Big ideas and small-mindedness threaten to turn "Contagion'' into unwieldy world-affairs and family-values allegories, but Soderbergh and Burns are moving too fast to think.
There's a sense of dread in "Contagion," but it never spreads to us. When Day 1 is finally shown, it makes you want to eat better, which isn't the same as saying this is a great movie.
By the time this globe-hopping, movie-star-crammed disaster saga - directed with petrifying efficiency by Steven Soderbergh - comes full circle, you'll never want to touch a subway pole or elevator button or ATM again.
Soderbergh knows exactly how to dredge up the dread, showing us in several scenes the many things we touch - including our own faces, noses and mouths - during the course of a day and the dangers they contain.
Telling a complex story in a coherent narrative arc has never been one of Mr. Soderbergh's strengths, and chronicling the day-by-day panic of a killer virus jumps all over the place.