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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another nice release from Alliance
****UPDATE****
Since I first wrote my brief review of the Alliance blu-ray edition of Traffic back in 2009, a few newer releases of Traffic have been released on blu-ray:
--A Universal Studios release (under the Alliance banner here in Canada) was released on April 27th, 2010. It pretty much has the same picture and audio quality as the 2009 Alliance release...
Published on March 13 2009 by C. Denison

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Traffic: Hierarchizing America in the U.S.-Mexico Binary
Traffic opens with a banner on the screen announcing the filmic location to be Mexico, "twenty miles southeast of Tijuana." The film is grainy and has a decidedly yellow (although some have romanticized this color, calling it sepia) tone, and the audience is introduced to two State Police officers, Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas), who...
Published on May 9 2004 by Carl Wilkins


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars was this movie about drugs?, May 21 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
I really don't know where to start. This really had to be the worst movie made in 2001. I just couldn't understand it. The story, or stories in the film. Who played the bad guys? And what was that stupid speech about blacks always seen by whites as drug addicts, that we should undertstand and feel sorry for them because Hey, that's all they know and do to survie. Wasn't the black guy giving the drugs to the girl and pratically having her as a his sex slave, because she...being stupid and rich and having nothing to do with her time needs her drugs. I couldn't stand her and wished she died in the film. She just made me want to beat some sense into her. This is what happens when we give everything to our kids (meaning allowances of over 100 dollars a week) so they start to get bored and have no sense of what it means to work for money or do with time after school. We really need to teach our kids how to be human beings instead of babying them and worrying about hurting there feeling. Because if we don't then we will see our kids turn into monsters who don't care who they hurt, rob, sale there bodies or do stupid things (like Jackass). If I was Michael Douglas I would have beat some reality into the girl and thrown her out on her butt. And the guy who won the supporting Oscar. NO Mexican speaks that way. The accent was wrong and the way the held a converstation. It was like some ignoramus decided to be a screenwriter. What they should have done was go to Mexico and get a real translator and really done a decent job. I Mexican-American, born In Houston, raised in Houston and I consider myself a U.S. citizen just like anyone born here would, white, black, latino, etc. (But I don't consider myself a Mexican, because I've been to Mexico and they don't like Americanized latinos), and I have relatives in Mexico and they laughed at the accent and the stupid conversation the two latino actors were having. It was stupid. A Puerto-Rican accent?, when the character in the movie was Mexican? Makes no sence. The only character I liked was the Chaterine Zeta-Jones role. She was cool. I guess it was the pregancy thing. A pregnant lady who is desperate, who turns into a female Corleone was cool. That was it. But I hate it and I will hate any movie that is politcally correct. Hollywood should not be afraid to show the ugly side of all races, Black, White, Hispanic, Oreantal, and so on. It is real life and real life affects all races...and that means drugs too affect all races.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion does Traffic up right!, Oct. 9 2011
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Traffic(released Dec/2000) sports a high powered cast with a very compelling storyline that has more than a few messages to impart to us about the so called "war" on drugs,in this case,between the U.S. and Mexico.Based on the /89 British mini-series,with another mini-series made in the U.S. in 2004,director Steven Soderbergh first pitched and wooed Fox films for backing.But due to their differences Fox dropped the project and USA films picked it up.There were still minor difference to iron out but in the end Soderbergh got full control over the project and what a job he did.Who could go wrong with a powerhouse cast of the likes of Michael Douglas,Benecio Del Toro,Luis Guzman,Don Cheadle,Catherine Zeta Jones,Dennis Quaid,Salma Hayek,Amy Irving,Albert Finney,James Brolin,Benjamin Bratt and many more.
The plot has three simultaneous stories unfolding, each touching the other ever deeper as the film winds its way to the end.First there are the two Mexican state policemen,Javier Rodriguez(Del Toro) and his partner Manolo Sanchez(Vargas) and the drug war between two drug cartels in and around Tijuana,Mexico;between the Juarez Cartel and the Obregon Brothers Cartel.Enters General Salazar(Tomas Milian)supposedly working for the army and the government but in reality being used by the Juarez cartel to snuff out the Obregons.The General puts the squeeze on Javier and Manolo and they are soon working for him.But eventually they both start filtering info to the U.S. government,with Manolo getting taken out for his efforts by the General.Eventually Salazar himself,with Javiers info,is taken down as his corruption is revealed to the media on both sides of the border.
