How to watch Contagion online: Everywhere you can stream the movie

how to watch Contagion
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

A surprising amount of people are trying to figure out how to watch Contagion. Yes, you'd think a movie that's a bit too close to real life right now would be the last thing folks would want to stream, but the 2011 film appears to be the exception that makes the rule.

Contagion Cast, Crew, etc.

Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston
Director: Steven Soderbergh
1h 46min
Age rating: PG-13
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
IMDB: 6.6

The only catch is that the blockbuster film starring the likes of Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne may be a digital rental or purchase for most, as it's only on one streaming service. Here's how to watch 

Contagion, for those unfamiliar, revolves around a world struggling to stop an airborne virus that kills within mere days. Naturally, society is fighting panic as much as it's fighting the disease. Contagion has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics raving over director Steven Soderbergh's excellent management of the complex topic. 

Many of the reviews are recent, with critics joining in the action of streaming the show themselves. Smart and scary, Contagion is far from escapism, but it's certainly an alternative to watching another hour of cable news.

Does Netflix have Contagion?

Kinda, as only a select few can watch Contagion on Netflix. That's right, the streaming giant doesn't have Contagion on its U.S. or U.K. servers. It's on on Netflix in Canada. Traveling Canadians, however, can use a VPN to log into their Netflix and stream the movie on their own. 

Otherwise, they're going to be using the same digital rental and purchase solutions as everyone else. U.S. Netflix does have its fare share of pandemic-related content, including the 1995 film Outbreak (Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Cuba Gooding Jr.) plus an incredibly timely Netflix Original Docuseries Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak. The latter has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but that's only comprised of 6 critics' reviews.

How can I watch Contagion with a VPN?

So, as I said above, Canadians stuck far from home — or Americans in similar situations, having trouble accessing Cinemax Go (which also has Contagion) — will likely be running into geo-fenced restrictions on what services they can use. But, with the help of a virtual private network (VPN), they can watch Contagion (and all the other services from their home country) no matter where they are. 

Our favorite VPN is ExpressVPN, which is easy to use and delivers fast internet speeds, making it simple to set up for streaming in no time at all. It also works on practically any device, starting with iOS and Android and including streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV. Plus, game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 


Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, is a top choice for those looking to watch Contagion. It's got a solid mix of safety, speed and ease-of-use. Plus, you get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year. And, heck, if you've never used a VPN before and are curious and not sure, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.

How do I watch Contagion in the US?

Since Cinemax is the exclusive distributor of Contagion in the U.S., your best bet is considering getting it as an add-on via Amazon Channels or Hulu: 

Cinemax on Amazon Channels

You can get a free 7-day trial of Cinemax on Amazon Channels, which works on the Prime Video app. That's more than enough time to watch Contagion, and a lot more Cinemax content, including Deadpool 2, Bad Times at the El Royale and The Dead Don't Die. 


If you're not an Amazon Prime household, you can also get Cinemax as an add-on for Hulu. Hulu has a 1-month free trial by itself, and the Cinemax add-on starts with one week free, and you can opt to stay on for shows like High Fidelity and The Handmaid's Tale.

How can I watch Contagion in the UK and Australia?

In the United Kingdom and Australia, you're going to need to rent or buy a digital copy from the usual suspects, such as Apple and Microsoft. Check out the JustWatch page for full details.

However, folks in the UK will have a chance to watch the film on ITV2. The channel will air the film on Thursday, March 26 at 9 p.m. GMT.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.