User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 339 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 339

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  1. Apr 13, 2014
    8
    Most disaster films today are worthless just exploding fire or rubble there, spreading the disease there. Contagion changes that. It is intense, fast-paced, and well-scripted.
  2. Jan 5, 2014
    8
    Steven Soderbergh's Contagion is a fairly unique disease drama and thriller created in 2011. It realistically handles what would happen in the event of an aggressive virus being spread throughout the world, covering sub plots of characters of varying quality and also showing the main plot of the sole man immune to the disease.

    The main characters in this film are all acted out
    excellently. Matt Damon plays Mitch Emhoff, a man whose wife and stepson were among the first victims and he is solely immune to the disease itself. His acting is mixed but in the later parts of the film his struggles with facing the reality around him, both personal and on larger scales become clear. Laurence Fishburne plays as Dr. Ellis Cheever, a CDC doctor who falls for protecting his fiance before the public, but makes sacrifices in the end of a true hero. Jude Law as plays Alan Krumwiede, a charlatan conspiracy theorist who uses the outbreak to make a mass profit. While there are many other wonderfully preformed roles, both major and minor, these are some of the best preformed.

    However some roles do tire on and are rather poorly acted out.

    The story is rather linear but the amount of detail and realism in it is fantastic. Cliff Martinez created a superb soundtrack that helps create a great atmosphere for the film. The pacing at times, however, is off at times and passes through certain events too quickly and some too slowly.

    Contagion is definitely worth the time it takes to watch, but is not a masterpiece. Watch it for intriguing story, acting, and a decent cinematic experience.
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  3. Sep 29, 2013
    8
    Contagion works really well. Its stellar cast and compelling storyline should keep any killer-virus-movie-with-a-more-scientific-aspect fan interested.
  4. Sep 26, 2013
    10
    The best virus epidemic movie there is, Soderbergh scores again with this star-studded thriller with a very logical explanation of the disease; a fantastic, heart-pounding score; and believable characters. Everything in this movie feels right, and very carefully thought out.
  5. Aug 11, 2013
    5
    a very interesting movie that held almost no character development. Showed an interesting take on what the world would be like if such a virus attacked the world.
  6. Jul 31, 2013
    9
    Educational and with a subject that rarely, if ever, gets handled by Hollywood thrillers. I could easily recommend it to anyone interested in the subject, but it's the realism and the sober, analytic treatment of something abstract, that makes me almost give it top score. A perfect ten it isn't, at all. It's no classic and it's no milestone in film. But it's something very special, competently executed, and educational for the layman. If only everyone watched it, we might not touch our faces as much, and we might not create demand for pig slaughter. Let's get rational about sources of diseases. In the real world, the financial interests are not to be trusted, whether governmental or private. We can only ever ask of each other to act in wisdom. Expand
  7. Jun 19, 2013
    6
    The strong acting and the consistent visual style of Steven Soderbergh allows for a mild recommendation. The movie does tend to drag and the script could have been better, but it is worth a watch.
  8. Jun 11, 2013
    7
    Excellent actors and story. I liked the film. Side effects is better though. However Contagion is fun to watch and the ending is surprisingly unexpected. I totally respect the director. Great movie....
  9. Apr 22, 2013
    5
    It`s worth watching, but only because it`s something that can possibly happen. The movie is dull for the most part. I can barely remember any moment in this movie. The only reason you should watch this is if you really have no other quality options. I should probably give it less but I had nothing better to watch when I saw this, so I was happy to at least find something that got my interest.
  10. Apr 21, 2013
    6
    Contagion tells a decent, realistic story of... uh, contagion. It's fascinating on the scientific front but also rather cold and distant. Not to mention undramatic; the deaths of millions are seen from a very clinical, detached viewpoint. Still, it tells it's story effectively enough to scare you into using hand-soap more regularly.
  11. Apr 19, 2013
    3
    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.
  12. Mar 24, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With a plot line jumping around far too much, Contagion is just another boring drama. Expand
  13. Mar 20, 2013
    7
    enjoyed the film, interesting to have such an unemotional take on a disaster, but it worked for me. i like jude law, but accent was horrible. he used the word crickey, leading me to believe he was supposed to be australian, if so thats shamefull. no one in this country (or anywhere) sounds like that.
  14. Mar 6, 2013
    4
    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
  15. Feb 15, 2013
    7
    It's a nervous feeling, you know, to wonder what kinds of dirty little monsters crawl all over my keyboard when I'm in peaceful sleep. The scariest killers are always those whom we cannot see. "Contagion" is a frightful film because it preys on the universal fear of germs and the diseases they carry with them. It treats its topic with a level of maturity that we can apply in our own surroundings. During the screening I attended, I became more and more cautious of the coughing guy seated in the row behind me.

    The epidemic crisis in "Contagion" finds a realistic tone by lining itself with other historical events. If we look back at the time where a major outbreak like The Black Plague took its toll, we'll learn that we don't always get the cure or vaccine as soon as we need them. Some diseases are still without a cure until today. (What would things be like if the common cold was fatal?) The movie gives a convincing depiction of how the present world would handle a similar crisis.

