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Criterion Release: Traffic

January 17, 2012

Today, Steven Soderbergh’s contemporary classic Traffic is being released on Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection.  Originally released in 2000, the all-star film shows us several interwoven stories that all examine the drug culture on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  This is a complex look at drug trafficking from all angles, that never offers easy answers for the fully realized characters and falls strictly into a grey zone.

Director Steven Soderbergh has given us numerous different films throughout his endlessly impressive career, and Traffic is one of his most critically acclaimed.  Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the film picked up Oscars for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and a Best Supporting Actor trophy for Benicio del Toro.  Using a unique and cinematic use of colour to visually show the difference between stories, Traffic is a tense and multilayered film that provokes thought as well as suspense.

The Blu-ray includes three different commentary tracks, over two dozen deleted scenes, unused footage of various scenes from different camera angles, three sets of demonstrations on different aspects of the filmmaking as well as a gallery of trading cards.  Also included is an essay by film critic Manohla Dargis.

Traffic is 147 minutes and rated 18A.

-John C.

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