Be scared. Very scared. And please get your supply of hand sanitizers ready to go before you set out to watch Steven Soderbergh's much anticipated movie Contagion. You will need it upon exiting the theater. Big time.
Based on what could be a very likely scenario anywhere in the world, Contagion has a simple premise. How quickly can a deadly virus spread and how many must die before a vaccine is found? You don't really want to know...
With all of its stars dropping like flies, Soderbergh wastes no time in making his deadly point: a virus can spread like wildfire in this day and age. From Hong Kong to London, to Japan and Chicago, folks begin to quickly drop dead and it's not a pretty sight. Patient zero Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) catches "something" during a business visit to Hong Kong and before the fourth day is over, Beth and her son are both dead in Minneapolis ... along with a conga line of people that stretches all the way around the world. Her bereft husband Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon, a regular at a Soderbergh film) is the everyday man in the story who is lucky enough to be immune to the virus and who witnesses first hand the collapse of society as order and chaos overtake the world as we know it.
While Mitch is busy trying to protect his only surviving child, researchers and scientists everywhere struggle to find answers to what becomes a pandemic. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Deputy Director Cheever (a commanding Laurence Fishburne) works with a team that includes the maverick doctor Ally Hextall (a luminous Jennifer Ehle) who is willing to take any risk to find a vaccine, brave Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), who is sent to the field and exposes herself to the virus and the steely researcher Dr. Ian Sussman (Elliott Gould, another Soderbergh regular) who has enough experience to make a breakthrough.
A world away, Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) is busy trying to figure out the inception and transmission of the virus until local politics derail her progress. It would not be a modern movie if the role of a blogger was not prominently featured and the ultra talented Jude Law does the honors as the extreme blogger Alan Krumwiede. After being dismissed by some as just a blogger ("blogging is graffiti with punctuation!"), Krumwiede becomes intent on not only proving a conspiracy and conflicts of interest, but also suggests there is already a cure.