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Traffic (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jacob Vargas, Andrew Chavez
  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Writers: Simon Moore, Stephen Gaghan
  • Producers: Andreas Klein, Cameron Jones, Edward Zwick, Graham King, Laura Bickford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (603 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1OI7G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,391 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Traffic (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Steven Soderbergh and writer Stephen Gaghan
  • Commentary by producers Laura Bickford, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz and consultants Tim Golden and Craig Chretien
  • Commentary by composer Cliff Martinez (with two music cues not included in the film)
  • 25 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Soderbergh and Gaghan
  • 30 minutes of additional footage featuring multiple angles from scenes at the El Paso Intelligence Center and the Washington D.C. cocktail party.
  • Film processing demonstration: a step by step look into the film processing technique used to achieve the sun-blasted look of the Mexican scenes
  • Editing demonstration narrated by editor Stephen Mirrione
  • Dialogue editing demonstration with sound editor Larry Blake
  • Gallery of U.S. Customs trading cards of the K-9 squad
  • TV spots, and trailers

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Intertwining vignettes frame this tale of America's escalating War on Drugs. Ohio Supreme Court judge Robert Wakefield has been appointed the nation's Drug Czar, his new position made more daunting by the discovery that his teenage daughter Caroline is a heroin addict. Meanwhile, DEA agents Montel Gordon and Ray Castro are pursuing Helena Ayala, wife of jailed kingpin Carlos Ayala, as she seeks to the control the business that her husband had kept hidden from her. South of the Border, duplicious local constable Javier Rodriguez is fighting the battle with his own jaded, questionable ethical code.

Amazon.com

Featuring a huge cast of characters, the ambitious and breathtakingTraffic is a tapestry of three separate stories woven together by a common theme: the war on drugs. In Ohio, there's the newly appointed government drug czar (Michael Douglas) who realizes after he's accepted the job that he may have gotten into a no-win situation. Not only that, his teenage daughter (Erika Christensen) is herself quietly developing a nasty addiction problem. In San Diego, a drug kingpin (Steven Bauer) is arrested on information provided by an informant (Miguel Ferrer) who was nabbed by two undercover detectives (Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán). The kingpin's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), heretofore ignorant of where her husband's wealth comes from, gets a crash course in the drug business and its nasty side effects. And south of the border, a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself caught between both his home country and the U.S., as corrupt government officials duke it out with the drug cartel for control of trafficking various drugs back and forth across the border.

Bold in scope, Traffic showcases Steven Soderbergh at the top of his game, directing a peerless ensemble cast in a gritty, multifaceted tale that will captivate you from beginning to end. Utilizing the no-frills techniques of the Dogme 95 school, Soderbergh enhances his hand-held filming with imaginative editing and film-stock manipulation that eerily captures the atmosphere of each location: a washed-out, grainy Mexico; a blue and chilly Ohio; and a sleek, sun-dappled San Diego. But Traffic is more than a film-school exercise. Soderbergh and screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (adapting the British TV miniseries Traffik to the U.S.) seamlessly weave the threads of each separate plotline into one solid tale, with the actions of one plot having quiet repercussions on the other two. And if you needed more proof that Soderbergh takes unparalleled care with his actors, practically all the members of this cast turn in their best work ever, the standout being an Oscar-worthy Del Toro as the conflicted moral conscience of the film. While no story is fully resolved in the film, you'll be haunted by these characters days after you've seen the film. By far one of the best movies of 2000. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews

