Movie Reviews: Traffic




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     USA Films (2 hrs. 20 min.)
     Based on the 1980s British television miniseries TRAFFIK, TRAFFIC, follows a series of inter-related stories about the high-risk world of the drug trade.
     Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones and, Benicio Del Toro
Bottom Line:


   Traffic is a artful and sobering film about America’s futile attempt to win the war on drugs.
   Through jittery images film through a hand-held camera accented with bright blue and yellow hue of colors, director Steven Soderbergh’s introduces the audience to an array of characters from United States government officials, to wealthy drug lords, Mexican and American police, and lawyers and enforcers who keep the drug trade in America going.
   Character performers Don Cheadle (Mission to Mars) and Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects) finally get their due in this mural of despair and futility. A departure from his usually roles, Oscar nominee Del Toro plays a good-hearted Mexican policeman who conspires with the D.E.A. against his corrupt bosses, and Cheadle plays an undercover D.E.A. agent who knows the country is being over run with drugs, but he keeps on pitching anyway.
   The rest of Soderbergh’s ensemble includes Michael Douglas as the newly appointed U.S. drug Czar, whose daughter is a drug addict, and Catherine Zeta-Jones a wealthy Southern California matron who discovers one day that her husband is a powerful drug smuggler when federal agents raid their mansion. Traffic never issues a false note. It’s a convincing, engaging film which offers a voyeuristic glimpse into America’s drug culture.



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