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Contagion | 2011 | PG-13 | - 1.5.5

When a woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) becomes ill and dies upon her return from a trip to Hong Kong, and her young son dies the next day, doctors are concerned that she may be the harbinger of a pandemic. The authorities become even more alarmed when people around the world begin reporting the same symptoms and scientists have to get to work on a vaccine before it is too late. Also with Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. [1:45]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A teenage boy straddles a teenage girl on the ground and leans close to kiss her (they are interrupted). A teenage girl and a teenage boy dance a slow-dance together and he has his hand on her waist.
 A man calls a woman on the telephone and says, "You just had sex with me in a hotel and then left"; he does not appear to be her husband. A woman talks about having to tell a man that his wife cheated on him the day she died.
 A woman lifts her skirt to reveal her bare thigh when she injects herself with a hypodermic needle. A teenage girl wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - During an autopsy, a dead woman's face is shown as we hear the whirring of a surgical saw and then see the woman's bloody scalp flop onto her face; two men examine the brain and brain stem (we do not see anything) and one appears alarmed by what he sees.
 A man rushes into his young stepson's room and finds the boy dead (we see the boy lying on his side with his eyes wide open and dried goo on his mouth and cheek). We see a woman lying dead on the bathroom floor (her feet and lower legs are tinged blue/black, her face is pale and there is a foamy discharge in and around her mouth). A woman is found dead on a bus (we see her eyes wide open and her mouth and chin stained with dried goo). We see a dead woman wrapped in a plastic bag with duct tape wrapped around her neck. We see many dead people being piled into an open pit.
 We hear gunshots, see flashes of light inside a house and see two men carrying guns leaving the house (no one is shown injured or dead). A man walks toward an armed man at a border checkpoint, they argue briefly and the man gets back into his car. A man breaks the window on a door and enters a house where he finds and steals a shotgun.
 A man on a crowded bus appears sick (his face is discolored and sweaty and he is coughing); he stumbles off the bus while coughing and touching the grab bars, falls to his knees at the bus stop, he says to a woman over the phone, "What about my kids… I touched my kids" and we understand that he dies. A sick man stumbles through a crowded sidewalk; he appears unable to focus as he walks onto a busy street and is struck by a truck (we see the truck hit him, we hear a thud and we see him hit the ground, dead). A man on a crowded train collapses and another man videotapes him; we see the video several times later and the man appears to be having a seizure with thrashing and twitching and we see a bit of foam coming from his mouth (we learn that he died). A woman drops her coffee cup on the floor breaking it, she then collapses on the floor, and begins seizing (she twitches and thrashes) and foaming from the mouth while her young son watches in terror. A sick woman in a hospital emergency room has a seizure and we see her eyes open wide as she apparently dies. We see a sick woman in a hospital (she has an IV in her arm, she coughs and appears to be feverish). A woman tells a man that she is sick and pregnant (we see that the woman is pale and that she has a smear of goo on her face) and that she had a seizure (the man does not help her and we understand later that she died).
 We see several people in different parts of the world and they appear feverish (with clammy skin, blue tinged lips, pale, etc.). A woman coughs and then eats nuts from a community bowl on a bar. A boy coughs and has a fever when he is leaving his school to go home. A woman has a deep, raspy cough.
 Two masked people break into a house and threaten a woman (she is unharmed). Several agents chase and surround a man and then handcuff him (we see him being questioned later). A woman is forcibly taken out of her car and put into a van where she is handcuffed. People panic in a pharmacy, break a pane of glass and rush the pharmacy counter to steal something. People panic at a food distribution site, charge a truck and attack each other when they are told all the food is gone. People are seen looting a grocery store. We hear the glass window of a bank being shattered and see a man breaking in. A man attempts to steal another man's car (he is interrupted by the car's owner). People protest outside a government office and throw things at a car driving by. A man grabs a teenage boy and pulls him off the man's teenage daughter (they were about to kiss) and tells him to leave (the boy runs away).
 A dead monkey is shown in a cage in a laboratory and a man wearing an air-filled quarantine suit places it inside a plastic bag and seals it. We see a meat/fish market where people are cutting fresh meat with cleavers and we see fish flopping around.
 We hear about 2 deaths and 10 suspected cases of a deadly virus. A doctor tells a man that his wife died; the man is incredulous and yells at the doctor. A man yells at a doctor after he suggests that the man's wife might have died from encephalitis brought on by herpes. A man yells at a woman and threatens to sue her if she publishes the story that he just described to her. A man says, "Print media is dying." A woman talks about a man's wife cheating on him before she died. A woman asks a man about his mother and we understand that she died from a virus. People discuss the mortality rate of people exposed to a virus in a few scenes. A doctor talks about a woman possibly dying from meningitis, encephalitis and also talks about measles, H1N1 and herpes. A woman talks about a deadly epidemic and says, "It's going to spread." A man asks, "Can they weaponize the bird flu?" and another man answers, "The birds have already done that." A man talks to a doctor about needing help for his son that has ADHD. We hear reports of rioting and looting.
 We see many sick people quarantined in a makeshift hospital. Many people line up in a hospital emergency/admissions area and we hear yelling when they begin to panic. We see two people in air-filled quarantine suits in a few scenes and others taping themselves into clothing that will protect them from infection in several other scenes. We see many children wearing masks over their faces to prevent them from getting sick. We see a man in a quarantined hospital room and his young daughter is afraid that he has become sick after her mother and stepbrother died (he has not).


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 8 scatological terms (1 not fully enunciated), 2 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 7 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman injects herself in the thigh with a hypodermic needle, and many people are shown inhaling a vaccine through their noses. A woman drinks several alcoholic beverages while playing at a casino, and people are seen holding alcoholic beverages in a casino/bar setting.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Viruses, disease transmission, ADHD, epidemics, panic, government health agencies, Homeland Security, blogging, journalism, homeopathic treatments, biological weapons, family, lies, survival, infidelity, sexually transmitted disease, salmonella, truth, paranoia, rumors, prophets, vaccines, immune system, security fraud.

MESSAGE - Viruses are scary and can kill many people, very quickly.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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