Customer Reviews: Contraband
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on April 25, 2012
Considering the fact that there are not many reviews about this movie yet, I was surprised that there have been no 5 stars yet. Now I am a picky person and have watched my share of movies so very rarely will I give a movie a 5 star unless it grabs me and I am on the edge of my seat. This one grabbed my attention from start to finish. It reminds me a lot of the Italian Job. Just when you think you know what is going on in the movie, it slaps you in the face and takes you in a different direction. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and part of liking a movie is how the movie ends. Some movies are great all the way through until the ending. Some end the way it should, while some end in the way it shouldn't. I thought this ending fit well and I was pleased. So my advice to you, is if you like Italian Job you will like this. It's just hard for me to understand why someone would give this movie anything less than a 4 star.
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on April 28, 2012
Pooh on all the negative reviews when this is up against Tom Cruise and his predictable Mission Implausable installment. Other than the too-stupid-to-believe incident when Kate Beckinsale meets up with some plastic, this is a good movie. Because it offers characters like Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones (who was outstanding), Ben Foster (also very good), and David O'Hara in a mix of bad guys that doesn't seem normal, it still works. There are lots of unexpected turns. Ribisi is a different bad guy. Creepier than most, but less violent than most. It's not a typical action film because the writers and director of this film are not American. I loved it.
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VINE VOICEon March 6, 2012
"Contraband" is a 2011 action film starring Mark Wahlberg as a former smuggler reluctantly drawn back into the game for one last score, this time to help his brother-in-law (Caleb Landry Jones) who got in too deep with the bad guys (Giovanni Ribisi).

For the past few years Wahlberg has been cranking out the action films at a pace that truly amazes. He's been nominated twice for an Oscar ("The Fighter" in 2010 and "The Departed" in 2006) and recognized for "Three Kings" (1999), and "Four Brothers" (2005), although my favorite Wahlberg role (and guilty pleasure) "Shooter" (2007) has been ignored on the awards circuit.

If his awards were not sufficient praise, Wahlberg has delivered at the box office. Seven of his films have neared or topped the elusive $100 Million mark, and most of his films have been among the top 10.

And if awards and box office clout aren't enough, Wahlberg has a second career as a producer, a role he served on this film and on Oscar nominated "The Fighter" (2010) as well as several TV series ("Broadwalk Empire", "Entourage").

Unfortunately, Wahlberg is about the best thing in this film, apart from some good action scenes with lots of explosions and a coy performance from J. K. Simmons who apparently got time off from his role as the Police Chief in "The Closer".

Perhaps the problem is with the writers (Aaron Guzikowski, Arnaldur Indrioason, Oskar Jonasson) and director (Baltasar Kormakur), none of whom have much experience with American style action films. But they worked on an Icelandic thriller "Reykjavik-Rotterdam" (2008) and that film was the basis of this one. Or, more likely, the problem is that the villain, Giovanni Ribisi, simply carries no menace. Ribisi is a very talented actor ("Boiler Room", "Saving Private Ryan", "The Rum Diary"), but he's out of his depth in this genre.

Reviews were unanimously poor. Roger Ebert referred to the film as "crap" and said he was getting tired of violent retreads". Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) gave it 2 stars and complained that Wahlberg sleepwalks through the film. The NY Times called the story absurd and referred to the film as "thrill free".

Despite the poor reviews, "Contraband" earned more than $20 Million in its opening weekend and is on schedule to hit the $100 Million mark.

Bottom line - if you're a Mark Wahlberg fan you'll enjoy this one, but it is clearly one of his lesser accomplishments.
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on July 9, 2012
I watched this movie over the weekend. My review would only add to those who walked away liking this flick. Even my wife who cannot stand action/suspense loved this movie. She said the suspense was killing her...LOL!

The movie had many twists and turns. Wahlbergs character (Chris Farraday) simply did not want to get pulled back into a life of crime again, but at each turn you can feel him get pulled deeper and deeper into it.

Acting may not have been the best, but this movie definitely keeps you interested until the end. Its not really a full on action movie. It is a part action part suspense movie. The combination works throughout.

Not sure how folks give this a low rating. If you do not like suspense and action...why even bother watching.

Another good movie from Wahlberg.
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on July 17, 2012
We enjoyed this movie. Mark Wahlberg is a good actor and did well in this one. There was plenty of action to keep you interested even though the storyline was a little bit lame. Overall a good movie.
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on June 15, 2014
I wanted to like this movie. I really wanted to like it. I love these two actors and they are talented. I have no idea why they signed on for this film. Even they couldn't save it.

It finally gets good in the last 40 minutes, if one can stay with it that long.

It starts with tough-guy action, right off the bat. But there is no character development, so we don't care about these people until close to the end.

The dialogue tries to be macho and tough, but it just comes out silly.

Who can take criminals seriously when their disguise is to duct tape their faces? I mean, really? And it wasn't meant as a joke, either. It was serious in the plot.

Now, this next part probably won't interest anyone who is not from Panama, unless you are interested in things being more accurate. I am from Panama and this embarrasses me. It was distracting in the biggest way.

They got city names wrong in Panama, in pronunciation. Does everyone not know that double ll's in Spanish is usually pronounced as a "y?" All they had to do was google the names and viola, there is the proper pronunciation.

Mark is wearing a leather jacket outside in Panama the whole time. Really?

Accents were screwed up. Mexican accents are not anywhere near Panamanian accents. They are two different countries very far apart in geography. It would be like casting someone with a heavy French accent who says they are from Kansas.

Pilots do not take ships through the canal. Only canal pilots do that. They board the ship and take it through. If they hit the side, like in this movie, the ship would be there for a very long time.

I could have overlooked how bad this movie is, if they had gotten the rest right.... maybe.

It's just so bad.
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on July 11, 2012
It does seem that everything Mark Wahlburg touches turns to gold. The only movie in which he appeared that I didn't thoroughly enjoy was the Planet of the Apes redux. The man is always a sure thing in an action/adventure role and I wish there were some way that I could thank him for supplying me with hours of entertainment.
The strangest thing is that his brother is probably the better actor and I enjoy just about everything he appears in as well. The two of them have come a LONG way since they first came to public attention.
I highly recommend this movie as a pure action and adventure vehicle. Screw the awards and just enjoy the movie!!
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on August 16, 2012
Contraband wasn't a great movie ,yet you'll find it enjoyable. When they made this movie they did it without a lot of sex and using the F word to get a point across throughout the movie. It had a plot and to the point which is refreshing in this day and age. I'm glad I watched it,even after seeing it only had a 3 star rating.
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on September 6, 2012
I like anything with one of the Wahlbergs in it. I never miss a movie with Mark. He is always good and his movies always keep me interested and entertained. This was no different. Fast paced with lots of twists and turns, this movie held my attention from start to finish.
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on May 9, 2012
it has been stated that wahlberg sleep walked his way through this farm report of a movie...i skipped the walking and just slept through it...for those determined to endure to the ending, don't bother...that also is absolutely predictable...ciao.
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