Side Effects

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 365 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 365
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  1. Feb 14, 2013
    6
    I hope this is not his last film as it is not one of his better efforts. It starts out with a great deal of promise but when the plot has to be solved, it falters. The resolution seems rushed as if they ran out of ideas. The Jude Law character figuring it out and then Jones being so ignorant after being so cunning is just too unbelievable. I was hoping for better.
  2. Feb 10, 2013
    6
    Channing Tatum gets out of jail for insider trading and his loving wife (Rooney Mara) is having trouble with depression. Her shrink (Jude Law) recommends drugs to help, but the title happens, so he connects with her former doc (Catherine Zeta Jones) for counsel. I don't usually include that much plot, but the story is complicated. Unfortunately, none of the twists are that surprising. TheChanning Tatum gets out of jail for insider trading and his loving wife (Rooney Mara) is having trouble with depression. Her shrink (Jude Law) recommends drugs to help, but the title happens, so he connects with her former doc (Catherine Zeta Jones) for counsel. I don't usually include that much plot, but the story is complicated. Unfortunately, none of the twists are that surprising. The pacing is deliberate, but director Steven Soderbergh manages to maintain interest. This film is not compelling, shocking, suspenseful or particularly memorable. Expand
  3. Feb 10, 2013
    5
    The movie was enjoyable until the end. Along the way we watch the rise and fall of two characters as they slowly trade places. Then Hollywood in its infitesimal wisdom decided to give it a hack ending. Not sure why? it was fine as a slow paced psychological thriller, but it failed in the dismount. Like a gymnast who was on their way to a perfect 10 falling flat on his/her face, the filmThe movie was enjoyable until the end. Along the way we watch the rise and fall of two characters as they slowly trade places. Then Hollywood in its infitesimal wisdom decided to give it a hack ending. Not sure why? it was fine as a slow paced psychological thriller, but it failed in the dismount. Like a gymnast who was on their way to a perfect 10 falling flat on his/her face, the film ruins itself in the last 20 minutes. Oh well. Aside from that Rooney Mara is a pleasure to watch on the screen. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. Feb 11, 2013
    5
    Boring, predictable and a very weak ending. I don't understand the critic's love for Steven Soderbergh. Only positive are the performances by the actors.
  6. Feb 12, 2013
    5
    After a few years of forgettable performances in undistinguished movies Jude Law started a ‘comeback’ with the Sherlock Holmes movies, stage performances and continues with a stellar performance as a psychiatrist in “Side Effects”. His character makes a complete change from when we first meet him willing to take $50,000 from a pharmaceutical company to test a drug to the aftermath with oneAfter a few years of forgettable performances in undistinguished movies Jude Law started a ‘comeback’ with the Sherlock Holmes movies, stage performances and continues with a stellar performance as a psychiatrist in “Side Effects”. His character makes a complete change from when we first meet him willing to take $50,000 from a pharmaceutical company to test a drug to the aftermath with one of his patients to when he finds himself fighting to get back all he lost.

    All of us have heard the dire side effects of drugs either whispered or quickly said during TV commercials or glance at the warnings on the sheet of paper the pharmacist gives us with the bottle of pills. Could one of the side effects of this new medicine cause a patient to kill? If it does who is to blame? The patient? The Doctor?

    When we first meet Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) she is awaiting her husband’s release from jail after his serving time for insider training. A short time after Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) comes home we see Emily driving her car into a concrete wall and while in the hospital she is tended to by Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) who subscribes a new trial drug Ablixa.

    Along the way we meet Martin’s mother (Ann Dowd), Dr. Victoria Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who was, at one time, Emily’s doctor and Deirdre Banks (Vinessa Shaw) Dr. Bank’s wife. All performances hold up under scrutiny and after you see the movie that will be an important conversation regarding the movie.

