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Running Time:
1 hour, 46 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for disturbing content and some language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A gripping and frighteningly believable drama.

Additional Info:
Added DVD Feature: Contagion: How a virus changes the world.

Matt Damon as Mitch Emhoff
Gwyneth Paltrow as Beth Emhoff
Marion Cotillard as Dr. Orantes
Kate Winslet as Dr. Erin Mears
Jude Law as Alan Krumwiede
Bryan Cranston as Lyle Haggery
Elliott Gould as Dr. Ian Sussman
Jennifer Ehle as Dr. Ally Hextall
Laurence Fishburne
as Dr. Ellis Cheever
Sanaa Lathan
as Aubrey Cheever
Demetri Martin
as Dr. David Eisenberg

 Contagion starring Marion Cotillard: DVD Cover When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow), a Minnesota executive, gets suddenly ill during a business trip to Hong Kong, she returns home, spreading germs along the way. Soon she and her young son are dead, and her husband Mitch (Matt Damon) the boy’s stepfather, is quarantined, though he proves to be unaffected. The CDC is soon involved, with its Director Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) sending Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) to Minneapolis to take charge of the investigation.

Meanwhile a California researcher (Elliot Gould) isolates the virus, and CDC scientists Dr. Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) and her assistant (Demetri Martin) begin work to find a vaccine. Public order is also an issue, and brings military man Lyle Haggery (Bryan Cranston) into partnership with Dr. Cheever. Meanwhile, WHO’s Dr. Leonore Orantes (Marion Cotillard) goes off to China to locate the source of the outbreak. Meanwhile muckraking Internet blogger Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) peddles the notion of a conspiracy between the government and pharmaceutical companies and pushes homeopathic remedies for the disease.

Director Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic") has a small army of characters to keep straight, and that's only the beginning. There are also Mitch’s daughter and her neighborhood boyfriend, as well as a janitor (John Hawkes) at the Atlanta headquarters of the CDC, as well as Dr. Cheever’s wife (Sanaa Lathan), to whom the good doctor reveals some inside information that will come back to haunt him. 

Soderbergh’s effort to keep all of this straight—tracing the course of the epidemic’s spread, is impressive for its control and clarity. But curiously enough, although the film is about a catastrophe that involves all of mankind, he doesn’t manage to invest it with quite as much humanity as this dramatic situation warrants.

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