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Contagion (2011)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 153,364 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 393 user | 420 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

The CDC races against time to develop a vaccine against an extremely lethal virus.

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Cast

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RADM Lyle Haggerty
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Storyline

Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing spreads like fear See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing content and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

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Release Date:

9 September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contagion: The IMAX Experience  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,403,596 (USA) (9 September 2011)

Gross:

$75,638,743 (USA) (9 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actual desk of Benny Evangelista, reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, appears in the film as Lorraine Vasquez's desk. Evangelista's desk is notoriously messy, and was left as it was by the crew. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Erin Mears is in Minneapolis racing to isolate the infected IMM executive from the bus, she can be seen wearing an N95 mask with an exhaust vent, about to put a similar one on the victim to limit his infectiousness to others. Vented N95 masks have a one-way valve that lets exhaled breath bypass the filtering for easier exhalation. She should be using a non-vented N95 mask on the infected patient. See more »

Quotes

Jory Emhoff: [Rhetorically] Why can't they invent a shot that keeps time from passing?
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.12 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

All I Want is You
Lyrics by Bono
Music by U2
Performed by U2
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very unique take on the viral outbreak subgenre
10 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One would think that the last thing we need is another outbreak movie. But that's not the case when the latest of the genre is directed by the always interesting Steven Soderbergh. Contagion wins for this years most ridiculously impressive cast lineup, as it is an ensemble picture about a deadly viral outbreak that affects the entire world. We follow various characters like a man who loses his wife and step son to the disease. We follow various doctors who work to stop the virus, along with CDC officials who must control the spread and influence of the virus. The whole film is a tightly woven dramatic thriller that presents a lot of characters and a lot of ideas, but keeps them all in line and pulls its story off very well.

It's not always easy to keep an ensemble cast straight, especially when the main plot of the film is run by subplots from the various characters and their stories that continue throughout the film. The stories weave in and out of each other at times, but often they are all separate, just lead by the same main plot of a viral outbreak affecting the entire population of the world. Thankfully, Contagion interweaves its characters and story lines at just the right intervals, forming a very structured and well crafted end result. There are essentially four main stories that intertwine. There's the father character's story, the CDC, the scientists trying to stop the disease, and a blogger who claims to already have a cure for the disease. These four stories get basically equal screen time and all serve a purpose towards thickening the film's plot. The way they work together and separate is impressive and makes for a very strong overall narrative.

Soderbergh takes a very minimalist approach to Contagion, steering clear of anything flashy or exaggerated and avoiding over-dramatic relationships and big budget set pieces. This makes Contagion a very unique experience and something much different from your typical viral outbreak flick. It does lag in spots as the film attempts to stretch out certain things without doing anything flashy. The film takes a very low key and eerily monotone approach to its storytelling. It seems to choose the simplest solution to things which in turn makes it a more fascinating and much more realistic feeling than something glitzy and spastic. I certainly feel that Contagion paints the best picture of what would actually happen should a serious outbreak like this occur. This, of course, makes it all the more frightening.

Contagion is certainly a film worth seeing. It takes a much different approach to a genre we thought we were so familiar with. Soderbergh's poignant direction and Scott Z. Burns' sharp script give this film a great atmosphere, and the incredible cast lineup makes it all the better. It is undeniably slow at points, but when you put in the context of a film of this quality it doesn't matter nearly as much. This is a great way to kick off the fall season for film.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was the audience supposed to dislike Beth? la_cinematheque
The End Scene grahamchris
Surprised how much I hated this Alacrates
Unnecessary parts of film: Beth's affair, Jude Law's Aussie accent sandmets22
touch your face 2000-3000 times per day? CorncobOBranflake
despicable message, what we're supposed to understand nell-nell
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