The only thing I can really say about this movie is... WATCH IT!!
Mike
Soderbergh directs his characters well - the performances are actually understated for a film this topical.
Rottenberg's rotten book review
I can't give this film 5 stars becuase it didn't affect me in any way.
Jonathan McKie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on February 24, 2001
Format: DVD
To say that this is a film with a message would be an understatement, because it comes across so emphatically clear and succinct, and it is this: To wage a war against drugs, you must first come to terms with the sobering fact that the enemy is often a member of your own family; and how do you wage a war against your own family? A sobering message? Insightful? Indeed. And, when you consider the implications of it all, devastating. Ponder that awhile and you'll begin to get a sense of the futility visited upon those who would attempt to rectify a situation that affects practically everyone everywhere sooner or later, either directly or indirectly; and it is just that situation that is addressed and presented with no-holds-barred by director Steven Soderbergh in his brilliant, hard hitting film, "Traffic," starring Michael Douglas and Benicio Del Toro. The film examines the trafficking of drugs between Mexico and the United States, and the long-ranging effects thereof; and Soderbergh tells the story through a number of perspectives, which effectively presents the "big picture" of the drug trade and the subsequent impact it all has on the lives of so many people.
Probably the most telling perspective in terms of futility is that which is shown through the eyes of Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas), a judge who is appointed the country's "Drug Czar," and given the task of "making a difference." It's a pivotal character inasmuch as it is through his involvement that so much information is presented, not all of which is anything new, but when taken within the context of the story has a tremendous emotional impact.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Angela Bynum on July 2, 2006
Format: DVD
Steven Soderbergh's Traffic is, in my opinion, a well put-together masterpiece. It is a film that truly shows off the talent of its director and its stars in a completely interesting way. The acting is top-notch (be sure to look for Don Cheadle and Louis Guzman as two DEA agents and Steven Bauer as a California drug lord) and the cinematography is excellent. I would easily recommend Traffic to anyone interested in learning how to make a movie. 5 Stars
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Victor Drysel on January 14, 2001
Format: DVD
Traffic gives us a very disturbing yet equally true story about what happens to real people in the fight for war on drugs. Traffic tells three stories. About two DEA agents, Don Chealde and Luis Guzman, that are out to stop the "Big Rich Guys" at the to of the food chain. Two Mexican Police Officers that happen upon a large shipment of illegal drugs, Benicio Del Torro. And a newly appointed government official, Michael Douglas, that is there to clean up what his predecessor couldn't do. WIth that said, we are left to director Steven Soderbergh. With his brilliant usage of color and contrast. And his equally astounding talent of editing and shooting this home videoesque film. I was dumbfounded by the sheer tenactiy of the story. So gritty and captivating. It really tells people what they don't want to hear. With such a fabulous cast as this: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Torro (who should recieve an oscar nomination), Don Chealde, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid, Selma Hyaek, Benjamin Bratt, and Luis Guzman, you can't make a bad movie. So, take my advice and watch this film. It's really that good.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 14, 2001
Format: DVD
Steven Soderbergh has crafted a visually stunning, deeply moving and intensely brilliant movie in Traffic. The central focus of the film is the drug epidemic in the US and Mexico. He tells three separate stories that are each distinct unto themselves, yet interwoven into a common thread. One story takes place in Mexico and revolves around a cop with a conscious (Benecio Del Toro), the second story takes place in Ohio and Washington and involves the country's new drug czar (Michael Douglas) and the troubles he faces on the job and with his daughter (Ericka Christiansen) who freebases cocaine and descends into a drug addicted hell and the third story takes place in San Diego and involves DEA agents (Don Cheadle & Luis Guzman) trying to take down a big drug trafficker (Stephen Bauer) whose wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) learns the drug trade while he's detained. The film sounds unwielding, but Mr. Soderbergh deftly maneuvers from story to story and you find yourself engrossed in the lives of these characters. Each story is shot in a different style with the Mexico scenes being bright but grainy, the Ohio & Washington scenes in a moody indigo and the San Diego scenes in a sunny, vivid illumination. The cast is full of amazing performances with Mr. Del Toro standing out as the Mexican cop. Most of his dialogue is in Spanish, but it is his expressions that speak volumes. When the camera focuses in on his face, he conveys a sense of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Mr. Del Toro won a well deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2000. Miguel Ferrer is superb as a key witness in the San Diego case who bristles at the DEA agents and offers a chilling description of the drug situation in the country. Mr. Cheadle is fiery as a DEA agent and Mr.Read more ›
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