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Generally favorable reviews- based on 355 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 355

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  1. Sep 9, 2011
    This is a sorry excuse for a movie. There is no character development whatsoever and other than people dying from an unexplained virus there is nothing much going on. There are more plot holes that Carter has little liver pills. There isn't one character in this movie that you even remotely care about it. The Government is always the bad guy no matter what. Matt Damon the star picked up a nice check but exactly for what I have no idea. If anyone can tell my his job occupation I sure would like to know. Expand
  2. Sep 15, 2011
    An hour and 45 minutes of your life you will never get back. This movie was a miserable experience. Not in the least compelling, lacking any and all suspense, leaving you with nothing but discomfort. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    The actors and music were great! The movie started off good but slowly fell apart. The story was not consistent. Gaping holes in the story and the ending kind of sucked. The science was good but i left feeling disappointed. OK for renting but doesn't belong in the big house!
  4. Sep 12, 2011
    An almost 2 hour film with an ensemble cast trying to look concerned about a virus. There is no horror, action or shock factor in this movie at all. I was expecting at least something exciting to happen in the movie but I guess Warner Bros. spent all the money on the cast and filming locations. It has gotten so many positive reviews because it could possibly be the first chick flick to feature a super virus and Laurence Fishburne. Expand
  5. Sep 19, 2011
    My son asked me if this was a good movie and I had a hard time saying "yes". It wasn't a bad flick, but nothing really happens in it from a film-making point of view to qualify as a "good" movie. It wasn't a documentary, but it felt like it several times. It wasn't a thriller, but it felt like it several times. The main problem for me was that there wasn't a central character to focus on. There were too many storylines. Some of them were interesting, but not so much as too garner all the attention. It just kind of meandered all over the place. Some stories play out, but others are left dangling in the wind. The audience is supposed to surmise the character's fate. The acting is top notch, but a similar (and better) movie is 1995's Outbreak, with Hoffman, Russo, and Freeman. Neither is very strong, but at least with Outbreak there is a plot and central characters to follow. Expand
  6. Oct 1, 2011
    This is somehow rated high and given lots of attention, but for what? ... I give it a zero - it states the obvious possibility of a disease that can go viral. Whats new about that? ... The thrill was there at the beginning after the first 30minutes it was lag to sit through.
  7. Sep 17, 2011
    Well I have to admit I now feel foolish for looking forward to this movie. It was horrid. There was only one character that was developed enough for me to even care what happened to him, and that was that I wouldn't have minded if he got the virus. The movie was so massively boring that the best part was the close up shots of door knobs and drink glasses. This is a movie to walk out of and save your precious time. Expand
  8. Sep 18, 2011
    I really don't understand why Contagion is getitng all these high scores. I'm sorry to say it but this is one of the worst movies I've seen in a long time. It starts out with Gwyenth Paltrow dying in the first 10 minutes of the movie, and people around her also mysteriously dying. After the beginning, the movie just turns crap, there are like 5 stories happening at once which have no connection to each other, one of them including Kate Winslet dying of the virus which made no sense because Kate Winslet had no role in the movie except being shown in an abundance of abnoxious video montages filled with horrible music. By the end of the movie, you feel like you want your money back because nothing ever happened. So, unless you want to see a movie as straight forward and boring as a Swine Flu movie, you should just stay at home or go watch Bucky Larson or something. Trust me, you will hate this movie. Expand
  9. Sep 18, 2011
    The trailer is fantastic, there is nothing else to the movie. It just plods along, not feels urgent. Yes, people are dying but it is in the abstract. The movie is really about the virus and CDC's reaction; the characters are all wooden. Save your money; if you feel you need to see it wait until it shows up on cable.
  10. Sep 14, 2011
    For all its stars, Contagion has no characters. The plot never grows, and the movie's best scenes appear off-screen. Some of the characters merit annoyance instead of pity and the themes are utterly irrelevant. Can "wash your hands" be a theme? Contagion could have made analogies to the spread of information, but instead chooses to scare its viewers into carrying hand sanitizer.
  11. Sep 22, 2011
    The cast and acting were extremely seductive but the plot didn't live up to the expectations. This is another thriller with foaming mouth people from all over the world. Everything was flat and predictable.
