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HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning AD

Steven Soderbergh

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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, she’s 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 harm’s 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 isn’t getting the truth about what’s really going on, and sets off an epidemic of paranoia and fear as infectious as the virus itself.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 244
  • Fresh: 205
  • 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. – David Denby, New Yorker, Sep 16, 2011

Fresh: A surprisingly clinical work.... it asks each of us: what would I do, and would I be proud of it? – Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile, Oct 22, 2011

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 – Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile, Oct 22, 2011

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. – Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia), Oct 20, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


"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.

It seemed to have so much to offer.

I walked into the theater expecting a unique, smart, creepy movie. Although the entire idea is really cool, It was just SO VERY lacking. The acting was so awful. There was no climax. The product placement took so much away from it. The realization at the end wasn't intense at all. The characters seemed to be 100% emotionless, as if they were reading off a script. Many scenes that were supposed to be serious were laughable. For instance, the scene where Jude Law's character is tricked in the park, and eavesdroppers chase him. It was pathetic how the scene was built, and that is how i felt about many others. I found myself hoping certain characters would die because of the horrendous acting they had. And when the film ended, it felt simply cut off, with no real resolution.

If you was wondering if you should buy this movie...I would say rent it first. It was an extremely dull movie in my eyes, and I would not watch it again.


When I went to watch this at the cinema I expected to see "Outbreak 2.0". What I saw was something better. A tight plot, a great story, and the fear factor that can exist in the real world. Not only is it a "What If?" film, it's a "Has Happened And Could Happen Again" film. Kept me on the edge of my seat...and that doesn't happen often. Not a great movie, but definately worth the money I spent.

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  • $17.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings

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