Parents' Guide to

Trafficked: A Parent's Worst Nightmare

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

So-so tale about timely topic has violence, drugs, alcohol.

Movie NR 2021 108 minutes
Trafficked: A Parent's Worst Nightmare Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Realism over political correctness

There is nothing biased about this film. Look up the statistics on the horrific realities of human trafficking. It's overwhelmingly black pimps preying upon girls of all races. Read 'Pimp' by Iceberg Slim if you want an inside look from the pimp's perspective. He talks about how some guys got some sick pleasure out of owning a "white slave" as black men, and about how being particularly cruel was often practiced as some sort of an inter-generational ethnic vengeance for the plantation slaves of the South nearly 200 years ago. Pimps are truly the scum of earth but when you realize some of them see the profession itself as some sort of act of ethnic violence against others it adds an entirely new level of depravity. Parents would be wise to educate their children about these grim realities. Pattern recognition is NOT something to suppress, and it might just save their life!
age 15+

Great attempt but very biased

The movie seemed to have good intentions but was extremely biased. The traffickers were all black men and the storyline of course revolves around a white girl. Trafficking crosses all racial lines and affects all people! Both the victims and the perpetrators range in color in real life.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a movie about an important topic, but unfortunately it's just a mediocre film. While the statistics presented at the end of the movie are stark and horrible -- in the United States, 700,000 to 900,000 women and girls are being sex trafficked, generating $30 billion annually -- the movie is marred by corny attempts at "teen" dialogue, an overreliance on montages filled with sad singer-songwriter balladry, and the kinds of tropes seen in any Hollywood vigilante movie dating back to the 1970s, if not the 1950s. There's one very good scene in which community activists led by a minister accomplish more in one night than the $20,000-per-week ragtag group of private investigators led by Dean Cain's character accomplish in a month, but the violence and vigilantism held up in the rest of the movie turn the saying "It takes a village ... " into "It takes a village, a pricey private investigation firm led by an ex-Marine, an arsenal of assault weaponry, and a father whose masculinity is on the line."

There are some other problematic elements to this movie. The three main bad guys are Black men from the inner city, and the abducted teen is a White girl from the suburbs. While the man who lures the teen girl is White, and the men who pay to have sex with her are White, most of the screen time is centered on the Black men. While it's hopefully not intentional, this is a narrative rooted in racism dating back decades, if not centuries. There's literally one scene devoted to adding a third dimension to "Daddy," the meanest of the pimps who holds young Allison prisoner (spoiler alert: Daddy needs money to support his churchgoing grandmother), a scene that comes across as forced and in no way counterbalances all of Daddy's other disgusting actions. In spite of these problems, hopefully viewers will be moved to reflect on this crisis and think about potential solutions other than vigilante violence.

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