    What starts as a psychological movie turns into a mystery thriller with just a few too many twists at the end. The screenplay by Scott Z. Burns is smartly written until the end where even he seems confused about exactly who did what and why. Director Steven Soderbergh, who claims this is his last motion picture, does a good job except for one too many close ups of Rooney Mara using her hair as a frame. The music of Thomas Newman blends in with the movie offering underscoring of important parts.

    “Side Effects” lightly touches on doctors selling out to pharmaceutical companies, gets a little deeper into how various pills can affect a person’s being and hits with a couple of twists that you won’t see coming. With all the good to say about the film the final side effects will, maybe, to reread your medicine warnings and throw the pills out and/or asking, “What?” as you walk out of the auditorium.
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  7. Feb 9, 2013
    4
    Soderbergh forgot filmmaking 101, who do we identify with? We are halfway through the movie before we find a reason to root for someone and by then it is too late to emotionally engage. It is more an intellectual movie with incredible acting by Rooney (Oscar level); you have to admire the technique and cutting but along the way the director forgot to get the hearting beating inside thisSoderbergh forgot filmmaking 101, who do we identify with? We are halfway through the movie before we find a reason to root for someone and by then it is too late to emotionally engage. It is more an intellectual movie with incredible acting by Rooney (Oscar level); you have to admire the technique and cutting but along the way the director forgot to get the hearting beating inside this movie. I was in a movie theater that held 300 and there were 15 people. This is DOA and it is unfortunate because it has so much potential. The critics are giving this a thumbs up because they admire the skill but it will remain a critic's movie (ironically these are the same people that don't buy tickets anymore). Expand
  8. Feb 8, 2013
    4
    The challenge of a mystery or thriller is for the director to keep the mystery and thrills intact throughout the film. The problem is, the major twist is telegraphed in the beginning of the film and then you have to wait another hour plus for the payoff that hits home like a pink bunny wrecking ball hits a wall (love that commercial image).

    Good-looking people who have substantial
    The challenge of a mystery or thriller is for the director to keep the mystery and thrills intact throughout the film. The problem is, the major twist is telegraphed in the beginning of the film and then you have to wait another hour plus for the payoff that hits home like a pink bunny wrecking ball hits a wall (love that commercial image).

    Good-looking people who have substantial personal wealth and personal problems. I felt no remorse for any of them. Face reality, own your behaviors, and avoid drug use. No need for a stylish fortress built on sand, its still going to crumble.
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  9. BKM
    Aug 11, 2013
    5
    Side Effects is a well crafted murder mystery with an a ton of A-list talent involved, but in the end the twists and turns of the plot and the whole sleight of hand quality completely overshadow the characters resulting in a remarkably hollow viewing experience.
  10. Apr 23, 2013
    5
    A murder mystery film is something that has grown out of fashion in Hollywood as of late due to the plethora of procedurals on TV at the moment. However Steven Soderbergh uses this murder mystery template as a biting critique of the pharmaceutical industry, its just he didn't put as much thought into the story he was telling and because of this Side Effects is really quite dull. WhenA murder mystery film is something that has grown out of fashion in Hollywood as of late due to the plethora of procedurals on TV at the moment. However Steven Soderbergh uses this murder mystery template as a biting critique of the pharmaceutical industry, its just he didn't put as much thought into the story he was telling and because of this Side Effects is really quite dull. When Emily's (An extremely wooden Rooney Mara) husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison she seeks help for her depression from psychiatrist Johnathon Banks (Jude Law) and the drug he prescribes her has unforeseen side effects leading to a dangerous conspiracy filled with murder and lies. The main problem with Side Effects isn't the slow, and I mean really slow story, its that the film follows a lead character who is so badly acted its not even funny, it goes past the realm of unintentionally hilarious and becomes horrific. For an actress like Rooney Mara to go from marvelous in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to this bad is shocking. Luckily the film swaps protagonists at the halfway point in favour of the brilliant Jude Law who proves yet again that he and Soderbergh work well together (after his gripping turn in Contagion in 2010). While Mara maintains her presence in the film the tone shifts when the story changes making for a much more engaging, more intelligent final act. That being said the film is filled with plenty to praise even with the Mara mistep. For example its casting is pretty great, except for the obvious. Catherine Zeta Jones proves why she is an Oscar winner with a small but vital supporting role, one made for her. Channing Tatum impresses with his small role too (much like he did in Soderbergh's Haywire). However the film suffers terribly by the pacing of the story and the fact the film is intentionally split into two. The fact that you can notice the split is because the first section is painfully dull and is extremely heavy handed with its social commentary. The second half lays back on the politics in favour of developing the central mystery and because of this it is enjoyable and at times surprising. It also doesn't hurt that Jude Law is on a role in terms of performances as of late making it slightly disappointing that he is part of a film that is only really half cooked. Expand
  11. May 8, 2013
    6
    A recent cinema-going of SIDE EFFECTS, hyped as Soderbergh’s last theatrical release picture (what’s the hell with the BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’s Cannes screening?), it unites 3 Soderbergh’s regulars with a fresh new leading lady Rooney Mara, grapples with a suspicious somnambulistic murder case under the side effects of prescribed drug influence.

