"Contagion" — The calm is what's so startling here, the cool precision with which Steven Soderbergh depicts a deadly virus that spreads throughout the world, quickly claiming millions of victims. There's no great panic in his tone, no hysteria. Characters become increasingly confused and frustrated, they struggle to survive and then die in a matter-of-fact way. Even the eventual instances of looting and rioting that crop up feel like blips of intensity, understandable reactions to an incomprehensible situation. Working from a script by Scott Z. Burns, who also wrote his 2009 comedy "The Informant!," Soderbergh takes us from suburban living rooms to labs at the Centers for Disease Control to remote Asian villages with equally clear-eyed realism. The attention to detail — and to the infinite ways germs can spread that we probably don't want to think about — provide the sensation that this sort of outbreak really could happen right now. Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Marion Cotillard are among the stellar ensemble cast, but Jennifer Ehle nearly steals the whole movie from them as a CDC doctor racing to find a cure. PG-13 for disturbing content and some language. 103 minutes. Three stars out of four.
— Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic
"Warrior" — In director Gavin O'Connor's hands, the octagon of mixed martial arts is a cage of boiling family emotion. Though this might seem an inconsequential fight movie complete with tough guys and tattoos, it turns genre fare into a surprisingly moving father-and-sons melodrama. Brothers Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) have long been estranged from each other and their father, Paddy (Nick Nolte), an aging reformed drunk whose abuse drove his family apart. Through circumstance, both Tommy (an aimless, angst-filled former Marine) and Brendan (a suburban father whose house is being foreclosed on) find their only recourse is mixed martial arts. They both end up underdogs in a lucrative, ESPN-televised tournament, where their long-simmering family drama will finally come out. Similar to O'Connor's last film, "Pride and Glory," the director gives epic, self-serious treatment to a plot built on clichés. Both films, though, take familiar tropes and imbue them with family tragedy. Hardy and Edgerton supply ample physicality and darkness, while Nolte adds at least one weight class to the film's heft. By the time "Warrior" builds to its championship finale, the sadness of the Conlon brothers is riveting. PG-13 for sequences of intense mixed martial arts fighting, some language and thematic material. 139 minutes. Two and half stars out of four.
— Jake Coyle, AP Entertainment Writer