USA Today - 03/10/1995
"...A tense cautionary tale..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
Entertainment Weekly - 03/17/1995
"...Sections of the movie are creepy and exciting....Hoffman is in good, tense form..."
Variety - 03/13/1995
"...Russo brings considerable warmth to the picture and is convincingly professional....Spacey weighs in with some wry comic relief..."
New York Times - 03/10/1995
"...[The] cinematography is sharp and nimble, giving OUTBREAK a crispness that suits its story..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/10/1995
"...OUTBREAK is a clever, daunting thriller....The roles are well written and acted..."
In director Wolfgang Petersen's fast-paced, intelligently written thriller, Dustin Hoffman plays Col. Sam Daniels, an expert on infectious diseases who is called in to study the outbreak of a deadly illness in Zaire. He finds a virus that spreads so quickly it could wipe out an entire nation in just a few weeks, and he believes that it might have spread to the United States. With the help of his ex-wife (Rene Russo), who works at the Centers for Disease Control, Daniels tracks the virus to the quiet seaside town of Cedar Creek, California. His superiors' reticence to help begins to raise questions in Daniels's mind, and he must find a cure before a panicky U.S. army general decides to kill the town's populace in order to save the world. The all-star cast includes Hoffman, Russo, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Morgan Freeman, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
When an African monkey gets loose and spreads a lethal virus, government and military personnel move in to try and stop it before the fast-moving disease wipes out the entire U.S. population.
The film's deadly monkey regularly appeared in the television sitcom FRIENDS as a feisty pet named Marcel. On one episode, when his owner, Ross (David Schwimmer), has to give up the monkey, it's revealed that Marcel is working on OUTBREAK, and the FRIENDS cast go to visit him on the set.
Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman also appeared together in the acclaimed thriller SEVEN in 1995.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted Kevin Spacey the runner-up for best supporting actor for his body of work (SEVEN, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, OUTBREAK) in 1995.
The role of Sam Daniels, played by Dustin Hoffman, was originally intended for Harrison Ford.
J.T. Walsh briefly appears in an uncredited role as the Chief of Staff.
Screenwriter Laurence Dworet made his living as an internist before writing this, his first script.