Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: 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. (USA Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. Explosive entertainment, with the tension and volatility of its subject matter.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    It's the best drug-busting movie since ''The French Connection.''
  6. 75
    Where Traffic stumbles is in its inability to engage the heart with the same fervor it engages the intellect.
  7. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    You could get high on this movie's technique, dizzy on its storytelling. Yet it's one of the most lucid bad trips ever made.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  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. Expand
  2. Jul 9, 2012
    10
    Steven Soderbergh, the master of narrative, creates a drug, crime film the way one should be made. What
  3. Apr 11, 2013
    9
    Brilliant, simply brilliant. Well composed script, compelling, engaging but also emotional and at times disturbing. This film succeeds in conforming well to the "hyperlink" genre and exploring both process and effect of drug trafficking. It also succeeds in establishing some homogeny between Mexican and
    American societies whilst attacking the divide that exists between the respective societies. The acting is superb, Benicio del Toro avoids melodrama, remaining collected but also seemingly effortlessly drawing viewers into some emotional attachment with his character. Brilliant performances also by Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle and Catharine Zeta Jones.
    Expand
  4. 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
    Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Easily one of the greatest ensemble pieces in cinematic history, "Traffic" represents everything that many other films have tried and failed to do - It crafts an utterly breathtaking film featuring a wide array of characters that the audience never forgets nor stops caring about. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews

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