The second story involves an Ohio judge(Douglas) who is appointed to a presidential taskforce on drug control.As he familiarizes himself with the formidable task before him,the drug war he is fighting is closer to his home than he thinks.Their daughter Caroline(Erika Christensen)needs for nothing,lives in a beautiful home and goes to a private school.However along with several classmates,she is deeply involved with drugs.Her life spins faster and faster out of control with her parents apparently unable,too busy or just in plain denial,to do anything about it.In the end her father tracks her down to a sleazy motel room and finds her naked in a bed,higher than a kite.He takes her home and both she AND her parents attend recovery meetings with her faithfully.The judge gives up his position as the head of the task force to deal with his daughters problems.
The third story involves two DEA agents by the names of Montel Gordon(Cheadle) and Ray Castro(Guizman).The two become involved in the take down of a local businessman Eduardo Ruiz(Miguel Ferrer),who runs a local storage facility but is a front for drug smuggling.The bust goes down but just as the DEA swoops in,local law enforcement,unaware of each others involvement,gets the jump on them.The confusion caused,almost allows Ruiz to escape.Ruiz eventually decides to turn his drug boss over in exchange for immunity.His boss is also a local businessman,Carlos Ayala(Steven Bauer)and when he gets taken down his wife(Jones)is left to fend for herself.On a jail visit he tells her about a painting in their study.She investigates and finds the names of local contacts including a hitman and several out of country accounts he has.When she is threatened by a rep from the Mexican drug cartel for a money debt,the Obregan cartel in fact,she decides to pay a visit to them personally.She smuggles in pre-molded cocaine which is totally undetectable by sniffer dogs or any agents;this one being in the shape of a toy.In exchange for this new way of smuggling drugs she asks for total control of the drug distribution in the U.S.from the cartel,forgiveness of the money her husband owes and to take out Ruiz,the DEA witness.The deal is made and in short order Ruiz is dispatched through simple food poisoning.Because of this the DEA's case is dropped and Ayala is set free.However the DEA still plugs away as agent Gordon crashes Ayala's homecoming party,planting a bug under his study desk.
The subject of drug trafficking is a sordid and complicated mess.The movie amply points out that the drug lords have more of EVERYTHING when it comes to resources than any government agency.The well known corruption of the Mexican government both state and local is also fleshed out.The so called"war" is anything but;more like a rout in reality.Money buys alot and the government not only has to contend with the Mexican drug trade but also their tentacles,which stretch into the very fabric of North American society from those that sell it(from the big shots to the little guys on the street)to the buyers themselves.Soderbergh does a masterful job unfolding all three stories and in a non-complicated manner.This film won four Academy awards and it is not surprising to see why.
Technically speaking this print was made from a new digital transfer,with the Spanish subtitles presented as they were in the original U.S.prints,as per the directors request.It is in its original a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.The soundtrack was mastered from the original 24 bit master and includes Dolby 2.1 and 5.1.There are two discs.The first contains,the movie,three commentaries,two music cues not included in the film,and more.The second disc includes:25 deleted scenes with commentary,a look at making the Mexican film sequences,an editing demo,dialogue editing demo,theatrical and TV trailers,30 minutes of additional footage(this film was originally 180 minutes),and more.It is all housed in a two section snap case with a small booklet included.
All in all a highly recommended film.No wonder that the film won four Academy awards with this cast and great storyline.And of course as I always say:A Criterion release is a superior release,so you know you are getting the best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'The drug is not in the doll, the drug is the doll', July 5 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
I have finally seen this film in it's entirety and I like to say that `Traffic' is a richly entertaining epic that recalls the great works of the 1970s, when directors like Robert Altman and Francis Ford Coppola engaged mass audiences with works of genuine substance. Soderbergh works on a larger canvass than he's ever done before, bouncing several characters and plot-lines against and off each other, so that images and themes rhyme and echo. Although the subject matter is drug trafficking, this is not an "issues" movie per se. Instead, it's a profoundly affecting dramatic thriller where the destructive forces of drugs cut across different sections of society.

Some will say that it takes too long, or that some of the scenes are a bit slow. But does everything go fast paced in real life? It just tries to sketch a realistic view of handling with drugs. And maybe there isn't a lot of action going on, but that's not the goal of the movie.

This film has an amazing ensemble cast where everybody is working at the top of their game. However, Benicio Del Toro definitely stands out with the breakthrough performance. I don't think it's accidental that the movie begins and ends with shots of him. He plays Javier Rodriguez, a Mexican police officer caught in a futile and corrupt system, and it's as compelling of a character as Michael Corleone. Del Toro is exceptionally relaxed and subtle, keeping his thoughts and feelings private from the other characters in the films, but sharing it with the camera. Del Toro navigates the audience through a world of impossible choices and moral corruption, quietly simmering with intense conflict just beneath the surface. Benicio's been an indie stalwart for years and this film shot his stock through the roof.

