MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet. Action/thriller. Written by Scott Burns. Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s a gruesome subject matter, but director Steven Soderbergh handles the story and the production values with a remarkable deftness. Where the makers of Outbreak back in 1995 lost their way, turning an intriguing concept into a typical actioneer with one man at odds with the bad old military, Soderbergh uses three-dimensional characters to relay a parable with metaphoric insights.

Though there are a couple of images that churn the stomach (a man hit by a bus - Hollywood’s CGI departments never tire of that effect, and an autopsy begins with the flap of skin being removed from a dead woman’s head), the content is generally handled discreetly. Soderbergh goes for suspense rather than the gross out. Excellent job from the ensemble cast, especially Matt Damon as a concerned father, and Jennifer Ehle as a researcher.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros. Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Four or five obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: I caught one misuse of Christ’s name, spoken by Matt Damon.

Violence: When panic sets in, a crowd pushes and shoves to get medicine and supplies; we see a man, delirious from the sickness, walk in front of a moving bus – splat! Not much blood, but the sick people foam at the mouth just before they die.

Sex: None, though it is implied a couple have an adulterous affair.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: We see shots given for the disease.

Other: None

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers.

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