    An element that elevates "Contagion" from other "outbreak movies" is that it fully realizes the weight of its threat. As a result, we are spared with the false need of a tangible villain in the form of organizations with nothing but money in mind. Though there is a character by Jude Law who theorizes such things, his accusations only exist to be proved wrong. Every health official in the movie does their job, and they do it well. To watch this movie is to grow a renewed sense of cleanliness. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go wipe my keyboard.

    Official review here: http://localmoviereview.com/contagion-movie- review/
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  16. Jan 13, 2013
    9
    The scariest thing about this film is how realistic it is and that the world could crash and burn just like it did here. It's interesting watching society fall and panic set in, and lead by an all-star cast it was quite enjoyable to watch! Perhaps not the most exciting of films but that's made up for with a great storyline and it certainly holds your attention right up to the reveal of why the infection was spread in the first place! Overall a great film I would certainly recommend :) Expand
  17. Jan 8, 2013
    10
    If you are someone who cannot stand most movies because all the inaccuracies, over-dramatizations and oversimplifications. If you feel like it is impossible to enjoy much of anything now unless you take some pill that gives an IQ of 20 for a few hours, chances are you will love this movie. It is a plausible and all too real scenario that is frightening as no other movie like it has ever been because it is that close to reality.

    The CDC actually helped in the writing and production of this movie so you can literally have wikipedia open on a laptop and not be able to nitpick it. The movie makes use of the acting talent it has in a way that big budget joyrides never do because the characters are not having spontaneous crisis or love at first sight (i.e. no cliche and unrealistic developments). The complexity inherent to all people is hinted at and appropriately left to be an open book without easy answers as far as character development goes. Best of all the film did not skimp on some of the epic "money shot" moments (I won't give them away with descriptions). I will say that careful use of expensive and large-scale shots had a real "less is more" Jaws-like effect of hinting at an even larger full scope.

