Hoo boy. If they could cut 2/3 of this movie it would be pretty damn good. There are three main storylines going on and one sideplot, by my reckoning, and only a few standout actors and very solid direction save it from being a total wash. And an excellent soundtrack. (What is it about excellent soundtracks and bad/mediocre films this year? Traffic, Reqium for a Dream for starters.)

The worst part of this movie is the after-school special qualities of Michael Douglas and his crack-addicted daughter. We're supposed to be shocked that a rich Drug Czar's daughter would put out her pussy for some smack. Didn't Scott Baio already cover this ground in some TV special?

The next part of this movie featured Carmen Zeta-Jones-Smith-Inglasious as the unknowing wife of a drug trafficer. Not that she doesn't know that she's married, it's that she doesn't know the guy she married traffics drugs. Watch Out, Carmen! Next thing we know, he's in prison and her character has done a complete, unbelievable 350 and is ruthlessly making drug deals herself. I'm pretty sure there's a made-for-lifetime Movie Event featuring Helen Hunt on this subject. I think it's called "A Made-for-Lifetime Movie Event featuring Helen Hunt on this Subject."

Finally, the third storyline is where Benicio Del Toro shines. He's a cop in mexico who is hired by one of the Mexican drug cartels to help eliminate the competition. There are so many unknowns in this part of the story that I can't explain how well it works without giving away major spoilers.

The sideplot is also well done, featuring solid acting by Don Cheadle and Luis Guzmán as police officers guarding squeeler (I can't remember who the actor is, but he's solid as well) as the trial he is a witness to is underway.

There's very little in the storyline that you haven't seen before (aside from the Mexican Cops story), but Steven Soderbergh does a great job of directing (per usual) and the soundtrack had Herbie Hancock and Flea working on it. I wish that the story featuring del Toro was made into its own movie. Everytime I had to watch Michael Douglas worry about his daughter or Zeta-Jones worrying about her future, I wished the movie would head back into that ground. Or another shot of that kid from the seventies show freebasing that sweet crack-a-moo.