Steven Soderbergh (sex, lies & videotape, The Limey, Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich) directs an astounding multi-faceted study of the U.S. war on drugs. Douglas plays a conservative Cincinnati judge summoned to Washington to be the new national drug czar. His teenage daughter, however, is becoming hooked on heroin. Del Toro is a Mexican federal cop trying to fight drug traffic south of the border, Cheadle a DEA agent on the American side, and Zeta-Jones the wife of a prominent California drug dealer who has just been nabbed. Their stories interconnect, if indirectly (though Soderbergh takes many opportunities to show characters sharing the same frame unknowingly). The film is beautifully made: note the washed-out beige palette of the Mexican scenes versus the cool blues of Washington and Cincinnati. If not quite an all-star cast, the film boasts many familiar faces: besides Quaid as a slick lawyer, there's Amy Irving as Douglas's wife, Benjamin Bratt as a Mexican drug kingpin, Albert Finney as the President's chief of staff, James Brolin as the outgoing drug czar, Topher Grace from "That '70s Show" as the daughter's drug-supplying boyfriend, and cameos by Senators Barbara Boxer, Orrin Hatch, Don Nickles and Charles Grassley. At 147 minutes, the film is long but rarely drags. The script is a little weak and cliched at times, but the acting and direction more than make up for that.
This report prepared by David Loftus
The film deals with sveral different aspects of drug trafficing. It involves the family of Robert Wakefield (Douglas), the new appointee to unleash the war on drugs, and his daughter who is abusing drugs. It also looks into the world of police corruption in Mexico and the dictators use of it. Overall a tremendous film that goes above and beyond any other films about drug abuse.
This report prepared by Brian Oliver