Contagion, which I saw over the weekend, was that it did not indulge us with Hollywood's usual sinister conspiracy theories involving shadow governments or evil corporations. Instead it presented a scary but plausible real life scenario involving an extremely deadly virus, and imagined how the world would react to the epidemic. The heroes of the movie are dedicated public servants working for the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Government workers are shown as fallible human beings who make some mistakes, but who ultimately prevent the collapse of civilization when we are faced with an overwhelming emergency.
Meanwhile the villain is an irresponsible blogger who spreads chaos, rumor, and false information for his own profit and self-aggrandizement. I only wish I had that kind of power (which of course in contrast to the evil Jude Law character, I would only use for good purposes).
This seems to be exactly the sort of anti-conspiracy theory movie we need now, while we are in the midst of a debate about the proper role and size of government, because it might help us appreciate essential government functions like public health and emergency preparedness. When irresponsible politicians talk about cutting wasteful government spending, without identifying what they plan to cut, they always seem to end up going after discretionary budget items like scientific research and public safety operations. Watch this movie and you might have second thoughts about the wisdom of cutting that kind of spending. Or just watch the news reports about wildfires in Texas or floods in New Jersey, and you might wonder why politicians are even talking about reducing the fire department's budget, or cutting spending on weather forecasting.