    Opening with a PSYCHO-tribute
    A recent cinema-going of SIDE EFFECTS, hyped as Soderbergh’s last theatrical release picture (what’s the hell with the BEHIND THE CANDELABRA’s Cannes screening?), it unites 3 Soderbergh’s regulars with a fresh new leading lady Rooney Mara, grapples with a suspicious somnambulistic murder case under the side effects of prescribed drug influence.

    Opening with a PSYCHO-tribute craning-and-tracking shot outside a residential building, patiently zooms in on one of the monotonous windows and reveals the blood stain left on the carpet (without notifying neither the perpetrator nor the victim), then jumps back to a 3-months-earlier flashback, Soderbergh certainly has his artistry in his stylish camerawork, and equally superb in dragging his audiences into the hazy mind state of Mara’s character, and keeps it captivating and seething with uncertainty and angst, blurs the boundary between truth and lies, steers its sharp point bluntly towards the pharmaceutical industry.

    Up until then, all the suspenses have been fully elicited, one can sense there is something fishy about the case, and the film shunts to another direction, with a fast pace of elucidation the crime hidden behind, a shopworn procedure but it is requisite for pandering to solve all the question marks inside viewers mind, the scheme our wronged shrink to turn both sides against each other is amateurishly exercised, which could be screenwriter Scott Z. Burns’s incapability to round out the story or Soderbergh is never a talented story-teller, if only the twist had been more scrupulously sanded down and the perpetrators’ motive and interplay (say, the insider trading part) should be more well-founded, even it finally reaches a feel good ending for the audience, the aftertaste is not totally satisfactory.

    Anyhow the film owns a killer cast (except someone who really should learn from Julianne Moore in CHLOE 2009, 7/10 how to kiss a girl), Rooney Mara has a unique distanced coolness in her blood which distinguishes her from the usual Hollywood cloyingness, and it does benefit her for meatier (especially with those have ambiguous attributes) offers and she is on her mettle in the film, versatile between her conflicting facets during the different phases. Jude Law, recollects his leading-man-ship in the film, a pro-medicine shrink with a sleuth acuity, also receive a welcome back, a tailor-made character, and he fits it with such ease. Channing Tatum sidesteps from the limelight this time whereas his Mr. Nice Guy image has been further amplified this time, don’t know it is a good thing or not.

