Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Feb 6, 2013
    90
    Ultimately, think of the movie as a puzzle box in which all the pieces fit together wonderfully well. Once you step back and take a look at how it’s all put together, you have to marvel at how cleverly constructed the whole thing is.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 6, 2013
    88
    Imagine music for a sorcery-related plot and then dial it down to ominous forebodings. Without Thomas Newman's score, Side Effects would be a lesser film, even another film.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Feb 6, 2013
    83
    Side Effects is mostly a good Saturday-night movie, but by the end, it's caused a few unintended side effects of its own: a bit of head-scratching, and a giggle or two of disbelief.
  4. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Feb 26, 2013
    91
    He’s taken what, on paper, boils down to an extra ridiculous episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and passes it off as high cinematic art.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Feb 5, 2013
    83
    The scenes pile up with frenetic intensity; as with Soderbergh's other recent exercises in the suspense genre, no single cutaway goes wasted.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    This clever bag of tricks is made with so much cinematic skill it makes implausibility irrelevant. What happens on screen is unapologetically far-fetched, but it unfolds with enough panache to make turning away out of the question.
  7. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Feb 7, 2013
    88
    Side Effects, chilly and noirish, and boasting a wily performance from Catherine Zeta-Jones as a therapist who worked with Emily earlier in her adulthood, is, Soderbergh says, his swan song.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Feb 7, 2013
    91
    By the time the satisfying conclusion rolls around, though, it proves to be much more about the ability of a world-class director to induce such willing suspension of disbelief that even the loopiest narrative developments seem like the most natural thing in the world.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Feb 6, 2013
    88
    Side Effects is Soderbergh in full, flinty vigor. It's anything but a formula murder mystery.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 6, 2013
    83
    Like his underappreciated "Haywire," Side Effects screws around in its own thriller architecture, toying with feints of structure and clever bits of misdirection, and otherwise playing the audience like a fiddle. At this point in his career, Soderbergh pulls it off with the unpracticed ease of a maestro.
  11. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    While the plot may be predictable (and more than a little preposterous) in retrospect, Mr. Soderbergh handles it brilliantly, serving notice once again that he is a crackerjack genre technician.
  12. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Feb 9, 2013
    90
    Side Effects virtually demands a three-word review: Just see it.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    In another sense, though, everything is exactly what it seems, expertly crafted and cleverly compounded for high-dose entertainment.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 75
  2. Negative: 5 out of 75
  1. Feb 16, 2013
    5
    Decent movie but not something I could recommend to anyone. I think the (roughly) 2 hours was not well spent. The last 20-30 minutes of the film felt rushed and it required a lot of acceptance from the viewer on things that were not very well explained to make the movie work. Overall it was interesting but not new or unique. Full Review »
  2. Feb 9, 2013
    8
    Does anyone here know that big pharma brings in more money than all of Hollywood put together. I have to say this movie had me fooled. My mind was like a sunflower standing in the wind as the movie would blow one direction and then start gusting the other way. It was quite refreshing actually. All the actors did a good convincing job which is so important in this type of film. Channing Tatum's acting skills are improving with every appearance. Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2013
    9
    I loved this movie. Side Effects is an incredibly complex and amazingly smart thriller; because of a fantastic screenplay, the plot convincingly leads you down one path, but by the end of it all, you're nowhere close to where you thought the film was going. The film does take its time setting itself up during the first third of the film, but once the story starts to unfold, it twists relentlessly while never being entirely obvious. This is one of Soderbergh's best directorial efforts; he directs with style, the aesthetics are beautiful, and he gets some really good performances from his cast. Rooney Mara is terrific, she delves into many different levels of depression and she really impressed me my with her performance. Jude Law is also really good. I think he's a great (and underrated) actor; he was given a great role here and he nails it. Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum both step out of their comfort zones and deliver solid performances, which is really nice, but he was terribly miscast. Side Effects is one of the best thrillers I've seen in years. It's highly intelligent, but it lets its audience join in the fun of trying to figure it out. This makes for a thrilling, exciting, and satisfying movie experience. Check it out! Full Review »