Best Films of the 2000s: No. 8.

No. 8


Traffic was the first "grown-up" movie I remember seeing in a theater. You know...one of those serious and dramatic Oscar-nominated films that teenagers never see. Well, I saw it because it had a good cast and an interesting trailer that promised multiple intertwined storylines.

I walked out wowed by the way that a film could balance three different storylines in a manner effective enough to produce gripping drama without much action. Doing that with one story is difficult, but each of Traffic's layers could easily have been its own movie. With their powers combined, they make ensuing films like Crash or Babel seem like mere wannabes.

Director/cinematographer Steven Soderburgh executed a clinic on how color palettes can play a supporting role, as each arc was imbued with a unique look that enhanced the narrative and functioned as a scene-setter. In telling these three frighteningly realistic stories, Soderburgh also expressed the multi-faceted bleakness that the illegal drug industry spawns at so many levels. Most impressively he did so without preaching or resorting to melodrama. Instead he simply told good, complex stories and told them exceptionally well.

Best Films of the 2000s
10. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
9. Memento (2000)
8. Traffic (2000)
7. Coming soon...

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