    Excellent movie that is courageously fighting the status quo where no one cares about accuracy or plausibility so long as they get loud bangs and bright colors. This is the kind of movie that will actually be watched years from now, simply because people will be more educated on average.
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  18. Dec 30, 2012
    5
    This is less an "what if" and more of an explanation of how an epidemic disease spreads. It's like saying 'i know whose fault is' but not being brave enough to denounce it. The movie goes from better to worse, ends up being boring and slow moving
  19. Dec 4, 2012
    7
    "Pulse pounding and thought provoking movie about how a deadly virus outbreak might change the world we lived in. despite many character being poorly undeveloped and the plot which almost hard to see or even followed.fortunately,Soderbergh's style and skill in bringing detail into each scene manage to make it something worth to watch,but it was the screenplay by Scott Z.Burns that made "Contagion" looked so credible and believable as it was happened before. Collapse
  20. Nov 28, 2012
    7
    Featuring some great acting and writing, "Contagion" is a unique, taut, and surprisingly horrifying addition to Soderbergh's list of films.
  21. Oct 13, 2012
    7
    This movie will confuse the audience as it confused me. I've watched it 8 times so far and its still not clear if Morpheous is still in The Matrix or outside it. And we were lead to believe the world came to an end through the battle of man & machine. Now they've changed the story to a virus. I'd wish they would make up their minds.
  22. May 11, 2012
    6
    It is a good movie that provides the front story and back story of a disease outbreak. I find that there is enough character development for a decent story here.
  23. May 10, 2012
    8
    Contagion is a blend of horror, thriller, and suspense, and in combining theses genres it tells a unique story that shows the viewpoints of different people suffering the epidemic, giving the audience an excellent understanding of how a similar disasters affect the world at large.
  24. May 4, 2012
    7
    I thought the movie was decent when i first watched it. After watching it a second time I realized how the story would just lag. Was good at first, second time around was just boring.
  25. Apr 14, 2012
    7
    Although it was predictable, Contagion is a creepy eye-opener that rises on the strength, fortitude of it's stellar cast and it's stylish direction.
  26. Mar 31, 2012
    9
    First off, I would give it a 9.25 out of 10. Performances are great. Especially Jude law and Matt Damon. Music Score all right, and story intense. It will make you scared of getting sick as jaws made people scared of going in the ocean. This is a really well acted film.
  27. Mar 30, 2012
    7
    A decent attempt at making a compelling and believable epidemic movie. Acting is competent, but the story suffers from pacing issues and the odd plot hole that detracts from the drama. It's a hard, cold film that plays almost like a documentary. Character development is scarce, which adds a sense of realism as we're not sat around hearing about how much Kate Winslet's character likes cake or hearing about Matt Damon's childhood. The film is more a recording of a series of events than a standard character driven narrative. That won't be to everyone's taste as many expect character development to be a part of a tale. But Contagion doesn't play to that tune and instead goes for gritty realism. The film is let down by many inconsistencies in the narrative but generally succeeds in being gripping. One very bad addition to this film is the character played by Jude Law. His persona and method of acting simply do not fit in with the tone of the movie and often his character cheapens it and feels like a tacked on plot line to try and create some backroom tension. This film is about epidemiologists, virologists and politicians working together to tackle a deadly disease (with the odd smattering of human interest story with Wahlberg), it is not about how the government and other big pharma prevent woo-woo chinese medicine from being advertised commercially - so the addition of this plot line just feels silly and out of place. Overall Contagion is a competent flick that many may be put off due to its inherent lack of Hollywood gloss and over characterisation, which I feel a film of this kind really needs. Did we really want another Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman?! No? I thought not. Expand
  28. Mar 24, 2012
    5
    I wanted Contagion to be more daring more scary but it just didn't get there. I was waiting to see the world turn into turmoil and even with all the different stories they all seemed disconnected. i was sitting there wanting more from a film that could have been great.
  29. Feb 29, 2012
    6
    Contagion is a very interesting movie. It is about a topic that we do not care until it is all over the world, an epidemic. But the things that difference it from other biological thrillers are the unknown origin of the disease and the multiple perspectives of the development of the epidemic.
    The unknown beginning of the virus gives Contagion a sort of mysterious atmosphere, but also
    approaches more to reality, because in most of this situation the authorities notice the problem when there are a few amounts of death people and several others infected; so the only solution is to find a cure. And if you add to this a new form of transmit the virus and scientific bureaucracy; you got a promising and very scary picture.
    The multiple points of views, which is a signature characteristic of a contemporary production, gives the movie a sort of feeling of a vast reality that no one can hold; and this is simply what a virus can do to humankind.
    Contagion has a terrific idea, simple performances and some characteristics of documentary; but the development of the story it is absolutely predictable.
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  30. Feb 6, 2012
    5
    100% should've been better with everyone who was involved. The movie hops around to so many things without developing one part of the story. I did, however, enjoy the very very end when it showed how the disease started but that was literally the only interesting thing I found.
  31. Feb 5, 2012
    8
    To be completely honest I thought I was going to see another typical zombie unstoppable virus deal, but I enjoyed this one nonetheless. The characters could have been more developed, and I'll say it could have had more information instead of leaving large chunks out from time to time, but I also believe it was a very capturing movie. I like the realism in it, how everything goes to hell and people do whatever they want, however this isn't unheard of at all. I like how a blogger rises up against the government and carries his followers with him, sort of a citizen-hero act, it creates much needed controversy. This may not happen to everyone, but when I was watching this I was pulled into the atmosphere so much that I felt like I had to be careful about catching diseases next time I leave my house. But to be fair, this movie had its cons as well. The fact that there were gray areas in the development, such as things not being explained, not even in the end, made the movie feel like it wasn't ready to be released. Plus it drags out very long, and can get dull with the background music. But overall this was a decent experience, nothing special, nothing new, but I still enjoyed it. Looking back on it, I realize it could have been much better in fact, but I'm content enough for now. Expand
  32. Feb 3, 2012
    6
    Good movie if you don't mind it's slow pace and lack of action. It's a bit long and will think its ending before it actually does.It's also confusing. Just be glad it makes sense most of the time.
  33. Jan 27, 2012
    5
    Slow, emotionless and lacks any sense of threat. Looks like they really needed the all-star cast and locations to make this hard to tackle story more interesting.
  34. mpg
    Jan 26, 2012
    7
    very well done... acting was solid and the script was tight... the flow of the movie was also very good...i thought this was the best epidemic movie i have ever seen....not a happy topic but never the less entertaining...
  35. Jan 22, 2012
    7
    I am not sure what is scariest, that the most intelligent and advance species on the planet is so vulnerable to an organism invisible to the naked eye or the sideaffects of such an epidemic, where you cannot even bury your loved ones? Great thriller, very well written and brilliantly directed.
  36. Jan 20, 2012
    5
    Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccination expert, stated (after seeing the film) "typically when movies take on science, they tend to sacrifice the science in favor of drama. That wasn't true here." Well, Doctor Offit was correct. That's rather unfortunate in this case, especially when you're pumped up to watch a film that was advertised as a "medical apocalyptic thriller" in the movie trailer. While Contagion itself is not a bad flick it did disappoint me in terms of seeming more like a documentary than a fall blockbluster. Expand
  37. Jan 19, 2012
    8
    I think there are two ways of viewing Contagion. The first view is that its a character drama which lacks emotional resonance and fails to deliver, which is a valid standpoint. However the other way to view the film (how I received it) is one where the main character is the virus, a cold ruthless killer which brings about the same qualities in the supporting characters it affects. The cold detached methodic approach to the storytelling is both true to how the outbreak would be handled and its also indicative of how the people would feel at the time with there being no hope on the horizon. Contagion's approach is so detailed and complex with every little detail of the outbreak being handled. The film follows an all star cast as they handle the outbreak of a swine flu times 100 virus. The film swaps from small town america to big city living, from quarantine co-ordinators to scientists working on an antidote in a seamless fashion making the film a very streamlined affair. In fact the editing is one of the best parts of the film as it creates a tension in the film and it just keeps ratcheting it up as the film continues. Its a well constructed, tense and claustrophobic thriller that is both informative and haunting. Well worth a watch. Expand
  38. Jan 18, 2012
    8
    Frightening subject done at breakneck pace, so no time to think, just feel. How long before anarchy begins? Should those working on the vaccine get it first? How about the President, VP, congresspeople, military (peacekeepers) etc? How far would I go for my family or even myself? Average acting, but nice interaction by characters. I guess a HW type decided there was a need to trace how it started but the personal story on that is unconvincing and not necessary. As things get worse and the scrambling for how to test what, I found myself looking with anticipation for the ending. Does the world end or as in Hollywood and yes reality, the US gets in done, in the nick of time? I wonder about the aftermath and would a voice-over have made the picture better or worse? It's enough that it is timely, suspenseful, goofy at times (Mr Damon and his family), and drew me in; this can happen can we prevent it, if not fix it, and when? All my ? in the review are why this is a solid effort, B+. Expand
  39. Jan 14, 2012
    9
    Fantastic movie. Superbly written, acted, and directed. Definitely creates a very suspenseful atmosphere. Shocking, and quite accurate, Contagion is a must see. On another note, it somewhat reminds me of Albert Camus' The Plague.
  40. Jan 12, 2012
    9
    A brilliant movie that doesn't feel the need to jump on the 3D bandwagon and use a bunch of Hollywood action scenes. It gives a clear look at how humanity would react under such circumstances and is engaging right up until the end.
  41. Jan 12, 2012
    0
    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.
  42. Jan 8, 2012
    5
    Contagion is a boring medical thriller with an awesome cast . The whole film seems too slow and the thrilling part wasn't so thrilling . It could have been an amazing thriller film but I found no life in the story . The story started good way but after that Contagion started to go down and finally at the end it was a great Disappointment . The only think kept me going was the acting. Marion Cotillard ,Matt Damon,Laurence Fishburne,Gwyneth Paltrow,Kate Winslet was great but Jude Law was the best thing in this whole film . His acting was great & also his character. If only they would work on the script it could be Soderbergh's one of the top films. Expand
  43. Jan 7, 2012
    2
    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.
  44. Jan 4, 2012
    7
    Its an enjoyable movie to watch and certainly keeps your intention. The character played by Jude Law is a meaningless distraction and its obvious that most of that sub-plot ended up on the editing floor. The chromatography is excellent.
  45. Jan 2, 2012
    5
    Is an entertaining movie, but only for an afternoon, nothing memorable, with a script pore risky, with irrelevant parts, and I have to emphasize the soundtrack was one of the things that caused me more trouble. I really expected a great movie but I was disappointed.
  46. Dec 20, 2011
    10
    Hollywood brain-washing for the masses. Anyone that doubts mandatory vaccination, quarantine, military on the streets, is a low-life conpiracy nut case out to make a profit. Ok there are some big names, but it really doesn't gel together very well. It genuinely feels like a movie made to acclimatise the general population into believing that bio-weapons don't exist, and that the government and its agencies are doing their best to fight strange new forms of disease that may appear out of nowhere. Directed by the guy who made "Traffic" in 2000, that begins with a truck full of boxes, all labelled 9-11, for some reason ... Expand
  47. Dec 19, 2011
    0
    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
  48. Dec 17, 2011
    10
    Thrilling, with a cool original score with just amazing fantastic performances from: Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, and most of all Kate Winslet. I give this film a 97% of a good movie.
  49. Dec 16, 2011
    1
    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.
  50. Dec 3, 2011
    8
    Contagion presents docu-drama than epidemic virus-thriller movie. Less action more talk. Any medical explanation is really helpful. Nothing special but it's great in every department. What do you expect from thriller abouT virus? Zombie? No, Kate Winslet as heroine.
  51. Nov 27, 2011
    8
    Given the subject matter, it did pretty well for a movie about a killer strain. I thought the character development was brilliant, not just focusing on one particular person and managing to see how it affects other people in different ways. It wasn't just based on the virus, but we also had a look at the worldwide panic it caused. I became more scared of the riots and the lengths people went to to survive rather than the actual virus. I reckoned this could be used when it came to 'every man for himself' or even Darwin's theory of evolution: 'Survival of the fittest'. I loved Jude Law's character best, a sort of rebellious bohemian blogger targeted by the government for being a fraud. Often, this film also shows how willing people are to take advantage of someone else, so there are various other themes rather than just the physical aspect. I wouldn't be surprised if some people developed OCD and hypochondria after they'd seen it. Expand
  52. Nov 26, 2011
    1
    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.
  53. Nov 16, 2011
    7
    For some this is the real horror movie of the year; shot with a gritty realism whilst balancing a wide star studded cast covering every level of society affected by this virus making it feel almost like a mock doc 'what if?' scenario. Enthralling from start to finish but never exciting or exhilirating but it does succeed in casting an uncomfortable image of mankind that you might find disheartening. It struggles to balance all of its characters and the finale comes without fanfare or indeed a real sense of victory. Contagion won't excite you but it certainly will keep you hooked. Expand
  54. Nov 15, 2011
    6
    The synopsis is the best you'll get from Contagion as the movie thrills you for a bit then it dies off like a pill. This is one of those movies that are better off in books than on the big screen.
  55. Nov 14, 2011
    8
    This was a great film and well acted by its ensemble cast. From the trailer it seemed like more of a thriller/suspense film. In reality it is a slower paced film that looks closely at the spread of a deadly disease and also how it may be contained. I found it to be very entertaining that a film attempted to show a more realistic portrayal of an epidemic rather than an overblown dramatic story ie Outbreak. There is some mishandling of characters imo where some seem to have central plot points which are later dropped and not picked up again until the last few minutes. The film is shot beautifully, especially so in the scenes that are flashbacks in a casino. Expand
  56. Nov 12, 2011
    3
    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
  57. Nov 11, 2011
    7
    This movie poses many questions about how a global pandemic would play out in the real world, whether you agree with the film makers views or not it certainly is interesting. Characters in the story represent different points of view and the story shows how they deal with the outbreak, good decisions and bad are made for both selfish and selfless reasons.

