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. Mar 8, 2013
    9
    Wow I was very surprised how good this film is. I went into the cinema thinking this might be good, it might not be but I'll enjoy it regardless. I left feeling very satisfied and desiring to discuss the ethical, societal and medical issues raised.

    What happens in the film is unexpected and the outcome is absolutely fitting. How it is executed and unfolds is a strength of the acting and
    Wow I was very surprised how good this film is. I went into the cinema thinking this might be good, it might not be but I'll enjoy it regardless. I left feeling very satisfied and desiring to discuss the ethical, societal and medical issues raised.

    What happens in the film is unexpected and the outcome is absolutely fitting. How it is executed and unfolds is a strength of the acting and the writing.

    I'll close by saying if you're interested go see it. You won't be disappointed, especially if you love films that have meaning, offer social commentary, and will spark discussion afterwards.
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  2. Jun 2, 2013
    9
    A story with many twists and turns that hooked me from the start. I really thought that Jude Law gave one of his best performances in years and along with Rooney Mara this film is well put together.
  3. Oct 7, 2013
    7
    Looking Rooney Mara in this film I think that Mara is perverse nymph. Rooney conveys fragility and innocence. But, behind this supposed fragility there are dark sides, maliciousness and revenge. Soderbergh has done one of the best films in 2000's. "Side Effects" seems a Agatha Christie or Patricia Highsmith book.
  4. 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.
  5. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    Like I said before, I'm not a fan of Steven Soderborgh. But I have to say, this one is truly (in my opinion) his best movie. I mean, he's made some good movies, such as "Traffic" and Ocean's Eleven", but unlike those two movies, this one really stands out for its suspenseful tale. He brings in some intensity in not only the story, but in the characters as well. I wish Soderborgh could makeLike I said before, I'm not a fan of Steven Soderborgh. But I have to say, this one is truly (in my opinion) his best movie. I mean, he's made some good movies, such as "Traffic" and Ocean's Eleven", but unlike those two movies, this one really stands out for its suspenseful tale. He brings in some intensity in not only the story, but in the characters as well. I wish Soderborgh could make more movies like this Expand
  6. Apr 19, 2013
    8
    Understated and delicate lead performance by Mara was captivating, & Law played the ambitious, sincere, & desperate psychiatrist out to help and make a positive difference superbly as well. The film was paced and quiet, allowing the thrill to draw from the mysterious plot. Then there were the moments that demanded serious & considerate thought to be had, which always satisfies andUnderstated and delicate lead performance by Mara was captivating, & Law played the ambitious, sincere, & desperate psychiatrist out to help and make a positive difference superbly as well. The film was paced and quiet, allowing the thrill to draw from the mysterious plot. Then there were the moments that demanded serious & considerate thought to be had, which always satisfies and intrigues this viewer (the movie was right up my alley, me being one to briefly aspire to become a forensic psychologist or paralegal). Jones' performance was quirky and tritely revealing from the get-go (I believe it was intentional for the viewer to never quite trust her character, the reason being as to keep us guessing and unsure of what the turn out would be). Another rumble in my mind as I was reflecting on the movie was the characterization of Banks' (Law's character) wife, who also seemed to have been deliberately presented as withdrawn, unsympathetic, high-strung, and high-maintenance, with only brief moments of appeal. Overall, I loved the canvas of characters and the touch of reality it presented in its quiet and ponderous tone. Expand
  7. Jun 18, 2013
    7
    I’m a little late to the party, but better late than never for this clever piece of work. ‘Side Effects’, Steven Soderbergh’s final theatrical release, was a mesmerizing film that works as both a thriller and a social commentary on society's obsession with prescription medication. Without giving anything away; the film follows a woman and her psychiatrist, as their lives begin to changeI’m a little late to the party, but better late than never for this clever piece of work. ‘Side Effects’, Steven Soderbergh’s final theatrical release, was a mesmerizing film that works as both a thriller and a social commentary on society's obsession with prescription medication. Without giving anything away; the film follows a woman and her psychiatrist, as their lives begin to change after a drug he prescribed to her yields some undesirable side effects. Rooney Mara and Jude Law did good jobs in their respective roles, but my favorite of the cast was Catherine Zeta-Jones who gave a chilly performance as a rivaling psychiatrist who adds multiple layers to the film's plot. Soderbergh directs this picture as effectively as possible; adding tight thrills and surprises, in tandem with a down tempo atmosphere which gave the film a noirish feel. Thomas Newman's score was also effective, adding a nice touch to the picture. While Soderbergh and his fine cast all did nice work the star of this show was probably Scott Z. Burns for his deliciously deceptive screenplay, which constructs an idea and gradually evolves it into an entirely new beast. His script blue prints all those twists, and successfully draws a band of interesting characters. While the twists and turns is one of the film’s biggest assets; it, ironically, may also be the movie's biggest downfall, as it doesn't allow for great repeat viewing. But fret not. As it stands, Side Effects was a rock solid movie, that most should appreciate quite easily. Expand
  8. 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.
  9. Jun 10, 2013
    8
    Extraordinary. Great actors. Great plot. Great director.Great twists.Great in general.Don't miss it you will lose a masterpiece. probably one of the sexiest films of the year A must-watch
  10. Nov 21, 2013
    9
    Drugs and depression. Steven Soderbergh takes both subjects head- on in Side Effects, a film that examines how the lives of a group of individuals inevitability become tied together by mental illness and chance.