    If this is Soderbergh’s swan song (or penultimate one), it doesn’t forebode well since it is an audience-courting film rather than his own auteur-seeking venture, if not, I will keep high hopes in his next projects (even if it means a long hiatus).
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  12. Apr 8, 2013
    5
    I had high expectations towards this movie due to its high rating, but after watching, it totally disappointed me. The movie has a good plot, but it is too boring, draggy and it contains too many irrelevant scenes which should not be displayed. It lacks impacts or emphasis on scenes, which failed to attract my attention enough. It could've been better. Credits to the casts; especiallyI had high expectations towards this movie due to its high rating, but after watching, it totally disappointed me. The movie has a good plot, but it is too boring, draggy and it contains too many irrelevant scenes which should not be displayed. It lacks impacts or emphasis on scenes, which failed to attract my attention enough. It could've been better. Credits to the casts; especially Rooney Mara. But it's just not enough to make up to give credibility to this movie. Expand
  13. Sep 2, 2014
    6
    Certainly not Soderbergh's finest work to date, Side Effects stretches far longer than it should. A close look at mind-play and criminal complexities, it lacks in convincing.
  14. May 31, 2013
    4
    For a psychological thriller with a murder and a lesbian twist, it really is boring, but unsurprisingly stupid. A far-fetched script that is so inconceivable with so many plot twists just for the sake of keeping it interesting. After some decent performances and a list of every anti-depressant in the world mentioned, the movie is disappointing, even though I had no expectations going into it.
  15. Jul 29, 2013
    5
    This Soderbergh thriller fails to deliver the goods: it's slow, colorless and drowsy, very much like the medication they keep talking about in the film makes you feel. Jude Law certainly isn't bad (lesser actors would have made the movie even more boring) but even he can't save this one. Admittedly there are much worse thrillers out there but you can happily skip this one.
  16. Jul 14, 2013
    5
    The movie starts as a conspiracy theorists wet dream about big pharma but goes later down another path. Unfortunately, the story is illogical and the plot tries bit too hard to be clever. Actors do a fine job, aside Catherine Zeta-Jones character is not a good fit for her.
  17. Jul 11, 2014
    5
    I didn't know anything about the plot before I watched it, and after an hour or so of watching Side Effects I thought I'd see some major plot twist that would surprise me. The premises were there: the film was decently long, the beginning was weird enough and some things were left unexplained. But then the actual plot twist comes around (not really well structured, in my opinion, there'sI didn't know anything about the plot before I watched it, and after an hour or so of watching Side Effects I thought I'd see some major plot twist that would surprise me. The premises were there: the film was decently long, the beginning was weird enough and some things were left unexplained. But then the actual plot twist comes around (not really well structured, in my opinion, there's too much of a jump between when Jude Law is complaining and when he realises there's a scheme going on) I was left with disappointment: it was, in the end, predictable and poorly delivered.

    On the other hand, the acting is good even if I didn't like Catherine Zeta-Jones at all, the dialogues too. The music and the cinematography are okay. I wouldn't say it's anything particularly interesting.
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  18. Mar 31, 2013
    6
    Undeniably well shot and, to an extent, acted. However, 'Side Effects' labours under the misapprehension that it is far more intelligent than it actually is and jams the story together like ill-fitting puzzle pieces.
  19. Mar 22, 2013
    5
    This movie is a red box movie I wouldn't waste the money to see it in theaters. it takes an interesting twist that leaves your scratching your head and letting out a little chuckkle. Roony Myra gives a good crazy chick preformance, like I said red box wortht.
  20. Jun 4, 2013
    6
    A good movie, the acting is really good, it’s not predictable as I expected to be, but I didn’t quite love the ending,a little to much for my liking. Everything else is very enjoyable.
  21. Nov 21, 2014
    5
    I felt that I was going to enjoy Side Effects when during the first half of the film but the topic started to get stale quick. Jude Law was well cast in his role but I wasn't really a fan of the rest of the cast. Side Effects was easy to follow but it was just a little too boring. I was shocked with the twist ending but it was just a little too long coming.
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: Ian Freer
    Mar 4, 2013
    80
    We may lose Soderbergh to painting, theatre and HBO-fuelled TV, and that’s a crying shame. If that’s the case, Side Effects is a great note on which to go out.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Feb 9, 2013
    90
    Side Effects virtually demands a three-word review: Just see it.