Side Effects is a financial-medical thriller come 'why-dunnit' of the highest order. Normally when I watch thrillers I've worked it out by half an hour in. I love films when I think I have the plot worked out, and then it turns out I didn't. So I adored this film. It's complex and twisty, and very on the pulse. It is glorious neo-noir, complete with the science-fiction element, and you'll end up questioning your own subjectivity. Don't go looking for an MC to root for in this, I found that those I thought were the protaganists were the antagonists and vice-versa. And that's why the film is brilliant, you think you've seen something, when you haven't. My best advice is to just sit back, and let Soderberg remind you are watching a film.
It has some great performances - and a few shocks (I rarely jump in my cinema sea.] And Channing Tatum continues to impress [I think this one outshines his 'Saints' performance.] I'm growing more and more convinced that he is a better actor of 'ambigious' roles, then when playing the romantic/action hero trope. Rooney Mara is brilliantly terrifying, and Catherine Zeta Zone is just as chilling.
My only criticism is that I think the middle could have been tightened, but I would only deduct half a star on an otherwise superb film.
I'm officially a convert, and will go and look at Soderberg's backlist. If you looking for a thriller with guns and explosions, then best look elsewhere. But if you want a clever, character-driven thriller, sit back and enjoy!