Steven Soderbergh and his The Informant! writer Scott Z. Burns have made a movie that will make you obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness forever after. An unfaithful wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) makes a stop in Chicago for a romantic rendezvous with her lover before returning home to Minneapolis from her business trip in Hong Kong. She soon comes down with a fatal illness which spreads like wildfire affecting her husband (Matt Damon), who is put in quarantine, and those around him. Soon, the CDC (represented by Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle), the World Health Organization (represented by Marion Cotillard) and a lone conspiracy theorist (Jude Law) are involved, and the results are a truly chilling hyperlink film shot with typically cold, calculating flair by the analytic Soderbergh. This is a thinking man’s horror film.

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion is to the viral horror subgenre as Traffic (2000) was to the drug war epic. Depicting the transmission of a deadly virus by an unfaithful wife on a business trip (Gwyneth Paltrow) and its spreading to various cases throughout the U.S., somehow managing to avoid her immune husband (Matt Damon), the film also examines the various implications of its story, aided and abetted by an all-star cast (including Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and a stand-out Jennifer Ehle as World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control investigators and Jude Law as an alarmist conspiracy theorist and blogger). The results are uncannily believable and truly horrifying; you will never wash your hands the same way again.

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