    Don't expect big character
    development, many characters and story threads means nobody gets much screen time, the main character is really the virus itself and being invisible i think they did a good job of getting across it's characteristics. All this means is that this movie isn't for everyone, to quote the guy walking out of the cinema in front of me "that's the worst f**** movie i've ever seen", perhaps he thought a movie called "contagion" was going to have big action stars shooting bazookas off at the virus or jumping from helicopters to rescue soon to be infected children but I respected his right to his opinion.

    Laurence Fishburne does not appear in "Matrix bullet time" using a samurai sword against the virus at any point in this movie, he does however wear a raincoat and appear in several scenes both standing up and sitting down.
    Expand
  58. Nov 10, 2011
    4
    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
  59. Nov 8, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I saw this movie. It was alright. It wasn't really about any of the characters though, more like about a virus, and how the government might respond to a pandemic situation. So, you know, its got Matt Damon, and Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and I think I saw Elliott Gould somewhere. But those cool actors didn't really do anything cool. They just kind of got sick and died sometimes. Expand
  60. Nov 7, 2011
    9
    Sooooo bloooody gooood. I had zero expectations going into this film so that may given this a 'pleasant surprise' feel but it was a genuinely refreshing twist to a done to death idea. The star power was strong but they all seemed happy to play their part in the story, no one stood out and that added value......
  61. Nov 7, 2011
    6
    Contagion borrows an overdone plot device and adds its own unique flair. An epidemic sweeps across the world, and it is up to one man to save his family from the invisible threat. At least, this is what you can infer from the trailer. However, after viewing Contagion, I get more of a documentary sort of vibe from the film. No matter what turmoils may be occurring, Contagion always brings it back to the cold hard facts. The Science. Which is good, if you're into that sort of thing. However, it felt as if the characters were underdeveloped or swept under the rug as an afterthought. The entire film could have been an endless source of suspense and drama if only the director decided to stop playing teacher once in a while. And considering the brilliant cast, one would expect that this would be the case. This brings me to my next point: the camera. During the opening moments of Contagion (the scenes that I remember the most, I might add) there were several shots that were held for far too long. This problem was subtle, but it made the film feel like a middle school media project. That being said, Contagion never falls flat on its face, and it did keep me on the edge of my seat throughout a few especially well done scenes during what I perceived to be the climax. Expand
  62. Nov 5, 2011
    0
    Light
    Sep 19, 2011
    5
    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!!
  63. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    This movie was the BEST. No, I mean this - A very excellent plot planned out, great performances from Matt Damon and the others, and the suspense they add into this Sci-Fi Thriller. Nevertheless, this could be a better and realistic version of "The Happening".
  64. Nov 2, 2011
    10
    I was expecting more from this film , i went to to it with my wife and well my problem is with the film in general because the acting was really good. I really dont remember what i was expecting to see but i do remember when the movie was over i felt like well ok it finished lets go home now.
  65. Nov 2, 2011
    1
    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! Expand
  66. Oct 26, 2011
    5
    To sum it up in one word - disappointing. The storyline is slow to pick up pace, and is ruined by repetitive music that doesn't fit in as characters on the screen mime. The tension and drama grows mid-way through, and I was left feeling something big was going to happen. Whatever this 'big' thing was, it never came, and the film closed on an anticlimax, leaving me thinking "what was the point in that?". The realism portrayed in the film is boring, as are the random voice-overs of news presenters and constant shots of doorknobs, handles, buttons etc. All in all, it's not awful, but I would certainly not recommend it. Expand
  67. Oct 25, 2011
    5
    Oh, no...another movie that capitalizes on our ultimate F.E.A.R.s (Future Events Appearing Real)? Not exactly. Although Contagion is a vividly imagined scenario of a pandemic which creates world panic, it is also a compelling mystery with richly portrayed characters. With one exception I cannot fail to point out, Contagion is a compelling, well-paced film with intricate plot twists.

