MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

This critically acclaimed film deals with intersecting stories wrapped around the transport and distribution of illegal drugs. Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro), a Mexican policeman, works under General Salazar (Tomas Milian) to stop the import and export of drugs across the U.S. border. But finds himself working against his own partner. Meanwhile, Ohio Justice Bob Wakefield (Michael Douglas) is appointed as the new U.S. anti-drug czar, but discovers his 16-year-old daughter, Caroline (Erika Christensen), is an addict. And pregnant Helena Ayala (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is shocked when DEA agents arrest her husband. But to ensure her sons safety and their lifestyle, shes willing to take over the business. As the stories overlap, the film explores the gritty reality, and difficulty, of waging a war on drugs when your family and friends are helping the enemy. Although the personal lives of some actors may attract curious viewers and fans, the depressing feel and excessive images of drug use will keep much traffic from the theaters.

A recent news article said on-screen drug use was one reason for patrons walking out on films. If thats true, theres plenty to walk out on in this one. Characters are shown smoking, snorting, inhaling, injecting and preparing illegal drugs. Sadly, the main users are upper middle class, intelligent teens. Even sadder, the 16-year-old Caroline says truthfully that its easier for teens to get drugs than buy a beer. While the films message seems anti-drug, the war on drugs is criticized as futile or, at best, misdirected. Theres also a sins of the father, touch as Carolines parents discuss their college experiments. The deadly side of drugs gets equal treatment as one teen collapses in epileptic fits from an overdose. And Caroline prostitutes her body to pay for drugs. Shootings, explosions and poison also weed out warriors and spies on both sides. Over a hundred obscene and crude terms spill across the bi-lingual dialogue. Despite the realistic presentation of a real problem, TRAFFIC walks too much on the dark side.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
USA Films, 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (16) times Mild 6, moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (89) times F-word 64, s-word 22, other 3

Profanity: Many (11) times Regular 7 (GD 2, J 2, JC, G, Csake), exclamatory 4

Violence: Many times Moderate and severe (shootings including execution head shot, injections, epileptic fit, torture screams, threats to child, poisoning, explosion, pushing/shoving)

Sex: Implied few times, graphic once (motions with male rear nudity)

Nudity: Few times (male rear); Near nudity Few times (nude man tied in chair genitals obscured, skimpy bikinis, woman in nightgown, woman covered by sheet)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (sensual kissing, teens talk about sex, kissing on bed, teen prostitutes for drugs)

Drugs: Many times graphic drug use (injections, freebasing, marijuana smoking, snorting, drug paraphernalia and preparation, parents talk about past use), teen overdoses, cigarette smoking, alcoholic drinks (wine, beer, liquor)

Other: Corrupt foreign military/police leaders involved with trade, parents show concern for daughter, father and mother differ on drug views, woman takes over husbands trade, girl says easy for teens to get drugs

Running Time: 147 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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