Don't catch this disease. Contagion is like watching a documentary from the Center for Disease Control, only the cast is all famous actors. There's Laurence Fishburne, as a concerned director. There's Gwyneth Paltrow, traveling back from Asia, coughing, and then dropping in a seizure on the kitchen floor while her husband, Matt Damon urges her to stop seizing. There's Gwyneth, all frothing at the mouth in the hospital, and then dead. Uh-oh. (No surprising spoiler alerts ahead - we're talking fatal disease here)
Slowly we see people all over the world, feverish and then dead - China, Japan, London, and then little Gwyneth in Minnesota. That's the puzzlement. But she was in Hong Kong and Chicago, and alas while cheating on her hubby, spreading fatal germs. Marion Cottillard is with the World Health Org. She's off to Hong Kong to connect the dots. Kate Winslet, lucky girl, is assigned to MN. Pale and wan, she dies a slightly prettier death than Gwyneth.
Lots of scientists peer into microscopes and discuss cell growth and linkages. Lots of folks with clipboards, and plenty of teleconferencing. No one in this movie gets to smile. Don't touch anyone or anything, or shake a hand.
Contagion is boring. You don't really get to meet and know these people enough to care. We all know how disease spreads - human contact. And yes, with planes, trains, and grocery shopping, we all know how fast disease spreads. Nothing new in this film. Lots of people talking, looking worried, and then worried with face masks.
Fortunately no one in our theater coughed, and I have to say I was conscious of touching the handrails on the way out. But the only infection we caught was ennui.