Soderbergh does a solid job of interweaving three storylines, much of the acting is fantastic, and the look of the film is impressive (although I do feel that the use of sepia for all the Mexican scenes was heavy-handed and even a bit racist). But the flaws in this film are gaping. For one thing, despite the intricate story, there’s no accounting of how the drug trade affects people of color in the U.S. The takeaway then becomes “we’re waging a(n unwinnable) war on drugs in order to save our (White) children.” I realize this is just one story – well three-in-one – but the impact of hard drugs in our culture hits lower-class Blacks more than the upper-middle class Whites who are the core of the film. I think this is a pretty big omission for a movie that lectures so much about the other aspects of the drug war such as law enforcement and international relations. The one moment in which the effect of drugs on the Black population is addressed, it comes from the prep school White boy who revels in educating the nation’s Drug Czar. Which is my other problem with Soderbergh’s Traffic – too often the points made are delivered so bluntly that I felt like I was watching an after-school special. Nine years ago this style of intertwined storytelling was more novel and the “War on Drugs” was a more prominent national preoccupation. Maybe last decade this was groundbreaking, but watching it in 2009, my expectations were higher.