Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard

Summary: Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) returns home to Minneapolis after a business trip to Hong Kong feeling a bit under the weather. Unbeknownst to her, she’s contracted a deadly virus that will soon claim the lives of millions of people around the world. Now her husband Mitch (Damon) has to work with the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to try and figure out when and where the virus originated. Societies fall and anarchy reigns in the face of fear and panic as the virus makes its way around the globe.

This is the most realistic film about a viral outbreak that I have seen. Unlike other films, it doesn’t rely on flashy action sequences or dramatic emotional standoffs. It’s bleak and depressing and leaves you feeling helpless. What would you do in such a situation? To what lengths will you go to keep your loved ones safe? History reminds us that new diseases are popping up all the time all over the world. It’s no longer a matter of will it happen or not, it’s now just a matter of when.

Trivia: The Nipah virus from Malaysia, which spread from pigs to farmers in the late 1990’s, was the inspiration for the virus created for this film.

Rated: PG-13 – For disturbing content and some language.

Grade: B