Steven Soderbergh's star-studded plague drama scares without visual effects.
A shrewd, unsensationalistic, nonvisual-effects-dependent global disaster melodrama, Contagion creates a credible picture of how the world might react (and, to a point, has reacted) in the face of a rapidly spreading mystery disease for which no cure exists. Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns create unease and simmering tension without going over the top into souped-up suspense or gross-out moments (with one possible exception), which will automatically lessen interest among the lowest-common-denominator crowd. But the fine cast, likely solid critical reaction and undeniable topicality position this as a robust box-office performer for early fall.
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