Contraband | Chicago Reader


This no-frills heist thriller (2012) isn't completely devoid of merit: director Baltasar Kormákur (best known for the Icelandic comedy 101 Reykjavik) brings a keen eye to the New Orleans and Panama locations, and the cast (which includes J.K. Simmons, Diego Luna, and the typically solid Mark Wahlberg) is similarly inventive in fleshing out the familiar characters. But several graphically violent scenes of women and children in jeopardy make this, ultimately, beneath contempt. There's no sense of consequence to the film's images of torture—unless you count an absurd happy ending that has the victims' family members making out with millions in stolen loot. This is the most appalling kind of Hollywood fantasy, suggesting that even psychological trauma can be exchanged for cash value.



  • Baltasar Kormákur


  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Kate Beckinsale
  • Ben Foster
  • Giovanni Ribisi
  • Caleb Jones
  • Lukas Haas
  • Diego Luna
  • J.K. Simmons
  • David O'Hara
  • William Lucking
  • Anthony Coleman
  • Jackson Beals
  • Jaqueline Fleming
  • Connor Hill
  • Bryce McDaniel


  • Tim Bevan
  • Eric Fellner
  • Baltasar Kormákur
  • Stephen Levinson
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Liza Chasin
  • Evan Hayes
  • Bill Johnson

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