    There are heroes, victims and villains in Contagion which boasts a talented and prestigious cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Elliott Gould, and Jennifer Ehle. As the virus escalates to international proportions, these actors portray the carriers of the virus, the officials of the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization who attempt to respond and contain the disease, the well-meaning family members who escalate the panic, and finally those who seek to capitalize on the disease for personal gain or personal safety. The script ingeniously contemplates the impact of a fast-moving virus, with no vaccine, on the world and on the individual, and the performances reinforce this impact with their authenticity. Contagion is a playbook for a disaster preparedness plan complete with the bureaucratic stumbling blocks, but with selfless acts of heroism to overcome them. If only.

    Unfortunately, during the flashback montage at the end of the film intended to reveal the origin of the deadly virus, the filmmakers play their ideological cards in a way that is not only hokie, but the lameness detracts from this otherwise deftly delivered film. Although there may be many real-life examples of corporate misdeeds with negative impact on the environment and human kind, the filmmakers presented their idea in Contagion in such a contrived, implausible scenario that it insults the intelligence of a thinking person with its obvious agenda. For these reasons, I give Contagion an average rating of five out of ten...just don't forget to think. This review also appeared at www.filmdilettante.com.
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  68. Oct 25, 2011
    10
    I went to see this film last night and I think this is the worst film I have seen in my life. Very boring, and no point in it at all. The story line sounds really good but it does not seem to work for some reason. Very big disapointment overall.
  69. Oct 24, 2011
    3
    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
  70. Oct 22, 2011
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Slice of life (or in this case death). No significant plot just a plodding look at the progression of a pandemic. I wouldn't call that revelation a plot spoiler since the preview essentially tells the whole story at a glance. That said I stayed engaged for the whole thing, but I could understand if you didn't. I guess I was waiting to see how it ended... Here's your plot spoiler... It doesn't... it just stops abruptly! Let's just say I'm glad I bought the matinee priced ticket for this one. Expand
  71. Oct 19, 2011
    8
    Contagion isn't action packed and it isn't heavy on special effects. But, what Contagion is heavy on is story, and a story you will get. Great story, great acting, and an overall great movie.
  72. Oct 11, 2011
    0
    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
  73. Oct 8, 2011
    8
    I was generally pleased with this movie, the opening couldn't have been better. It had really nice dialogue throughout out and the plot line wasn't too linear. The music in this movie was fantastic. Acting was mostly good throughout (saw alot of A-list actors so it better be). Though some parts of the movie are left open ended and I would have rather liked to have seen more of the international plot lines instead of just focusing on the US. I would have like to have seen them use each of them equally. Other than that good movie, miles better than Wahlberg's flop "The Happening". 8/10 Expand
  74. Oct 7, 2011
    4
    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
    the
    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
  75. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    Though hopeless it may be, I suppose this is somewhat what society would do if put in this circumstance. I thought it was very intelligently put together. The directing, the story line, the side stories as well...All were very entertaining and left you wondering what would happen. I loved the movie. It was disturbing -- Considering how realistic it could have potentially been.
  76. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    A chilling and frightingly realistic cinematic experience. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion focuses on the rapid progess of a lethal indirect transmitted virus that kills within days. As the ever expanding epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races against time to find a cure whilst trying to prevent mass panic that is spreading faster than the disease itself. Soderbergh has obviously done his homework tremendously well heading into the film and his depiction shows the difficulties implicated from all angles from discovering exactly what disease it is they are dealing with, the problems finding a cure and the mass panic the epidemic would undoubtedly bring. The film itself show sits brutality from the beginning with Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns home from a business venture in Hong Kong however two days later the collapses with a seizure, her husband Mitch (Matt Damon) rushes her to hospital however she ultimately dies with the doctors unable to pinpoint what actually killed her. This sparks a series of deaths all over the death and prompts the entire worldwide meidcal community (including Marion Cotillard, Lawrence Fishbourne and Kate Winslet) into desperate action to find the nature of the disease, its cause and vitally, a cure but whilst also preventing mass panic. However, the effects of the epidemic are soon felt throughout society as ordinary people struggle to survive in a society being ripped apart by fear. A recurring element smartly used by Soderbergh are the simple, everyday items and objects that are touched by the infected and become vectors to infect other people. The film runs along smoothly but does require your attention but it also emotionally encapsulating in particular showing a Emhoff's fight to keep his daughter alive in a seemigly doomed society. The ending eventually reveals the cause of the outbreak and how it came into connection with human life. Overall, as a disaster movie it excels as we have seen them all from natural disasters, global warming end of the world things but never before has their been a more genuine disaster movie. This won't be for everyone but its a tense, unnerving and frighteningly realistic. Expand
  77. Oct 6, 2011
    5
    Great cast and topic, but I expected more from Steven Soderbergh. The dialogue wasn't very good, no great performances by a actor/actress. The movie as a whole mainly focused on the humane aspects, but I would have hoped to see more how media and the drug industry affect the society and government - how todays capitalists actually run the governments. In general, it wasn't a bad movie, but nothing memorable either. Expand
  78. Oct 4, 2011
    1
    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
  79. Oct 1, 2011
    8
    Now, "Contagion" here is a great example that all horror movies don't need a masked killer with a knife. It's movie that reveals the horror of a crucial virus, the horror that happens in our daily lives. With director Steven Soderbergh's consistently patient cinematography and his icy cold tone accompanied with a ensemble (veteran) cast, he proceeds to present us that one touch with others can result in disorder, panic, and suspicion against others until it results in the destruction of the society's core. A great movie you must definitely watch. R) 7.8 Expand
  80. Oct 1, 2011
    5
    Totally average in every way. No character development whatsoever. The most developed character in this film was "the government", and you know they are always the bad guy. And that whole thing with Lawrence Fishburn made no sense whatsoever. It's like they may have had something in the first cut, but then they had to cut the movie down to 2 hours. As a result, the audience was left with nothing to attach itself to, except the virus. Expand
  81. Oct 1, 2011
    0
    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.
  82. Sep 29, 2011
    6
    The movie was well made with good acting and dialog. But really there were just too many deadends and predictable outcomes where the story just didn't go anywhere or add anything to the movie. I mostly enjoyed it but it definitely could have been a lot better with such a high class cast.
  83. Sep 26, 2011
    0
    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
  84. Sep 25, 2011
    8
    I thought this was a very exceptional film. Thrilling and exciteful it keeps you on your toes throughout most of the movie. It's got a good plotline, cool soundtrack, amazing cast, and good sci-fi drama mix into it. Steven Soderbourgh is an outstanding director and this is another great movie to add to his legacy. It did get a little boring but that's the only flaw I could find. Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law are only three of the outstanding performances by the great cast of Oscar winners. Comedy Centrals Demetri Martin also makes a great performance even for one of the side characters, I was surprised he was in it. So in all this movie was a fantastic thriller that I hope to maybe even see in the Oscars next year. Expand
  85. Sep 25, 2011
    5
    Contagion is about a group of people who must deal with the spread and containment of a highly contagious disease. Based on that statement you could probably guess what might happen. Sick people, a search for the cure, and widespread panic. Contagion is exactly what you think it is. Not to say that's bad, but I was not surprised by anything I saw.

