Director Steven Soderbergh has always been something of a genre chameleon, his last three movies alone being testament to that - Contagion, Haywire and Magic Mike. This time round, he's trying his hand at a modern day film noir. Side Effects is also apparently Soderbergh's last film as director following his recent retirement announcement, which probably had a lot to do with the fact that no studio would fund his next movie, Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra, because it was "too gay". But we digress...
Emily (Rooney Mara) has just brought her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) home from prison, where he's been serving his four year sentence for embezzlement. It's not long before Emily begins to suffer from some serious anxiety attacks, one of which results in her driving her car straight into a wall. After this "accident", she begins to see a therapist, Dr. Banks (Jude Law), who prescribes her some pretty strong, new-to-the-market medication, while he also tries to get a better idea of Emily's past, including getting information from her previous therapist, Dr. Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones). But when the new medication results in some seriously unexpected side effects, Dr. Banks finds himself at the centre of a very dangerous situation.
To give much more of the plot away would spoil some of the delicious twists and turns that the story takes, but it's not unfair to say that this is exactly the kind of movie that Hitchcock would be making if he were still about today. Towards the end it suffers from one plot-revelation too many, but up until then it is a fantastically tense, intelligent thriller that starts off slow but soon builds to a break-neck pace.
Performances are all pretty great, with special mention going to Jude Law who properly conveys a man who has it all and then watches helplessly as the walls begin to close in around him. If this is to be Soderbergh's final film, he's going out with a bang, as Side Effects ranks up there with Out Of Sight, Traffic and Ocean's Eleven as some of his finest work.
Review by Rory Cashin | 10:30 | Wednesday 27th February 2013 | Movie Review
This really is a brilliant film. The acting and direction are great and story is simple outstanding. In a normal film you can always second guess where the story is going, but here you have no idea, and you never know what is going to happen next; you can only see the story unfold as the characters themselves discovery it. The lest you know about this film before seeing it the better, but it is unmissable and I would give it five stars, maybe even six if that is allowed. There is one funny moment in it when Channing Tatum says" Who ever invented this drug is going to be very rich". I think you will laugh out loud when you see it in context.Posted 12:13 | Sun 10th Mar 2013
GreatPosted 20:21 | Sun 10th Mar 2013
An excellent psychological-thriller. Great lead performance from Jude Law. I liked his explanation of consciousness to the jury, very well put, considering the context.Posted 16:32 | Mon 11th Mar 2013
I thought this movie, while well-directed, couldn't have been sillier. The plot twists in the second half let it down. At some point I thought the actors were going to look at the camera and say: Gotcha! The ending could have not been more preposterous. The same plot on CSI would make a mediocre episode. Not to mention the overuse of the musical score to create a false sense of suspense. In the end, I was left with a big 'WHAT? ARE THEY FOR REAL?' thought to the entire film.Posted 14:25 | Tue 12th Mar 2013
This film is a stillborn undead mole rat that should not have made it past the underground nest and its one of mannnnnnnnnyy Go and see it and you will be condemned to see more and more like it Go... go on now (mwaaaa haa haa aha ah ah aha haaaaa)Posted 12:49 | Fri 15th Mar 2013
Ha this film was ridiculous!! Yes it started well and great performances by all but the twists were ludicrous and frankly laughable, losing all the movies credibility.Posted 14:00 | Fri 15th Mar 2013
Great movie, Go and see it.Posted 12:16 | Wed 27th Mar 2013
Film noir ? This isn't film-noir, rather neo-noir. Do you guys actually study film?Posted 16:21 | Thu 28th Mar 2013
Well I just saw this movie cause of the four stars it was given here and frankly I'm a little disappointed. You can't really say too much about it without giving something away but the reality is that it's got more holes in it than a block of swiss cheese. Nonetheless it's still relatively enjoyable and very well acted by all with a special mention going to Rooney Mara who just eats up the screen every time she's on it. I'd give it a solid 3/5, just don't get your hopes up like me.Posted 20:04 | Thu 18th Apr 2013
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