User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 248

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  1. 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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  2. Feb 11, 2013
    7
    I had relatively modest expectations for this one, as Soderbergh has produced films of varying quality over the last few years (highs: Haywire Magic Mike; lows: The Girlfriend Experience Contagion). Side Effects is an interesting, twisty drama set against the backdrop of the mental health and criminal justice systems. Jude law is fantastic, and Mara is strong though not nearly as goodI had relatively modest expectations for this one, as Soderbergh has produced films of varying quality over the last few years (highs: Haywire Magic Mike; lows: The Girlfriend Experience Contagion). Side Effects is an interesting, twisty drama set against the backdrop of the mental health and criminal justice systems. Jude law is fantastic, and Mara is strong though not nearly as good as she was in Dragon Tattoo. Because this film is best experienced by those who don't know much about it, I'll leave it at that. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. Feb 11, 2013
    7
    Saw this the other day with a friend, not expecting a whole lot. However, I demand that you go and see this movie. It's extremely well made and a great way to go out for Steven Soderbergh. Best film I've seen in 2013 so far.
  5. Feb 10, 2013
    7
    Side Effects picks up in the second and third act, so if you are still with it up to that point you might enjoy it. This is apparently Steven Soderbergh's last movie, and it's nice to see he made an adult themed thriller instead of another Oceans movie. Well crafted and stylish, with some added twists and turns at the end, but in the end I ask myself if I would like to see it again, andSide Effects picks up in the second and third act, so if you are still with it up to that point you might enjoy it. This is apparently Steven Soderbergh's last movie, and it's nice to see he made an adult themed thriller instead of another Oceans movie. Well crafted and stylish, with some added twists and turns at the end, but in the end I ask myself if I would like to see it again, and the answer is probably not anytime soon. Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Feb 10, 2013
    7
    Although some of its "twists" and character relationships could be developed more clearly, "Side Effects" still comes through as a surprisingly engrossing thriller with fantastic turns from Rooney Mara and Jude Law.
  9. 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. ChanningDoes 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. Expand
  10. Feb 9, 2013
    8
    This movie is great, first 30 minutes, the movie move slow, to show the characters. Then, get ready for this thriller and suspense. Very relevant and current, with the medicine industry.
  11. 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
  12. Feb 9, 2013
    7
    The creepy tone of this movie and overall craft were great, but the outcome of the supposed mystery was fairly predictable. Great acting. I enjoyed watching the movie, but if the intent was to surprise, it didn't work for me.
  13. Feb 8, 2013
    10
    Best movie from director Steven Soderbergh
  14. 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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  15. Feb 8, 2013
    8
    An engrossing thriller that takes quite a few twists and turns that keeps you guessing throughout most of the film. I had heard that this movie was inspired and I could definitely see that. Law and Mara lead the way for a cast that overall did a very good job in the acting department.
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.