Contraband is a paint by numbers action/thriller. It would be easy to pick on everything that this movie wasn't, but can you blame chicken nuggets for being chicken nuggets? With a rookie screenwriter at the helm, the script suffers from a mash-up of cliché's. They start with "One last heist" and end with "If you want to save your family you'll do as you're told". There were many déjà-vu moments of been there and done that.
The star power was strong, but given so very little to work with in the way of character back story. All the characters were two dimensional representations of stereotypes. The locations (New Orleans & Panama) were interesting choices but never really quite fit. While the movie wasn't action packed, it moved at a good pace and kept my interest the whole time. The film work was solid as a whole. There was one particular action sequence that takes place around the halfway mark that was done very well.
If you have a craving that only chicken nuggets will satisfy, then I think you will come away fairly happy. Not a necessity to see on the big screen, but that helps it a little. Leave your thinking cap outside, that's the contraband that will keep you from enjoying this as it was intended.