Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Trafficked Movie Poster Image
Brutal violence against women in punishing thriller.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 104 minutes

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Provides some disturbing facts (mostly during the end credits) about the sex slave trade in efforts to raise awareness of its evils.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are mostly monsters and victims, without much in between.


Women are treated very violently throughout the movie: shoved, tackled, choked, beaten, shot, drugged with hypodermic needles. Dead, bloody corpses shown. Some bloody wounds/bruises. Repeated sexual violation. Women are also deceived and treated as objects. A man throws acid or poison on two women who turned him down. Vomiting, urinating.


The plot revolves around "sex" industry, and plenty of sex is implied/talked about. Men touch and fondle the "merchandise" while trying to choose. Naked woman shown in the shower, and another under the covers; no sensitive body parts shown.


Strong, hateful language, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "hell," "balls," "piss," "damn," "bugger," "wanker," and racial slurs like "chink," plus uses of "God" and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A girl coaxes a doctor to leave some pain pills, which she uses to knock out one of the guards.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trafficked is a drama/thriller about the evils of the sex-trafficking trade. It's meant to impart a serious message about a serious subject, but unfortunately, it's a grueling, indelicate movie that morphs into an insultingly cheap thriller. Expect brutal violence against women, including shoving, beating, choking, tackling, shooting, rape/sexual assault, and more. Bloody wounds, bruises, and dead bodies are shown. Though no nudity or sex acts are shown, sex is the subject of the movie, and women are not only continuously violated but also deceived and treated as objects. Language is also very strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and much more.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byhohoh July 15, 2020

very good

i thought this movie was really good! they did a good job depicting and getting their point across. also, the description on this website is VERY overdramatic.... Continue reading

What's the story?

In TRAFFICKED, after American teen Sara (Kelly Washington) turns 18 and ages out of foster care, a social worker (Ashley Judd) tricks her and sells her as a sex slave. In India, Amba (Alpha Banker) is preparing for college in America, but a jealous admirer throws acid on her, and she, too, is sold as a sex slave. Together they wind up in Texas and meet Mali (Jessica Obilum), a young Nigerian woman who keeps her chin up and hopes to reunite someday with her child. The brothel is run by Simon (Sean Patrick Flanery), who promises that the women are free to go once they've serviced 500 men. But when one woman gets close to that number, he kills her. So Sara and her friends come up with an escape plan, but it will be dangerous, and they might not all make it.

Is it any good?

Tackling a serious subject but looking like a bad after-school special, this drama is terribly forced and indelicate; it tries to deliver an important message but feels more like a cheap thriller. Trafficked is painfully matter-of-fact in its depiction of violence against women, but it lacks the humanity to make their suffering mean something. It all feels like part of a staged protest, and the characters are lost in the shuffle. The men come across mainly as evil, leering monsters, while the women are hysterical, one-dimensional victims.

It's a wonder that Judd signed up for this, especially in such a nasty, villainous role -- although the same could be said for any of the actors. The movie was written by Harvard Professor Siddharth Kara, author of a real-life study on sex trafficking, and while the movie probably gets its details right, it has no human angle. (Attempts at character development are laughable.) After all, this is fiction, not a documentary. An audience needs something to grab onto, rather than just a lecture about how awful all this is or cookie-cutter "thrills." In fact, it's difficult to imagine why anyone would willingly sit down and watch a punishing movie like this.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Trafficked's violence. Do the brutal scenes help get the movie's point across, or are they gratuitous? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Are there any positive portrayals of sex here? Why do you think sex and violence are often paired in movies and on TV?

  • What did you learn from this movie? What can be done about the horrors of trafficking?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama and thrills

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