  12. Oct 7, 2011
    This movie is very boring the only good parts very the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes everything in between it is just filler. Its mostly just people talking I thought I was going to fall asleep in the theather, I was so bored. One positive thing about this movie was the soundtrack it sounds like nine inch nails which is one of my favorite bands. the good: cool soundtrack
    bad: its boring its mostly just talking, the movie drags out to long it could've suprisingly been 30 minutes and said all it had to. Expand
  13. Sep 11, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. At the opening credits the lightblulb goes on produced by an Arab company - Imagenation Abu Dhabi - releasing a movie about a worldwide epidemic killing 8 million people opening intnetionally the Friday before the 9/11 anniversary. When I... looked it up I noticed it was supposed to release 10/21. And not one Arab country gets the disease in the film storyline. The biggest surprise is how boring it is. What moron takes two of todays best actresses (Gwyenth and Kate) and kills them off in the first 40 minutes of the film and gives them nothing to do when they're alive. Then glues a fake crooked tooth on the front of Jude Law's mouth. The Arabs finally found a legal way to fund Al-Qaeda. Steven Soderbergh should be ashamed of this piece of crap film. Expand
  14. Sep 12, 2011
    Unless you are a hypochondriac with a wild imagination of your own, this movie was a disaster. The acting was fine, but the movie was slow moving and barely kept my attention. It was Steven Soderbergh's sloppiest work to date. I couldn't see any good reason to pay the extra money to see this in IMAX. I thought there might be some amazing cell imagery or something to capture the attention and fascinate, but this was pathetic. I go to the movies every week and this is the first time in my five years of consistent movie-going, that I was prompted to create one of these accounts and say something. Expand
  15. Sep 16, 2011
    This movie is truly a boring dog without any unexpected developments. A waste of time and money. Why were Matt Damon , Gwyneth Pattrow, Kate Winslet in the movie if they had no real part to play? A virus gets out and is spread around the world by traveling people. There has to be more to a story to make a movie than that. I suspect the writer quit early on and the camara people and actors just sort of winged it from there. For a moment we had hope that something would happen when the antibiotic was injected in people world wide --but alas--no werewolves developed-- no nothing. People in the theatre could be heard softly muttering--don't tell me that 's it. It's going to end! Good grief did there was nothing. The screen lit up --then a dragging lot of nothing and then it ends. Just huh! well it was no "I am Legend". SCore=0 Expand
  16. Sep 16, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie had great potential. It had a great lineup of cast members, and the doomsday senario is definately appealing to those who enjoy watching apocolyptic style movies. However this film failed to deliver the excitement that it portrayed in its previews. Overall the movie is downright boring to watch as it jumps around, and does not adiquately portray the level of emotion, panic, crime, and civil unrest that one would expect if the world was on the verge of a major collapse by a virus that originally had no treatment, no vaccine, was easily spread by airborne and fluid transmition, and had a high casualty rate. The movie tended to jump around to various characters, and required the viewers immagination to come up with conclusions of how most of characters would end up at the end of the movie. Despite the cast, the acting was poor and most of the cast did not show much emotion. There were very few parts with action as most would expect fights with the military, civil disobedience, mass rioting, looting, and increased gang activity poping up. Most movies of this type have shown numerous sights of mass graves, body collection, and even bodies dead on the streets. You see fighting with government officials/ military personel, rioting, mass looting, and overall increased crime. The potential seriousness of the situation was never really brought out as it jumped around too much to other characters and did not give any character enough time to really develop a solid story line. Parts that seemed to intensify quickly went away and were forgoten about. An example would be when Mitch Emhoff (played by Matt Daymon) is trying to get out of Minnesota into Wisconsin, but is blocked by U.S. military. He gets out of his car, argues with the solder for a few seconds and then gives up and gets in his car and turns around back into Minneapolis. No other attempts are made by his character to leave the area. He just goes home and thats it. Such a good law abiding citizen during times of crisis! (also extremely unrealistic) Another moment is when Mitch Emhoff is looking at his neighbors house one night and hears gunshots within his neighbors house, he dials 911 and gets no response, nothing else happens (though one might expect somthing would happen, but it doesent) He goes over to his neighbors house only to find nothing, except that he finds a gun and takes it home only to set it by the front door. You never see anything else happen regarding the gun or an attempt of looters to break into his house. The movie just jumps to a different character. By the end of the movie it does have an interesting ending of how the virus began, but otherwise it was a very dull movie that could have done so much more. What a waste of money. The best part of the movie was when I got to get up and leave the theater.
