October Releases

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion (2011)

 Synopsis from IMDB

Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies a few days later. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Center for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.

                Finally back to writing movie reviews, YAY! Contagion is about a woman named Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) who goes overseas on a business trip. She takes a little “detour” before returning home. But while returning home, she catches a bug. It looks and starts off as a fever, but after a couple of days, the fever takes over and people die. And it seems that everyone Beth has come into contact with (directly and indirectly) has also caught this deadly virus including her son. This movie follows various people who all are fighting against the virus and are trying to figure out how to stop it or maybe exploit it.

                I liked this movie. I like how it followed everyone’s point of view with this pandemic. You have the scientists who are working hard trying to come up with a vaccine, Beth’s remaining family, Mitch (Matt Damon) and Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron) and how they are struggling. There is also the journalist, Alan (Jude Law), who is taking the pandemic and using it against the government and trying to make it look like a conspiracy of some sort.

                What made this movie worth the money were the actors. This movie was full of Oscar winners and Oscar contenders. My favorite was Kate Winslet’s character, Dr. Erin Mears. She is an expert on how viruses spread and her acting was just spot on. She had me in tears at one point in this movie. Also loved Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) who is the man in charge, the face to trying to stop the spread of the virus, he is also breaking some rules to help others in need.

                As much as I liked this though, Contagion doesn’t go as far as I wanted it to. We have Dr. Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard) who was kidnapped by one of her coworkers. But then also found out the people on her side did something awful that would make things a million times worse. But we don’t see what happened after that. We are left to wonder. Also the journalist Alan, he was telling people he found and had the cure even though it was said it wouldn’t work. We are never told whether he was lying or using the virus for his own gain. I do believe he was because he was making millions off it, but still fooling people into thinking the government is lying to them when he was the real liar.

                Nonetheless, this movie was not bad by any means. But as plots go, it didn’t go as far as it should have. Contagion just follows people and how they would act during a crisis like this, it doesn’t add anything you wouldn’t expect. It truly did freak me out because you could definitely see something like this happening. It is a realistic take on a world crisis. It is definitely thrilling and I wasn’t bored. It also answered two questions for me. 1) What will save me besides God? Purell. 2) How many Americans does it take to ruin the world? One. Ok, that second one is unfair because technically she didn’t start it, but just shows you can’t trust everyone to have common sense. So it is worth checking out at least for the acting.



  1. Yay! I love your movie reviews...I've also been lacking in this area and actually plan on posting one on Thursday! That's so funny. Anyway, I've been very apprehensive about this movie. I noticed that there were so many amazing actors in it but I was afraid of the whole point of the movie. I'm glad that you enjoyed it for the most part and you felt like it was worth the money but I think I'm going to have to check this one out when it gets to DVD.

  2. Thanks for the review! This is one I'd like to see when it comes to video.

  3. IMHO, they made it very very clear that Alan was just a conman. (They made that clear from the start, when the Chinese guy said that his village had tried Alan's cure and it made no difference.)

    I also disagree that the other "bad thing" that you mention wasn't developed enough -- it was something that governments do, and they made it pretty clear that this wasn't the only instance. I think it was meant more as an illustration of the result of the pandemic, not as a plot device.

    The thing I liked about Contagion is that it did not offer easy answers. It's a drama, not a thriller.

  4. @Paperback Daydreamer - Thanks so much hon and you haven't been lacking. I am with you, just seems like we are all more focused on books more than anything LOL! I hope you do check it out. It is a good film and like I said, the acting is just incredible. Amazing cast. I wasn't apprehensive about it, just sort of knew how it was going to play out since it feels pretty real. It is what you expected, but seriously, don't miss it. I think I should give this an extra star now that I think on it. Darling Novelist has me re-evaluating LOL! Thank you so much for the comment hon :)

  5. I feel like I've seen this movie...15 years ago when it was called "Outbreak".

    BUT if you say it's good, I may have to check it out (girl who likes everything...)


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