangerous. Some of them may yet still.
  20. Atriumph on almost every level. It is breathtakingly stylish, wonderfully acted and its three interrelated tales of the "war" on drugs are brilliantly structured to form a cohesive, powerful whole.
  21. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    It's the best drug-busting movie since ''The French Connection.''
  22. It's every bit as thrilling and engrossing as the best spy thriller or cop flick.
  23. He's (Soderbergh) among the few directors working today who makes me wonder what he'll do next - and draws me into the movie house, whatever it may be.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Aug 2, 2012
    10
    A true thriller at it's best. This is a film charged with tension, drama, and suspense. Not to mention the truly inspiring and detailed story it delivers. Overall a great screenplay that manages to swiftly switch between different scenarios and keep every story engaging, as well as easy to follow. Not to be missed. Full Review »
  2. Jul 9, 2012
    10
    Steven Soderbergh, the master of narrative, creates a drug, crime film the way one should be made. What
  3. May 23, 2013
    9
    Traffic is a brilliant collection of stories involving strong characters and gripping story-lines, sometimes brutal and tragic; a drugs film told with intoxicating panache, all without becoming too-heavy, which is refreshing in a pool full of films such as Less Than Zero, Requiem for a Dream and Blow. There are stints of hope in Traffic, yet it wisely restricts this hope in its acknowledgement that no matter what anybody does, drugs are an unshakable part of modern life; you can cut it down, but there’s no stopping it.

    9.3
    Full Review »