Contraband

Contraband

A fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling—full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs—where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away. 2.4 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
Contraband

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Thriller
Director Baltasar Kormákur
Cast Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas, Caleb Landry Jones Mark Wahlberg
Studio Universal Pictures UK
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 109 mins
 

A fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling—full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs—where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

David Hughes

Loses points early on for its unapologetic reliance on the ‘ex-criminal-dragged-out-of-retirement-to-pull-one-last-job’ plot catalyst, a crime genre trope so ancient it should be claiming a pension of its own. Adding to this sense of familiarity are clichéd characters ... Such familiar elements aside, Contraband has much to offer audiences who prefer their armed robbery movies infused with the kind of gritty realism rarely found in recent genre entries such as Fast & Furious Five.

12/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Highlights include a neat final-act comeuppance for the powers that be and a decent running gag about a stolen Jackson Pollock.

15/03/2012

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Time Magazine

Mary Pols

An easy pleasure, every domino falls into place. Chris and gang aren’t the A-Team, but they get more than a passing grade.

12/01/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Though admittedly drowning in Pabst-swilling Springsteen chic and weary one-last-job cliches, ‘Contraband’ is a stylishly directed thriller that benefits from a knotty, unpredictable script and an indisputably great cast.

13/03/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Betsy Sharkey

It's all the loose ends in the plot that tangle things up, landing "Contraband" just shy of smart enough.

13/03/2012

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Total Film

Jamie Graham

The sweatiest suspense oozes from a scene involving a panel being screwed back into place before J.K. Simmons’ hardass gets wind of the storage space behind. Wahlberg, as ever in this kind of role, acts as the anchor, his pecs ’n’ propriety routine allowing Foster to flex and Ribisi to roar.

05/03/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Conventional, fairly exciting stuff, its most distinctive feature perhaps is the realistic, atmospheric photography by Ken Loach's regular collaborator, Barry Ackroyd.

18/03/2012

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The New York Times

Manohla Dargis

Its hairpin twists and outrageous coincidences, may keep even hungry action fans away. That’s too bad because the story doesn’t matter. If anything, the film’s adherence to implausibility as a defining narrative principle ... is part of its low-key kick, as is the director Baltasar Kormakur’s fondness for industrial landscapes.

12/01/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Just because something is pitched squarely as a meat-and-potatoes genre thriller doesn’t mean it has to be wilfully stupid.

15/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Wahlberg, the best thing here, is convincing as a crook turned straight family man. Sadly, the plotting by the screenwriter, Aaron Guzikowski, is not.

18/03/2012

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The Times

Wendy Ide

Perhaps aware of the cliché at the heart of the narrative, Kormakur chucks the camera around to generate a nervy, paranoid energy.

16/03/2012

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The Evening Standard

The Evening Standard

There’s Kate Beckinsale, wasted as a wife in peril, Diego Luna as a psychotic Panamanian crook and J K Simmons as the captain of the ship used to transport the swag — but none of them are more than clichés and the film relies on its action scenes.

16/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Mark Wahlberg can do this kind of material in his sleep and does.

15/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Becomes a kind of caper, but without the humour.

15/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

You keep going in the hope of one good scene, or one quirky character, that will temporarily lift it from formulaic trash. Unfortunately there are no surprises...

16/03/2012

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