Parents' Guide to

The Hot Zone: Anthrax

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Post-9/11 themed spin-off is lackluster at best.

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The formulaic spin-off of The Hot Zone series offers a dramatic interpretation of what happened behind the scenes of Operation "Amerithrax," which sought to investigate, and to contain, a potential bioterrorist attack a few weeks after 9/11. But much like the real events that transpired in 2001, the anthrax threat here feels vague, and it fails to generate a sense of fear and suspense as the story unfolds. Meanwhile, despite attempts to humanize what was a complicated investigation that included multiple players and government agencies, there's little dimension to the fictional, generic FBI operatives outside of their post-9/11 PTSD-related flashbacks. But Tony Goldwyn's portrayal of Bruce Ivins and his growing paranoia is believable, which sets a solid foundation for what happens later. Some folks may want to tune in for Goldwyn's performance, but overall, The Hot Zone: Anthrax is a lackluster narrative that falls flat.

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