Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Traffic

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Explicit sexual situations, including teen prostitution
Alcohol/Drugs:Extensive -- the theme of the movie (includes teen drug use)
Violence/Scariness:Very violent -- shoot-outs and explosions, overdose, torture, characters murdered
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: Very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Explicit sexual situations, including teen prostitution
Alcohol/Drugs: Extensive -- the theme of the movie (includes teen drug use)
Violence/Scariness: Very violent -- shoot-outs and explosions, overdose, torture, characters murdered
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date: 2000

A hard-line judge is selected as the President’s new general in the war on drugs. Front-line cops in Mexico and the US go after the small-time distributors and try to make cases against the sources of the drugs. A pampered wife, pregnant with her second child, finds out that her husband’s legitimate businesses are just a front for his real import — cocaine. The judge’s teenage daughter becomes a heroin addict.

Director Steven Soderbergh (“Erin Brockovich,” “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”) ably keeps these stories on track, cutting back and forth to let them provide context and contrast for each other, and using different color pallattes to help keep them straight. There are some good lines: a character compares efforts to cut off the drug supply to a game of “Whack-a-Mole” and when a wealthy high school kid overdoses, one of the other teenagers at the party says, “He can’t die on the f**ing floor–his parents are in Barbados!” And a cop notes that “In Mexico, law enforcement is an entrepreneurial activity.”

Despite a first-rate all-star cast, the movie feels flat and a little formulaic, almost like one of those old “Dragnet” episodes about the dangers of drugs. The script moves the characters around like chess pieces. Packing so many stories in so little time requires a lot of narrative short-cuts like coincidences and stereotypes. The Zeta Jones character switches from innocent and doe-eyed to commanding and vicious faster than you can say “Michael Corleone.” Individual scenes have some tension and some fine performances (especially by Benecio del Toro and Don Cheadle as cops), but the overall impact is muted.

Parents should know that the movie has everything that triggers an R rating: violence (including the death of major characters, murder, torture, and a teenage overdose), explicit sex (including the judge’s daughter trading sex for drugs), and strong language. Characters betray each other and there are intense family scenes. However, this is at its heart a morality tale, and all of the R-rated material is in the service of the overall anti-drug message.

Families who see this movie should use it as an opportunity to talk frankly about drugs, both their own views on individual drug use and the impact that the drug business has on the community and the country. As teenagers what they think about the way the judge and his wife responded to his daughter’s drug use, and about his decision at the end of the movie. Was it the right one? Why did the drug dealer’s wife decide to become involved in his business? Did the movie make you feel differently about the role that illegal drugs play in the lives of people around us? When the judge asks the staff for new ideas, the response is silence. What should the next person to hold the anti-drug czar job do?

Families who like this movie should see some of the other performances by its outstanding cast, including Del Toro (who won an Oscar for this role) in “Snatch” and “The Usual Suspects” (both for mature audiences) and Cheadle in “A Lesson Before Dying.” Families who enjoy this movie might like to see the English miniseries that inspired it, “Traffik.”

Previous Posts

Tonight on HBO: Martin Scorsese's "Vinyl"
When people talk about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, this is what they're talking about. Tonight on HBO, Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple, and Ray Romano star in Martin Scorsese's "Vinyl," based on the world of rock and roll in the ...

posted 11:36:39am Feb. 14, 2016 | read full post »

Celebrate Valentine's Day With Real-Life Movie Sweethearts
I love to recommend romantic movies for Valentine's Day. This year, how about some movies starring real-life movie sweethearts? Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward made several films together, including "The Long, Hot Summer" and "Rachel Rachel" ...

posted 8:00:45am Feb. 14, 2016 | read full post »

Honey Maid's Tribute to Love
Cheers to Honey Maid for paying tribute to all kinds of love and for making graham crackers, which make the best dessert crusts! [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E6WNSE0FnrQ" frameborder="0"] ...

posted 7:00:30am Feb. 14, 2016 | read full post »

Gorgeous Matte Paintings for "Star Trek"
Take a look at this gorgeous collection of matte paintings used for backgrounds on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space ...

posted 3:26:22pm Feb. 13, 2016 | read full post »

If Male Characters in Movie Scripts Were Described Like Female Characters
A producer in Hollywood has been tweeting the idiotic, objectifying, and sexist descriptions of female characters in movie scripts. He calls them all "Jane." JANE, 28, athletic but sexy. A natural beauty. Most days she wears jeans, and she ...

posted 3:23:19pm Feb. 13, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.