If you go see even one film this fall about widespread incurable illness, it damn well better be contagion. I went in to the theater with a vague knowledge of its veritable galaxy of A-list stars and the whole “dangerous epidemic” plotline, but that was all. Fortunately, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne did not disappoint. Contagion delivered a visceral portrayal of how quickly disease and the public’s panic of contracting it can spread. It also delved into the politics of healthcare without focusing too closely on either the side of the government or the frightened responses of the general public. Also, the poignant cinematography and unpretentious acting made it an overall great cinematic experience. But, if you still require more reasons to go see this gem of a dramatic thriller, there is the fact that a good deal of Contagion takes place in Minnesota and there are several enjoyable shoutouts to MSP sprinkled throughout. On a more personal note, I have my own rating system based on whether or not I go to the bathroom during a movie. If it’s mediocre I have no qualms about potty breaks or even lingering at the sink mirrors for a few extra minutes. But if the movie is amazing, I hate the fact that I even have a bladder at all. I have never hated my bladder more than I did during Contagion. Go see it.