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Contagion Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Message: stay inside forever. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Buy stock in surgical masks. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While potent and well-paced, Contagion doesn't come together as the fearsome bio-thriller it starts out to be. But it may make audiences twitchy about the guy coughing in the next row.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    The pressure cooker plot calls for intense performances all around but first among equals are Winslet and Ehle.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    One aspect of the film is befuddling. Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) is a popular blogger with conspiracy theories about the government's ties with drug companies. His concerns are ominous but unfocused. Does he think drug companies encourage viruses? The blogger subplot doesn't interact clearly with the main story lines and functions mostly as an alarming but vague distraction.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Here's a scare-the-crap-out-of-you medical thriller about a viral pandemic that will have the immediate post-screening effect of causing a handwashing stampede.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Contagion reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

All-star virus thriller is intense, uncompromising.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this grim thriller about the spread of a deadly, fast-acting global virus helmed by Oscar-winner director Steven Soderbergh and populated by an all-star cast (including Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, among many others), may be too intense and/or overwhelming for younger kids given its stark, uncompromising depictions of death and the somber, sometimes scary exploration of what it's like to live in a constant state of fear. Expect disturbing imagery (including a gory autopsy) and mature themes, such as death (in one case, of a child) and infidelity. There's also some swearing (including "s--t") and social drinking.

  • Families can talk about what makes this film scary and/or intense. Is it the tone? The subject matter? Are you scared that something like this could really happen?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about any fears the movie raises. For tips, try this article.
  • How does the movie portray the Internet as a source of information regarding disease and health?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: A deadly contagion is a challenging, deadly opponent, but humanity ultimately triumphs through perseverance and compassion. It may not be exactly how hard science works, but it's an admirable takeaway. (Also, wash your hands!)

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Though some characters react poorly under pressure (looting and holding others hostage), many others are selfless, protective, and willing to put others first in the name of service and love.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Citizens loot and hurt others out of fear and panic; patients die frothing at the mouth. A gory autopsy is shown, with a scalp being pulled back.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A near-kiss between two teens. Discussions of one woman's philandering.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent use of words like "s--t," "ass," "hell," and "oh my God." Also one "f--k."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Many label mentions/appearances: Taco Bell, StarKist, Purell, Sbarro, Rayovac, Audi, Dasani.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking at a bar and casino.