YMMV / Contagion

  • All-Star Cast
  • Covers Always Lie: On several posters for the movie, it appears that Jude Law's character is part of the CDC when in reality he's an extremist conspiracy theorist who in fact works in direct opposition of the CDC's efforts.
  • Critical Dissonance: The Rotten Tomatoes rating was a strong 84% while the Cinemascore was only a C-. Strangely enough, it had strong legs at the box office despite the bad word-of-mouth.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The scene where one of the leading doctors fighting against the MEV virus is infected and dies from it is a bit more disconcerting after the leading doctor fighting against the Ebola virus in West Africa was infected and died from it in July of 2014.
    • For that matter, the 2014 Ebola epidemic's ability to spread via contact with microscopic fomites makes the film hard to watch in general.
    • Another cringy part is that the world's attempts to fight the virus here are sabotaged by people spreading misinformation or not believing they're sick, much like what happened in the Ebola epidemic, to the point where people were accusing the doctors of spreading the disease and were even attacking clinics.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Dr. Mears; you want to give her a big hug, if not for the fear of infection. There's a reason that she's the CDC's top field epidemiologist, and to the very end, she never stops thinking about others.
    • Mitch Emhoff. Despite all the horrible things that happen to him, he manages to stay strong for his daughter. Until the very end, that is.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Unlike many disaster movies where no character actively hurts others, we get Alan Krumwiede who makes it big by manipulating peoples fear of infection and death and suggests them fake solutions and indirectly causes countless deaths by sabotaging the doctors attempts to use the real vaccine.
  • Narm/Narm Charm: The waiter's death. Instead of just succumbing to the virus like everyone else, the virus causes his vision to blur while he's taking a walk...leading to him being suddenly and quite randomly being hit by a car. It's as tragic as it is hilarious.
  • Paranoia Fuel: LOTS. It's about a deadly virus and as realistic as it can be.
    • Watching this movie when you have a cold is ill-advised.
    • For fun, start coughing at random points during the movie. Works best in a crowded theater.
    • The film frequently lingers on shots of the various objects characters have touched to emphasize just how often our hands touch random things during daily life, and how many of those things others touch once they're done touching them.
    • Many scientists felt that the film was a little too optimistic and that an effective vaccine in real life would take much longer to develop and manufacture. And then there's the whole issue of a popular media personality lying about other possible cures, which undermines the doctors working on a real cure.
  • Special Effects Failure: A minor one in a movie that really didn't have all that much in the way of special effects, but in several scenes it's obvious that Jude Law is wearing fake bad teeth, particularly in the close-ups during the on-air interview.
  • What an Idiot: Dr. Cheever's wife, who told her friend about the impending Chicago quarantine despite being specifically warned not to. The friend then posted it on Facebook, which gave Krumwiede ammo to use against Cheever and the CDC in general.