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Baltasar Kormákur

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About the Movie

Mark Wahlberg stars as legendary smuggler Chris Farraday, who has left his criminal past behind to be with his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and sons. When a ruthless drug kingpin (Giovanni Ribisi) threatens his family, Farraday must summon his old skills and contacts for one last run. Contraband takes you to the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling, and on a thrilling adventure that critics are calling “dynamic, intense and gritty!” – Mark S Allen, CBS/CW-TV (Sacramento)

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 157
  • Fresh: 80
  • Rotten: 77
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Wahlberg could sleepwalk through this role, and does. See this movie and you'll surely follow his lead. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Jan 13, 2012

Fresh: This very gritty bit of greased action does a decent job of shaking the sluggish out of January. – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Jan 13, 2012

Fresh: A winter-season product, but perfectly absorbing once it gets going. – David Denby, New Yorker, Jan 30, 2012

Rotten: Everyone needs a little action now and then, right? Unfortunately, a little action is all you'll get. – Rafer Guzman, Newsday, Jan 13, 2012

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I love Mark Wahlberg's movies especially The Other Guys that being his best movie. Mark Wahlberg is the right role for Chris. The movie has a great story that makes sense. It also has a great plot and visual effects. I highly recommend this movie to everyone who likes Mark Wahlberg you won't be dissapointed.


I've gotta disagree with most of the top critics' reviews on Rotten Tomatoes this time. "Contraband" is, at least in my opinion, one of the most enjoyable action-thrillers I've seen in quite a while. Although I initially had moderately low expectations when I walked into the theatre, it ended up being an exciting, adrenaline-fueled roller coaster ride of a film. Needless to say, I was far from disappointed.

The story follows Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg), a legendary smuggler who has abandoned his life of crime to be with his wife (Kate Beckinsale) and two sons. But after his brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced to settle Andy's debt by running contraband. Pretty soon, plans quickly fall apart, and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must successfully navigate a brutal criminal network of drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife and kids become their target.

While the story isn't exactly original, it moves along at a fast pace and isn't too difficult to get lost in. What really works, though, is Wahlberg's convincing and energetic lead performance, which is almost enough to carry the film on its own. Beckinsale and Ribisi also give commendable realism to their respective roles. As for the action scenes, they're brilliantly choreographed and highly intense, but not so much so that they distract from the movie itself. Along with gritty visuals, intelligent plot twists and a well-rounded cast, "Contraband" makes for a hard-hitting action-adventure.

While the premise was slightly uninspired and convoluted, I still had an awesome time watching this film. I can sorta see why a majority of critics didn't like it, though. Wahlberg has been known to star in these sort of predictable thrillers for years now, and I guess they're just tired of seeing him in those sort of flicks. But who cares what they think? I enjoyed "Contraband", and that's all that matters. And if you love watching action-packed, edge-of-your-seat entertainment that delivers from start to finish, I have a feeling you'll enjoy it just as well.

What were the critics watching?

This movie is amazing. The critics who said it was bad are wrong.

View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Released: 2012

Customer Ratings