Contagion

Critics Consensus

Tense, tightly plotted, and bolstered by a stellar cast, Contagion is an exceptionally smart -- and scary -- disaster movie.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 273

63%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 84,356

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Movie Info

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.

Cast & Crew

Marion Cotillard
Dr. Leonora Orantes
Matt Damon
Mitch Emhoff
Laurence Fishburne
Dr. Ellis Cheever
Jude Law
Alan Krumwiede
Kate Winslet
Dr. Erin Mears
Jennifer Ehle
Dr. Ally Hextall
Bryan Cranston
RADM Lyle Haggerty
Sanaa Lathan
Aubrey Cheever
Scott Z. Burns
Screenwriter
Jeff Skoll
Executive Producer
Michael Polaire
Executive Producer
Jonathan King
Executive Producer
Steven Soderbergh
Cinematographer
Howard Cummings
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Contagion

Critic Reviews for Contagion

All Critics (273) | Top Critics (57) | Fresh (231) | Rotten (42)

  • The all-star disaster-movie genre is taken out of the 1970s and given a stylish and largely persuasive 21st century makeover by director and cinematographer Steven Soderbergh.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The film addresses its grim subject in a cool, matter-of-fact way.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Contagion is what happens when a disaster movie gets sent to the headmaster for bad behaviour.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Ever the cerebral essayist, Soderbergh isn't in this for edge-of-your-seat thrills - his approach is more cold sweat than burning fever.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie fights for something important: the right of stars to look worse than we do.

    October 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Contagion

  • Aug 02, 2016
    Has a lot to say, but doesn't have an engaging way to say any of it. Starts off fine enough, but loses intrigue fast. I'm perplexed as to why it has done so well. I'm not sure if critics got caught up in Soderbergh and the cast, or if there's something I'm just missing, but to me Contagion felt like nothing more than all of the things I don't like about Disaster movies, but with none of the excitement they usually have to help balance the scales a little. Also what the Hell was Jude Law's accent supposed to be? That was awful.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2015
    A global outbreak of some virus scares the bejesus out of the world. A bevy of movie stars are concerned about it in one way or the other. Whether or not we care depends entirely on if we like the stars or not because we globe hop so much there's little time to develop empathy. "Waitaminnut, there's a star I like, so I'll watch this part." Given the circumstances, no one does really badly.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2014
    A deadly epidemic began to spread worldwide, which kills carriers in days. I think it's ambitious in terms of having an ensemble from all over the world. Well acted (apart from Gwyneth Paltrow who I have no idea as to why she was even in the film), it wastes no time to start killing off everyone. Contagion is refreshing for the epidemic genre.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2014
    When you take the concept of a pandemic worldwide infection, you take big risks. The repercussions are of unimaginable proportions, and affect all aspects of living, and all economic and social policies of the nations. It's something virtually impossible to put on film. Therefore, the option is to focus on only one aspect (two at the most, but with fragmented results) of the disease. You can choose the military action, the response of the scientific community, the political perspective, the mass media coverage with possible filtering of information, or from the tragic point of view, as we see people struggling against a gigantic invisible monster hard to beat, and that spreads death and mass fear in every corner, from family losses to transcultural manifestations. A pandemic infection basically turns all aspects of life upside down. Soderbergh, seemingly, never made up his mind, and took the safest route: "Let's compile all." From that moment, your feature film is condemned to mediocrity or failure with a 97.5% probability (sorry, I love math). This is not a failure, but falls short on several aspects. Making a desperate attempt to cover several points of view, we are presented glimpses of the political responses, manifestations, corruption, the scientific community, medical science, conspirations, and Matt Damon's family which suited no purpose whatsoever. It's a very, very ambitious experiment that you should undertake only if you are sure that you will be able to handle it, AND if you know well what aspect you want to emphasize. The result here was a hypothetical speculation uneven in pacing, with several points of view to be told, all of them interesting (and relevant), all of them unconcluded at various degrees. Despite this, it never runs out of fuel and guarantees at least an entertaining watch with a pleasant cast and a noticeable effort behind the screenplay. Still, I simply cannot forgive the preposterous "spoon-feeding" ending, which is authentic roll-your-eyes material. I kept thinking of the old Peter Greengrass while watching this, wondering how better the film could have been. 63/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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