Metascore
86

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

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 125 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: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. KevinL.
    Sep 28, 2007
    10
    "Brilliant" As much as there are many of its kind out there, the writers continue to make this film as entertaining and masterful. This film just creates so much tension and absorbs the viewers in. 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. 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. Collapse
  4. BethC.
    Feb 9, 2001
    9
    Viscerally unyielding. It flat out hammered me. It kept me interested and off kilter the whole time, and Benicio Del Toro is FABULOUS in it.
  5. Aug 25, 2014
    8
    This is a film where you do not have to be into drugs. Sodenbergh seems to have put a magic spell on this material, because the movie is done very well. Expand
  6. Aug 23, 2014
    8
    A very ambitious and expertly made film, Traffic is a very interesting, at times disturbing, film. First off, the ensemble cast featuring Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, Luis Guzman, and Erika Christensen, is fantastic. The direction from Steven Soderbergh is also very good and I also really liked his cinematography here. The different tints to each story really gave each their own unique feel, even if they all concerned the same topic; drug trafficking. Ultimately, Traffic is a brilliant look at the many different aspects and roles played in the world of drugs and how easily lines between good and bad can be blurred. On top of that, it reenforces that nobody involved can get away without being altered forever. Every story it goes through is interesting in their own way. Many call this a thriller, and while elements of this are indeed thrilling, it struck me more as a drama and I thought the dramatic elements outweighed the thrilling ones, but that is me. Regardless, Traffic is an incredibly ambitious film from director Steven Soderbergh that is ultimately a resounding success that leaves you wanting more, even though its run time is two and a half hours. Expand
  7. JB
    Aug 11, 2006
    6
    [***SPOILERS***] This terribly pandering piece of cinematography is redeemable only for the scene in which the film's drug czar concludes that one can't wage a war on drugs without waging war on one's own family and friends. Everything else about this film was dull and unimaginative, clearly designed as filler for this ultimate message that is nearly lost is the sea of meaningless drivel that surrounds it. Expand

See all 31 User Reviews

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