For this hair-raising thriller about a worldwide pandemic, director Steven Soderbergh returns to the sprawling, multiple-narrative format of his Oscar-nominated Traffic (2000), though that film dissected an existing health crisis and this one imagines, with unnerving realism, a possible one. Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!) interweaves five basic story lines, each concerned less with character than with a practical complication of the outbreak: misinformation (Jude Law as an irresponsible blogger), favoritism (Laurence Fishburne as a bureaucrat for the Centers for Disease Control who supplies his wife with inside information), economic inequity (Marion Cotillard as a doctor held hostage by poor Chinese villagers who want access to the vaccine). As a result the movie can seem more theoretical than dramatic, yet the overarching conflict here is biological, measured not in single lives but in millions of deaths. With Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elliott Gould, John Hawkes, and Jennifer Ehle.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Producer: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Gregory Jacobs, Jeff Skoll, Michael Polaire and Jonathan King
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle, Bryan Cranston, Sanaa Lathan, John Hawkes, Demetri Martin, Elliott Gould, Enrico Colantoni, Larry Clarke and Anna Jacoby-Heron
Contagion: The IMAX Experience