An engrossing multi-narrative tale on the war on drugs American-style as Washington appoints Judge Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas – Wall Street, Ant-Man) to oversee the out-of-control issue.
But preoccupied with the responsibilities, Wakefield fails to see problems at home, including his A-grade high school daughter (Erika Christensen – Flightplan, TV’s Parenthood) as a crack addict. In Mexico, Tijuanan policeman Benicio Del Toro (Sicario, Che) struggles with local, high profile corruption whilst wealthy socialite Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago, Ocean’s 12) finds herself picking up the reigns of her husband’s LA drug distribution business following his arrest.
Located predominantly in the homes of wealth and away from gang warfare and the streets, director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, The Laundromat) weaves the separate narratives into a cohesive brutality of a docufeature, a gripping uncertainty pervading the fate of the characters, whether state witness, drug mule, assassin or law enforcer.
Nominated for 5 Oscars in 2001 including best film, won 4 – best director, supporting actor (Del Toro), adapted screenplay (Stephen Gaghan – Syriana, Rules of Engagement) and editing.