Rated 4.0

With a cough, we meet up with Patient Zero (Gwyneth Paltrow) in a Hong Kong hotel room as she is about to spread the seeds of death on her flight back to Chicago. So, one sneeze leads to another and soon the whole damn world is stocking up on Theraflu. Oh, and dying. In a nod to the zombie genre that it shares some gestalt with, sufferers stagger about as the literal living dead as they infect those around them with touch instead of bite. It’s a daisy chain of death as various health workers race to find a vaccine against a ticking clock. The time passes quickly with a propulsive Cliff Martinez score that throbs like bad blood, infusing the pace with a feverish quality. And the cast is exceptional, featuring the likes of Kate Winslet, Elliot Gould, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne, among a lot of others. Director Steven Soderbergh has crafted an engaging throwback to the ensemble cast-driven disaster films of the ’70s that avoids the crass spectacle of the genre. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13