    Emily Taylor’s (Rooney Mara) life is on the brink of total collapse. After waiting four years for her husband to get out of prison, her depression finally overtakes her. She
    Drugs and depression. Steven Soderbergh takes both subjects head- on in Side Effects, a film that examines how the lives of a group of individuals inevitability become tied together by mental illness and chance.

    Emily Taylor’s (Rooney Mara) life is on the brink of total collapse. After waiting four years for her husband to get out of prison, her depression finally overtakes her. She ends up in the Emergency Room after a failed suicide attempt. Here she encounters Doctor Jonathan Banks (Jude Law).

    Jude Law doesn’t seem a likely psychiatrist, but it doesn’t matter, he pulls it off and all the other characters fall into line around him; although Jude Law is the heart of the film, Soderbergh is undeniably at the helm here. He is the brain. Soderbergh’s characters habituate their New York City with 100% believability, believability so intense in fact, it is haunting.

    The viewer envies the characters and their glamorous lives, even more so as they destroy themselves. The viewer needs to remind themself that these characters do not exist, and this is a fiction, be it an excellently written one by Scott Z. Burns. As a screenwriter I watch this film as a lesson in how to build intersecting plot lines.

    Banks comes across as a doctor legitimately interesting in helping people, so when Emily claims to be living in a depressive fog Banks takes on the task of trying his best to help her. Emily’s condition begins to improve, but in the midst of the improvement tragedy strikes, and it threatens to bring down both patient and doctor.

    As a psychiatrist Dr. Banks did what psychiatrists do, he prescribed drugs. Then more drugs. Then even more drugs. Even though it seems absurd at times just how many medications are being dolled here, for anyone who has ever experienced psychiatric treatment, they will realize that these procedures are standard. So is this a jab at psychiatry’s habit of throwing handfuls of pills at people in mental distress? However mind-boggling it may be that the treatment for nearly every mental condition is medication, this film doesn’t come across as serious critique of psychiatric drugs, or the pharmaceutical industry.

    There is a fog covering the whole film, figuratively in the melancholic tone, and literally in the shades of grey of the cinematography. This fog further complicates an already complex plot, but once you can piece together what has occurred, as I did hours afterwards, you will not be able to shake this film’s dark presence.

    In the end it is not drug use that is being criticized here, but rather the avaricious soul-sucking void, the characters' needs to engulf their surroundings, and the sociopathic culture that made them this way.

    Amazing!
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  11. Apr 5, 2014
    9
    Side Effects is one of Soderbergh's best movies in recent years. It has a complex center with intelligent screenwriting and great performances by Law, Zeta-Jones, Mara, and even Tatum.
  12. Dec 28, 2013
    9
    Thriller captivant, des rebondissements du début la fin. Une intrigue bien ficelée, on est complètement immergé dans le film et dans le personnage. Bref excellent film
  13. Dec 28, 2013
    7
    Soderbergh's new thriller throws out one or two twists too many by the end, but remains unpredictable and engaging throughout. Rooney Mara's performance and the chilly score lend a memorable creepiness to the film.
  14. 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.
  15. Nov 13, 2014
    7
    "Side Effects" 10 Scale Rating: 6.5 (Decent) ...

    The Good: Great cast that doesn't disappoint. Gripping and entertaining for the majority of the film, the premise is a solid one. Makes some statements about mental health in our country and is a fascinating conversation starter. The Bad: As the plot unfolds, it becomes less and less plausible. It just gets to the point where it is
    "Side Effects" 10 Scale Rating: 6.5 (Decent) ...

    The Good: Great cast that doesn't disappoint. Gripping and entertaining for the majority of the film, the premise is a solid one. Makes some statements about mental health in our country and is a fascinating conversation starter.

    The Bad: As the plot unfolds, it becomes less and less plausible. It just gets to the point where it is hard to suspend belief. There was a great idea in there, but they went a few steps too far.
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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.