A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Alerts viewers to the very real, horrifying world of human trafficking, albeit in a way that's perhaps more exploitative than responsible. It reports that there are 21 million victims of trafficking around the world, and that it's an estimated $150 billion industry.
Positive Role Models
For a time, Brea is something of a role model, a diverse, intrepid female journalist who's forever seeking the truth and unwilling to compromise. But she also becomes a victim and, during the course of the story, behaves in ways that can't exactly be considered smart.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely violent. Women are kidnapped, chained, injected with drugs, covered with blood, bruises, and grime. Characters shot and killed. Bullying. Punching. Knives pulled, characters stabbed and bleeding. A woman beats a bad guy, stabbing him with a discarded nail. Car/motorcycle chase, with crash. Disturbing photos of kidnapped/abused women.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple kisses and caresses each other; sex is implied. Revealing underwear/bathing suit. Nipples visible through fabric. Cleavage. Naked woman covered by a towel. Woman's partially naked bottom seen. Sexy dancing in nightclub. Man objectifies a female server in a restaurant. Innuendo.
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Strong language throughout, including "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "d--k," "whore."
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Products & Purchases
Discussion of Slurpee drinks.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A man snorts cocaine and guzzles bottles of alcohol. Social drinking: shots at dinner, wine at home. Talk of taking drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Traffik is a thriller about a couple (Paula Patton, Omar Epps) that stumbles across a human trafficking ring during a romantic weekend getaway. It's extremely violent, with much of that violence directed against women. Expect to see disturbing images of abuse victims covered in grime, bruises, and blood; characters are also shot and killed, beaten, and stabbed. The central couple kisses and touches each other; sex is certainly suggested, but there's no outright nudity other than a partial glimpse of a naked backside. A supporting character objectifies women, and there's innuendo and some revealing clothing (or lack thereof). Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more. A supporting character snorts cocaine and chugs from bottles of alcohol; social drinking is shown. The film is clearly trying to champion a strong female character and a message about the evils of human trafficking, but it's poorly made, and its motives feel questionable. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though it may have had good intentions, this movie is ultimately ineffectual, unpleasant, and borderline offensive; it's a vicious thriller that fails in its attempts to convey serious messages. First, Deon Taylor's Traffik involves characters and situations that don't resemble life; people behave in ways that are puzzling, apparently only to further the plot. (Brea's newspaper reporter job seems especially out of touch.) And when the tension starts, characters start making all of the usual horror/thriller mistakes that are always so frustrating. In the end, the movie doesn't seem to care about any of them, at all, one way or the other.
The movie's villains are as generic as they come, with a sneering bald guy as the leader and several bearded biker thugs who are indistinguishable from one another; if a good guy dispatches one of them, it means nothing. There's a "twist" that's as unsurprising as it is dumb, and, finally, like one of the so-called movies in the "torture porn" subgenre, it comes close to reveling in the brutal treatment of women -- its images of women in skimpy clothing covered in grime and blood toe a very fine line between alluring and repulsive. Finally, Traffik closes with a handful of titles with factoids about human trafficking, as if to distance itself from, and rise above, the vile stuff it has just shown for "entertainment" purposes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.