CONTAGION | British Board of Film Classification
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CONTAGION <span>(2011)</span> artwork


Type Feature

Approx. Running minutes 104

Release dates 21/10/2011

Ratings Info Contains moderate physical and psychological threat and brief medical gore

Genre(s) Thriller, Science Fiction, Action

Director(s) Steven Soderbergh

Cast includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle, Elliot Gould

Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut.

  • Video release suitable for 12 years and over icon12

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 11/10/2011

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

CONTAGION is a drama about a worldwide outbreak of a lethal virus and the efforts of an international team of doctors to combat it. The film was classified '12' for moderate physical and psychological threat and brief medical gore.

Many people, both adults and children, contract the virus and die throughout the film. Their deaths are presented realistically, within a contemporary real world setting, and some of the victims are briefly shown vomiting or frothing at the mouth before they die. These sequences exceed the terms of the BBFC's 'PG' Guidelines which state 'Frightening sequences should not be prolonged or intense. Fantasy settings may be a mitigating factor'. However, the scenes are not unduly sustained, are occasional rather than frequent, and there is an emphasis placed on the authorities' search for an antidote rather than on the victims' suffering. Therefore, the scenes are permissible at '12' where the Guidelines state 'Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained'.

There is also a scene involving brief medical gore. This occurs when technicians cut open a dead woman's skull in order to discover how she died. The sawing open of her skull occurs offscreen, but there is brief sight of the woman's scalp peeled back as the technicians look into her skull. The scene does not show the inside of the skull, but the level of detail is more appropriately classified at '12' where the Guidelines state 'There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context'.

CONTAGION also contains some brief moderate violence and threat. This includes brief sight of people being attacked, and a scene showing a gang of young men threatening a woman and child in their house when they search for a possible antidote. There are also infrequent moderate sex references, including a man reminding a woman that they have just had sex, and a man commenting that the authorities have got a 'hard-on'. There is also occasional mild bad language (for example, uses of 'ass', 'shit', 'bullshit') and infrequent verbal drug references when a man denies that he or his dead wife have taken MDMA or Ecstasy.

Parents can find additional information about the content of this film if they visit



DVD, Cinema
Warner Home Video Ltd,Warner Brothers Entertainment UK Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
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