Starring: Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Luis Guzman, Dennis Quaid, Miguel Ferrer, Salma Hayek, Topher Grace, Albert Finney, James Brolin, Benjamin Bratt
Written By:Stephen Gaghan
Directed By:Stephen Soderbergh
A sweeping saga about the rising problem of drug trafficking from the US to Mexico and vice-versa. Several different stories are winding and weaving throughout, and Soderbergh does a beautiful job at blending them together.
Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez(Del Toro in an Oscar winning performance) is a conflicted Mexican cop caught between his morals and his orders from a Mexican general. He and his partner begin working the army in Tijuana to take down one of the nearby Drug Cartels. Only later to be found that they are now working for one. Del Toro does something different with this role, he has a sense of caring to his perona not seen in The Usual Suspects or Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Deservedly so, he will win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Douglas plays a government official who has been newly appointed as the United States drug czar. Caught up in his work he does not realize that his own daughter has become an addict to that in which he has sworn to destroy. Conflict arizes everywhere involving his family and a young drug hustler(That 70's Show's Topher Grace). Soon all comes crashing down and he must decide whether he focuses on his job or his daughter.
Cheadle and Guzman are cops in San Diego attempting an undercover drug sting, but it all goes awry. Eventually they catch the man they're after(Ferrer) and get him to testify against a well known wealthy man who is suspected as a big time drug trafficker. His wife(Zeta-Jones) questions their relationship and how this incident will influence their young child, however she eventually attempts to free him.
The colors are very interesting. When in Mexico, there is a yellowish tint on everyone and everything. In the US, a blueish tint is used. This and among original camera angles makes for some of the greatest cinematography ever to be produced on film.
Traffic is nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Editing. In this critic's opinion, all should be won...but they won't be. Acting is flawless and overall is a very enjoyale work of art. My rating: 9.5/10