Steven Soderbergh's crackerjack thriller Contagion is a film without a star but that's not to say it's starless. In fact, the movie is brimming with Hollywood A-listers -- Damon, Cotillard, Law, Winslet, Fishburne, Paltrow, Gould -- all of whom play characters are waging individual battles against a worldwide killer virus that appears to be spread through touch. Soderbergh has an uncanny gift for narrative, and having a large cast and a half-dozen cities doesn't detract from this story's clarity or urgency. I don't know what we're to make of the story's indictment of a number of governmental and quasi-governmental agency and human selfishness, but knowing Soderberg, I'm pretty sure the bottom line is if we would only stop being asses we might make it out of this alive.


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