    For those who think this movie was great, probably have not seen "Outbreak" or even Steven Kings "The Stand". Those doomsday senario movies are much better thought out, directed, and executed.
  17. Sep 17, 2011
    I was expecting a great film and was very disappointed to say the least. This film seemed thrown together. It was very choppy with no good storylines or plot, with no supence. I couldn't wait for it to end.
  18. Sep 18, 2011
    I am still pissed I paid 14 dollars to see this craptastic movie! There are a lot of big names in the movie, but way too many characters! It doesn't make any sense why they were even there! I thought that all that character buildup was going to lead to some exciting conspiracy. No, all that lag time for the movie to just end. The first 5 minutes was the best part. Doing laundry is more appealing than watching this movie. TERRIBLE!!!! Expand
  19. Sep 19, 2011
    this is a video review of the movie i found on you tube that i thought was interesting so take a look for yourself
  20. Sep 26, 2011
    This movie was boring and no action. They used medical terms that my sister, who is a nurse, did not know what they were talking about. They did not explain characters. We thought the one lady was Fishborne daughter, not, it was his future wife. Another character, was kidnapped, when rescued, and she realized that she was given a placebo antidote,therefore, she decided to stay in Hong Kong, but, the story did not tell us why or where. Another character, Matt Damion, they kept referring to him, but even though he was immune to the flu virus, he had no other impact on the cure, > Do not waste your money. We paid $12.50 to see this on a MAX screen but this should of never been made for it. Expand
  21. Mar 6, 2013
    I had much higher hopes for this movie, but it turned out to be a decent disaster movie, with some reflexion on medical companies who could generate profit from these pandemics. I did not like how some characters acted totally un-realistical. When Kate Winslet's character tells that an average human touches his/her face thousands of times a day... What does she do next? Walking among infected people without wearing face or eye protection...Un-realistic...The other performances were all average, nothing outstanding. I can not really recommend this movie. It is nothing more than a great budget version of the same pandemic formula with the message that some pandemics might be created by medical companies to generate profit through their vaccines. Expand
  22. Nov 2, 2011
    This movie was a poor attempt at simulating the movie Outbreak. It was slow to begin with, with incoherent scenes and the characters were all dull. I'm not being biased either, as I find factual science and documentaries fascinating, so a mix of these two should have been great... but it wasn't. I'm also a big fan of Laurence Fishburne, but this role didn't do him any justice. How this got a better review from the critics than Machine Gun Preacher, I have no idea! Collapse
  23. Oct 5, 2014
    The longest CDC/WHO commercial I have ever seen. Partly it plays like a movie version of the annual autumn "medical"sky-is-falling hysteria, and partly like a very long rah-rah for the corrupt pharmaceutical corporations and the even more corrupt US government. At times it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

    If you like tedium, people coughing, vapid sentimentality, unrealistic
    nonsense posing as realism and you generally fall for the snakeoil salesmen of the vaccine religion then you will love this movie. If you have half a brain cell on active duty you will fall asleep halfway through. So perhaps Contagion might be a cure for insomnia at least! Expand
  24. Nov 12, 2011
    A tutting shame. Great pitch, a disease outbreak hits a populated area with no time to contain it (could happen) starts on day 2 (genius, keep em guessing till the end) great cast and Jude Law! But, oh dear, they forgot one or two simple things. Pacing a movie is not an easy thing so jumping from character to character and popping 'day 12' 'day 28' etc, is plain lazy! Jude Law (and that really annoying tooth attachment) warble around the movie like an annoying 8 year old playing make believe in the back garden. On the positive, the reveal at the end, although not worth the wait, is neat (spot the irony of the company chopping down the trees?) and the film does have..... an ending. Expand
  25. Nov 10, 2011
    Soderbergh reprend le même principe que Traffic. La drogue, c'est fini, place à une contamination virale! Avec en plus un casting en or (Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Kate Winslet et tant d'autres), ce film promettait. Malheureusement, il ne sera pas la claque tant attendue. D'accord, pour un film s'appelant "Contagion", il faut bien admettre que le sujet est détaillé comme il faut. Mais le scénario s'intéresse plus au virus qu'aux personnages, se montrant incroyablement sans âme et limitant à un point les jeux d'acteurs pourtant excellents. Contagion souffre de l'absence d'une puissance émotionnelle et de scènes véritablement "choc" qui auraient pu le rendre intéressant au possible. Et je ne parle pas d'une bande -son qu'un certain Tron n'aurait pas renié. En somme, le film est fade, mou, inintéressant, mis en scène sans imagination et joué sans certitude... Franchement, ce film aurait pu être un documentaire, tant on a affaire à une leçon qu'à un long-métrage. Expand
  26. Nov 26, 2011
    This movie was awful. It has a few unrelated storylines going on at the same time, meaning we never really get a clear protagonist, and none of it really goes anywhere. There were several scenes that seemed to have been shot quite dramatically that never relate to the rest of the movie. It feels as if they took four or five different movies and clipped scenes from them together into this mess.