    The disease starts in Hong Kong, from
    there it is carried by Gwyneth Paltrow back to the states where she and her son die within a day or so. Her husband Matt Damon, immune to the disease, is left to take care of himself and his daughter.

    Meanwhile Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and a few other major players are notified of numerous deaths happening around the world. The disease is spreading quickly, and the Center for Disease Control must find a vaccination and keep the public calm.

    Jude Law a conspiracy blogger/journalist broke the story first. He questions if the CDC is really trying to help. He finds a medicine that he believes cures the disease, and spreads the word. As millions become affected chaos breaks out, road blocks are set up, and the people go nuts.

    Soderbergh directed an all star cast. Scott Burns wrote a fairly smart script. The movie was well put together and entertaining enough, but nothing more than you'd expect. I wish Soderbergh would have gotten a little more experimental, maybe tinted the movie red or something like he did with Traffic. It seems like disease outbreak movies can go in one of two directions. An epidemic occurs and everyone turns into flesh eating zombies Aka 28 days later & I am Legend. Or an epidemic probably stemming from an animal becomes widespread, and the government works to contain the disease and the world seemingly goes ape **** Aka Outbreak.

    I honestly felt like Contagion was too predictable and brought in tons of characters the movie couldn't devote enough time to explore. John Hawkes who I loved in Winter's Bone, plays a Janitor who shows up only once in each act of the movie, his character seemed compelling, but was pretty much wasted. The movie somewhat explored the idea that the government and CDC took care of their own before the average person. Hawkes character could have been used to show the struggles and desperation of a lower income individual taking care of his family during this epidemic.

    Winslet and Cotillard were intriguing as well, but are never really explored. They came and went without us really knowing anything about them. I completely forgot about Cotillard until they mildly tie up her story near the end. I think this movie could have benefited from chopping off some of the extra meat. There were probably 7 or 8 main characters introduced, and only 2 or 3 were given the proper time to develop. Contagion tried to be this massive story about all these different people, but it just couldn't be done in 100 minutes.

    For this movie to work, they were really gonna have to get us involved with these characters. So when they cry, we cry. When they are angry, we get angry, and so on. They basically just crapped on Matt Damon's character the whole movie, and by the end, sure I felt bad for him, but I wasn't really upset. His wife was cheating on him, he couldn't give his family a proper funeral, and he was stuck inside with no food protecting his daughter for months. I was more like, "jesus christ" cut this guy a break. You waited for some kind of reprieve, but what they gave him was pretty unsatisfying.

    On the positive side, I always say if I can finish a movie in one sitting it was pretty good. And like I said the cast was impressive. Matt Damon is a great actor and he did what he could with the wiggle room he was given. He had two key emotional scenes, hearing his wife has died and dealing with it at the end, both were good. Jude Law probably had the best overall part. They flipped him around so rapidly, you're never really sure of his motives. He was probably my favorite character.

