Matt Damon ("True Grit") has become our dependable, durable Mr. Everyman in American film. He seems like such a mainstream guy, plainspoken and sincere, that we identify with him. This movie is a good example: Here, his wife returns home from Asia with a tell-tale cough, and before you know it, not only is she dead, but to his stunned disbelief, so is their little boy. She is the first victim of a epidemic that quickly evolves into a world-scale pandemic and we are at Damon's bewildered side every step of the way.

Here is the star-studded cast:
  • Gwyneth Paltrow ("Country Strong") is the wife who returns from Asia and then dies. This is not a spoiler, if you have seen any of the trailers on television, you already know this. (Her autopsy is a shocker, though!)
  • Matt Damon ("Ocean's" and "Bourne" franchises) is her husband. His character represents us and our point of view as his world deteriorates and anarchy sets in. His main focus becomes to protect his remaining child.
  • Lawrence Fishburne ("Thurgood") is with the CDC (Center for Disease Control), trying to contain the hysteria and lawlessness that seem inevitable in a crisis such as this.
  • Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), also with the CDC, organizes the mind-boggling logistics of setting up triage facilities and treatment centers in metropolitan sports arenas.
  • Jude Law ("Sherlock Holmes") is a contemporary blogger who sees a conspiracy behind every government action and has the reach, courtesy of the Internet, to make life miserable for the besieged agencies trying to get a handle on the problem.
  • Marion Cotillard ("Midnight in Paris") is with WHO (World Health Organization), sent to Asia where she tries to ascertain the origin of this menace.
  • Jennifer Ehle ("The King's Speech") is a research scientist desperate to find a shortcut in a frantic race for a vaccine.
Director Steven Soderbergh ("The Informant!") brings us an action-thriller without profanity, car chases, sweaty bodies or blowie uppie stuff, and it has only four gunshots (next door). We see decent, well-meaning folks who put their lives on the line as they try to save others. We see how bureaucracy can help and how it can hinder, plus we see the effects of rumors and unbridled panic on a terrified population.

This movie is exciting, involving and, thanks to Matt Damon, relatable.

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After the brief ad...a trailer:
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