Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. Germany/USA, 2000. Compulsion Inc., Initial Entertainment Group, Splendid Medien AG, The Bedford Falls Company, USA Films. Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, based on the miniseries Traffik by Simon Moore. Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh. Produced by Laura Bickford, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick. Music by Cliff Martinez. Production Design by Philip Messina. Costume Design by Louise Frogley. Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione. Academy Awards 2000. American Film Institute Awards 2000. Golden Globe Awards 2000. National Board of Review Awards 2000. New York Film Critics Awards 2000.
Steven Soderbergh has outdone himself with this grand epic about the multi-tiered drug industry in the United States. The script by Stephen Gaghan seamlessly ties together three stories about innocent people caught up in the criminal world of narcotic abuse: Michael Douglas has recently been appointed as drug czar of the US government, only to find out along with his wife (Amy Irving) that his daughter is an addict; Benicio Del Toro is a Mexican cop who stumbles upon an operation that threatens his and his colleagues’ safety; Catherine Zeta-Jones is a wealthy pregnant housewife who finds out her husband (Steven Bauer) is not the honest businessman she thought he was but one of the biggest drug smugglers on the continent. Uniformly impeccable performances by all from the biggest to the small, with Del Toro standing out as the most amazing of them all (for most of us the movie is all about him!).