DVD: Contagion (12)


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The Independent Culture

Steven Soderbergh's virus thriller is blessed with the sort of starry cast – Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Matt Damon – that use to pop up in the finest Seventies disaster movies, but it forgoes the unhinged histrionics that made The Poseidon Adventure, for instance, such a hoot.

Paltrow's Beth goes on a business trip to Hong Kong, falls ill and contaminates America, wiping out millions of people. An international team of medics (including Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Jennifer Ehle) attempt to contain the mutating bug, which is spread by human contact. Its detached, impersonal atmosphere makes Contagion a deeply unnerving experience.