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About the Movie
When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn. Two days later, shes dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why. Soon more cases are reported as the virus begins to spread. Researchers mobilize to break the code of this unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate. Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harms way. As the death toll escalates and people struggle to protect themselves and their loved ones in a society breaking down, one activist blogger (Jude Law) claims the public isnt getting the truth about whats really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 246
- Fresh: 207
- Rotten: 39
- Average Rating: 7.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The presence of movie stars helps: their authority is part of what keeps us fascinated by the gruesome fable, juicing it a bit, so that we can actually enjoy it.
Fresh: A surprisingly clinical work.... it asks each of us: what would I do, and would I be proud of it?
Fresh: A concise and complex screenplay that is circular in structure and rarely lags as it canvasses the natural unravelling of society and the glue that bonds humanity together
Rotten: Think of Wolfgang Petersen's magnificently entertaining 1995 virus-on-the-rampage adventure Outbreak, take out the drama, excitement and involving characters, and that's Contagion in a nutshell.
Nothing spreads faster than fear
Contagion is a well executed disaster movie without zombies. It features many great a-list actors/actresses and none of them are safe! Also there's no scenes with the president telling the people to panic and to hide. It's a realistic thriller that will scare you because an outbreak like this is very possible. It also freaks you out when there's one guy in the theatre coughing relentlessly
A SUSPENSE-FILLED THRILL RIDE!
"Contagion" is one of those movies you wish would come around more often. It's a dramatic, tense, thought-provoking film with a gripping premise and a talented all-star cast to back it up. Sure, some of you may argue that it's nothing more than a glossed-up version of the 1995 thriller "Outbreak", and I would agree that (in a lot of ways) it is, but there's much more to it than meets the eye. The story revolves around a strange new virus that seemingly emerges out of thin air and begins to spread rapidly amongst countless civilians all around the world. Soon, the contagious and deadly disease becomes nothing short of an international crisis, resulting in millions of worldwide deaths and a pressure-mounting race to find a cure. Does the movie itself end up being as fascinating and suspenseful as its plot? Well, yes and no. While I was most impressed with the majority of the performances of the main cast (including Matt Damon as a grieving husband and protective father, and Kate Winslet as a doctor determined to find a cure for the virus), there were a few actors who I wish I could've seen more of. Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, is barely in the film at all, although she does end up playing a somewhat significant role overall. However, I was perhaps most disappointed with Marion Cotillard's character, whose storyline abruptly finishes before we can even discover what happens to her. As for the pacing of the movie, it could've been a tad speedier at times, especially near the middle. But in the end, I was absolutely pleased with "Contagion". Its dark theme, eerie score, and convincing performances completely captivated and entertained me the whole way through. I'd even go as far as saying it's better than "Outbreak". Now, I understand that this film isn't for everybody (judging from the many negative reviews I read from other moviegoers online). So let me say this: If you easily get bored watching movies that require a slightly substantial amount of thinking and contain more atmosphere and character development than you can handle, then this flick obviously isn't for you. Now that that's out of the way, I'd highly suggest renting "Contagion" if you wanna watch an intelligent, unsettling drama that'll leave your heart pounding out of your chest well after it's over. Also, only buy the film if you've already seen it and you like it.
A masterful, fear-inducing thriller!
If you walk into "Contagion" expecting a jump-out-of-your-seat horror movie, then you'll probably be dissapointed. This film is, in my honest opinion, an accurate depiction of what the world would be like after it was hit by a killer virus.
It would take up nearly my entire review to give a synopsis of this movie, given that the movie has multiple plotlines; much like Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic". A simple way to put it is that when Gwyneth Paltrow returns to her home from a buisness trip to Hong Kong, she dies of an unknown virus. What happens next is a worldwide epidemic where millions of people die just by touching something or someone, and you see through the eyes of multiple unique people how the world changes as a result.
The techincal aspects of this film are just marvelous. The cinematography itself manages to create incredible dramitic tension, and is very smooth; a huge relief from all the action movies with very fast, super shaky camera work where you can't really see whats going on. In here, you see everything, and it's fantastic. Cliff Martinez gives us a very creepy, atmospheric score that blends in seamlessly with the drama.
I can understand why a lot of people wouldn't enjoy this, given that the trailer itself made this out to be an edge of your seat, scary thriller; because let's face it, people just want to see, action pakced, illogical movies (and rapping penguins). Now believe me, I love action movies as much as the next guy, but I honestly wish that we had more films like this; films that you have to think about in order to enjoy, instead of just going "WOW" after a huge explosion.
Overall, I can see why people would prefer something like "Transformers" or "Twilight" over "Contagion". This movie is a love letter to guys like me, who are not looking for JUST cool explosions or car chases, but TRUE, honest to God filmaking. I just loved this movie to death. (Pun not intended) Two "Contagious" Thumbs Up!