    I really did like contagion, it just didn't add anything to the genre. If you're going to make a movie on a topic that's already been explored, you have to find a unique way to tell the story. This movie just rang repetition in my ears, and it'll quickly be forgotten.
    http://themoviehook.blogspot.com/
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  86. Sep 25, 2011
    8
    This isn't the sort of movie to see if your craving a few screams or chills up your spine. It will cause you no fear at all in the theater, but once you get in the car and drive home, the fear catches up to you. I believe I've washed my hands at least seven times in the last hour. The acting was incredible, however, and the plot was interesting and realistic. If your looking to be scared out of you mind for weeks after watching, this is the movie for you. Expand
  87. Sep 23, 2011
    7
    Movie viewers either like or dislike this movie by the user reviews to date. He is why. If you are looking for action, car chases, and explosions, this movie is not for you. This film is slow paced with dialogue, multiple story lines to keep track of, and suspense. It will give you pause for thought on how our government and community would respond to the same events as in the film. It is a thinking film and is rewarding but it makes you work for it. All in all I liked the film and give it a strong 7. Expand
  88. Sep 23, 2011
    8
    Make no mistake, this is not a normal, bland thriller so many viewers will be diverted, but if you view it intelligently, this is a very good film. The direction is stylish, the actors are phenomenal and the fear it instills in you is only made worse by the fact that this is a situation that could actually happen.
  89. Sep 23, 2011
    8
    Overall i liked the movie, it had good moments, and a great cast can actually work well together. The idea of putting what cause the contagion in the last scene was brilliant, I was trying to figured out, and off course it had to be something like that, you don't infect half of the world just by coughing and sneezing, it had to be much more than that, as they showed in the final scene. Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle were the ones that really stood out and Steven Soderbergh definitely brought a film that puts you in a careful situation from now on, you'll think twice before doing something. So for me the movie was good, it had a good story, good performances, and a good director. Expand
  90. Sep 22, 2011
    3
    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.
  91. Sep 21, 2011
    9
    This movie was very well done. With very solid acting from a stellar cast. This movie in my opinion gives you everything you hoped for, but it wasn't what I would say, "UNBELIEVABLE." But it was near flawless. And Steven Sodehberg's stylish direction really makes this a highly entertaining, great suspense thriller.
  92. Sep 20, 2011
    8
    This was a good movie. Matt Damon and Jude Law as usual, played as the amazing actors they are. This movie was moving and to be honest it's much more scary than any horror film or zombie flick, because this is most definitely possible. One flu virus spreading so quickly without anyone being able to find a cure fast enough to save everybody, it can happen and thats the scary part. This movie was very good but the only issue I had with it was it seemed to move really quick, I understand its supposed to exemplify how quick the virus spreads and kills but it seemed to move too quickly right from the very start, but other than that, I had no other issues besides the fact of how scary and realistic it was. Quick funny story, at the movie theater I work at, when i was getting ready to clean the theater after this film got over, NOBODY leaving the theater would touch the railings and they were all standing 5-10 feet from each other, apparently this movie is scaring everyone else. Anyways, this movie was very good, a definite must see, unless your one of those people who freaks out over the possibilities of a epidemic then stay away, but other than that, go see, 8.5/10 Expand
  93. Sep 19, 2011
    5
    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), but those films showed more imagination and established more compelling relationships between the characters. It's good filmmaking, but not a great story.
  94. Sep 19, 2011
    4
    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
  95. Sep 19, 2011
    9
    Honestly, I'm disappointed that more moviegoers don't 'get' this movie. Yes, there are a lot of plot lines to follow and some people are going to be disappointed that their favorite actor/actress doesn't play a bigger part in the movie. But the process of weaving so many stories together has the wonderful effect of causing the intellectual moviegoer to consider many aspects of a single story, ultimately considering the question: "Where would I fit in this story?" That's a powerful and important point in this instance. For example, some have stated that the scenes with Jude Law's character seem like a diversion. There's a point to that. He may be the most important character in the movie. I will stop short of offering a spoiler and just say that there are subtleties at work here that mimic the world we live in. Pay attention!

    I lament that so many people watch this movie and say, as one reviewer has, that there is "no real plot development." Instead, this movie should be applauded because the plot development was real; i.e., realistic. I, for one, wish more movies were like this one.
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  96. Sep 19, 2011
    4
    this is a video review of the movie i found on you tube that i thought was interesting so take a look for yourself

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngCQQvwsAZo
  97. Sep 18, 2011
    1
    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.
  98. Sep 18, 2011
    7
    With an A plus cast, a great premise, and some solid drama and suspense, Contagion gets lots right. But the lack of a real plot or satisfying conclusion does make it somewhat of a disappointment.
  99. Sep 18, 2011
    0
    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
Metascore
70

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
    80
    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
    80
    Contagion is serious, precise, frightening, emotionally enveloping.