  27. Oct 4, 2011
    wow, what a horribly boring movie. saw it cause nothing else to see, and a world-wide infection sounded cool and Matt Damon is an awesome actor. story started out slow, kept hoping to see it pic but it failed to develop, the movie felt like a waste of great potential. wish i had that 8 dollars back
  28. Oct 11, 2011
    Unbelievably boring. Start off strong, seems to be going somewhere, then goes extremely boring from middle to finish. Documentary is more interesting than this. No character development, no touching moments, no climax. Is this a documentary of H1N1? Go watch it if you want to appreciate mindless bang bang B movies from now on, because at least those have some sort of climax and plot line. Would those so called critics tell me what's so "thrilling" or "frightening" about this movie? They are so irresponsible to give such good reviews for such a boring movie. Expand
  29. Oct 24, 2011
    What a let down started well,built up and thought we were in for a big disaster film,which would be fast moving,plenty of suspense,and some fear..

    For me, instead it was like watching a boring documentary about viruses.

    The critical parts of the film, and there build up were not featured enough, and the ending a great disappointment.A great opportunity to make this a gripping film,in
    the end it was just a limp handshake.Why did they bother ? Expand
  30. Nov 5, 2011
    Sep 19, 2011
    A real disappointment, given a good director and such a good cast. Just very mediocre all the way around, starting with a premise that his been done before (Outbreak, The Andromeda Strain)

    i absolutely agree!!
  31. Jan 7, 2012
    Throw the bad parts of CSI, 28 days later and the classical Hollywood "the good guys save the world" theme into a pot, and you end up with a time-wasting, absolutely mediocre - overall even unintentionally random - movie like this.
  32. Dec 19, 2011
    absolutely nothing new, every single aspect of this move is copied and unoriginal,
    i assume they wanted this to make a lot of money, as its the apocalyptic thing, with good actors. Well none of the characters were fully developed, and the plot was very linear
  33. Dec 16, 2011
    With such an all star cast, this movie was pretty terrible. No plot lines were well developed, and most of them didn't even end at all. It could have been a great movie, but they did a miserable job.
  34. Jan 12, 2012
    I went to the movies in a 9-person group ranged 24-52 years old. 5 fell asleep. The rest of us stayed awake to see if anything interesting happened. It is probably a good approach to such a scale disease, and may work as a social study, but as a movie, it fails miserably.
  35. Apr 19, 2013
    Not a huge Steven Soderbergh or Laurence Fishburne fan, so I was surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. Honestly not the best film I've seen, but not the worst either. Entertaining enough.
  36. Mar 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With a plot line jumping around far too much, Contagion is just another boring drama. Expand
  37. Apr 28, 2014
    boring, boring, wait for something to happen, would have liked to see a twist in the end like the anti virus killed mankind but nothing. dull. Good actors wasted on poor characters.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Oct 17, 2011
    A starkly effective ensemble drama which could well do for the sniffles what Jaws did for great whites.
  2. 70
    Like much of Soderbergh's recent work, Contagion feels a little sterile, more like a cinematic exercise than something with blood pumping through it. It's certainly high-minded - it might be the most high-minded disaster movie ever made.
  3. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Sep 12, 2011
    Contagion is serious, precise, frightening, emotionally enveloping.