Michael Douglas is also terrific, adding another strong performance to his gallery of flawed men in power. He shows genuine fear and vulnerability in a harrowing scene in which he searches for his daughter in a drug dealer's den. I've never seen Erika Christensen before, but she makes an impressive debut. Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman are as loose, limber and spontaneous as ever, providing plenty of comic relief as well as keeping it real. Catherine Zeta-Jones takes a complete 180 from her past roles and admirably plays against her looks, appearing very pregnant while thrown into gritty surroundings. Dennis Quaid is appropriately slimy as a corrupt lawyer.

Anybody who is starved for a genuine piece of film making should breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy Soderbergh's engaging film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of time and money!, Jan. 22 2001
By 
Patrick K. Fines "jedivader" (Maryland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
If I wanted to watch a documentary on drugs, I would have stayed home and watched PBS. I was bored throughout the entire movie. There was no action, in fact the movie was so quiet you could here the projector going the whole time. I want to watch a movie for entertainment value, to escape reality. This movie is in no way deserving of any awards. Do not see this...!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I've seen better film on teeth, July 15 2003
This review is from: NEW Traffic (DVD) (DVD)
Hands down this the worst movie I have ever seen, long boring, I fell asleep 6 times. I wanted to leave before the end, but my wife wanted to ride this lemon out. A terrible film, a terrible waste of talent, I have seen better film on teeth. If you want or need a nap, then by all means, watch this lousy unbearable tedious lemon of a movie.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snoozer, May 27 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
This film can be accurately summarized with one word: BORING.
I'm getting sick and tired of getting suckered in by these "star-studded" and "award winning" movies. If this "movie" can get four academy awards then a movie documenting cars rusting should be able to easily qualify for eight academy awards.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste your money!!, Jan. 27 2001
By 
Scott Wilkinson "cimtech" (Alpine, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
This movie was the worst movie I have seen in quite some time. I expected much more with the great cast of charactors. During the entire movie, the scenes were jumping back and forth from one part of the world to another. The camera scenes were continually jerky and very destracting, along with poor color. The plot was the generic drug cartel theme with no real excitement or action. I alomost left the movie theater but I kept thinking the movie would improve. It did'nt!! It was a real dissapointment and waste of money.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE, Nov. 3 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Traffic (Widescreen) (DVD)
This movie is a WASTE of TIME and MONEY. I wanted to walk out of the theatre
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traffic, not your typical Half Baked, June 8 2004
By 
"itscashed" (houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: NEW Traffic (DVD) (DVD)
this movie ruled. the shaky camera and grittyness is awesome. but instead of some review on how it is an academy award brilliant film of substance abuse,etc i will tell you how cool it is, even if those cool parts glorify drug dealers.
i like the part where that girl is at the party and the kid topher grace from that 70s show is talking all philosophically cause hes so stoned. and the kid on the other couch is like 'im so high' and he passes out and they drop him off at the ER and the cop comes and he yells the F word. ya i cant say it cause of amazon.com policies. its also funny when he has to get that girl messed up in a seedy hotel downtown to get with her. and theyre like doing trashy drugs too, whats up with that? since when do private school seniors do heroin through their foot? man i thought it was all about coors light and weed. guess not.
the movie starts out cool too when benicio del toro is in the mexican desert with his highway patrol giant sunglasses waiting for this plane to go over them thats traffiking cocaine. hes such a mexican badass. and his buddy cop next to him is playing game boy. thats the first noise you here in this 3 hour plus long drug war epic: mario jumping over a green tube. i love it.
another great part is when don cheadle and that funny peurto rican guy luiz something shoot that drug dealer in a san diego chuck e. cheese place. and the clown gets scared and goes back into the kitchen.
o ya when michael douglas takes topher grace out of spanish class and the teachers like where are you going and hes like im taking seth on a field trip and he takes him to the ghetto to find his prostitute heroin junkie 17 year old daughter.
traffic is a great movie cause it has moments like this. stephen s. the director is a badass who makes movies like the limey and this and the writer is good too. hes like 21 and he got the oscar for best adapted screenplay. this movie rules for stoners, concerned parents and politicians alike.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pice of crap dont by this, March 6 2009
By 
Carl Touchette (Quebec) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I never seen pice of crap like theese the picture quality is worse then my old VHS please dont by this, Alliance dont make any menu any extra, the only thin you can setup is sound that it.
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Traffic (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Traffic (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] by Steven Soderbergh (Blu-ray - 2012)
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