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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new 'malice'
Very clever, I didnt see where this was going until we got there, then it went further!
I wanted to see Channing, and I like Jude Law.
The beginning, showing her depression etc I thought was very well done. Its not all doom and gloom.
I really enjoyed it. If you enjoyed 'Malice' (Nicole Kidman/Alec Baldwin 90's) then you would probably like this. If you...
Published 4 months ago by Emma

versus
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perils of Pill Popping
A beautiful young woman remains clinically depressed even after her husband is released from jail for insider training. A failed suicide attempt brings her to the attention of a caring but ambitious psychiatrist (Jude Law) and it seems we are set for an exposé of the US drug industry, by turns reducing everyone to casual pill popping, often ruining the lives of...
Published 15 months ago by Antenna


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4.0 out of 5 stars You know i'm not crazy..., 14 Nov 2013
This review is from: Side Effects [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Despite being reunited with her husband, Emily Taylor becomes depressed and attempts suicide. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Banks, prescribes her an experimental medication.

The side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a "sleepwalking" state. With Emily in hospital confinement and Dr. Banks' practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed.

Dr. Banks cannot accept responsibility and investigates to clear his name....

Soderbergh has supposedly retired, and after 24 years of movie making, he has covered almost every genre apart from horror, and with this movie, he touches on the sub genre of Erotic thrillers that were everywhere twenty years ago.

If it were made back then, Sharon Stone or Demi Moore would have been the lead, and Michael Douglas would have been in it somewhere, and it would have been one of the biggest hits of the year.

Films like Basic Instinct, Final Analysis, Disclosure, and Sliver spring to mind when watching this, and that's not a criticism of the film.

My only advice for you is not to read anything about the film, I hadn't, and that's quite an achievement in this day and age, and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Its ridiculous to say the least, and its almost as if Soderbergh is doing this, knowing is a completely bonkers film, and in other hands, it would have been pap, but with his great cast, and beautiful camera work, he's made a classy 'Erotic Thriller'.

Law is brilliant as the troubled Doctor, and like I already said, if you haven't read too much about, you wouldn't know that the main narrative is about Law, not about Emily, and he really is the glue to holding the arguably absurd plot together.

You really have to suspend relief, a lot of the film is really eyebrow raising, but its fun, with some really good twists, and a satisfying ending.

Well worth seeing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars There is a thriller there but boy, it takes a long time to begin, 27 Aug 2013
By 
Gisli Jokull Gislason "Jokull" (Iceland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
...and even after it starts it takes its time.

An odd film that skids the surface of medicine and the problems of drugs. Take one drug to one problem and it leads to another problem. Then we have a thriller when a discredited doctor starts to see a different picture. Is he being paranoid? Is his own downfall making him clutch to straws. Then there is the patient and double victim of a terrible crime. It is a fresh prespective to see a thriller from someone else than a cop, lawyer or news reporter. It could have been a brilliant film. The problem was with the pace of the story. Slow it was but the worst part was that the introduction took up the first 50 minutes of the film, that is to say before it became a thriller. The story before that is of a seriously depressed woman coping with her life. Even once the thriller begins it is slow. There is a lot of good elements in there but it lacks the pace to make it engaging.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing implausible plot, 11 Aug 2013
By 
J0n G (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
I'm surprised by the enthusiastic reviews this film received from professional reviewers. The acting performances are good, the cinematography is good but the plot seems to have been written by someone profoundly ignorant of medical practice and ethics or the criminal legal system. For me, it proved impossible to maintain a willing suspension of disbelief. I even felt rather indignant that this might be seen as a depiction of a typical British psychiatrist working in the USA, putting patients on clinical trials without any proper protocol or supervision, treating patients without any proper method. I watched in semi boredom to see how the plot would play out, and was glad when it eventually creaked to an end. Perfect for people who hate and distrust psychiatrists.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Effective Thriller, 6 Aug 2013
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Side Effects [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Side Effects is Steven Soderbergh's penultimate film before he embarks on pastures new. It is a shame as the last 2 years have seen a consistently brilliant and diverse body of work come from him and Side Effects is no different.

A ruthlessly efficient thriller with lots of different levels to explore, this will have you gripped to the end. Admittedly it is a little slow to start, but once the plan is set in motion you will be sitting on the edge of your seat.

Jude Law is a normal psychiatrist with no agenda's or underhand motives. He just wants to help people as best he can. He meets a new patient called Emily who is severely depressed and none of the medication she uses seems to work. He is offered a new drug to trial which he gives to Emily.

However after a tragic event takes place his professionalism comes into question. After much digging around he starts to believe that these events may not merely be caused by a side effect of the drugs but something much more sinister.

Jude Law is at his best here. Brilliantly portraying a caring medical professional quickly descending into disarray when his life begins to fall apart. He becomes obsessed with finding the truth and will stop at nothing until his tarnished reputation is repaired. Rooney Mara plays Emily in a fairly low key role. She isn't very endearing but ultimately she isn't there to be liked. She is the tool which sets the events in motion. She and Jude Law spark off each other well and the story really takes off when they are together.

There are plenty of twists and turns throughout and although the ending isn't totally unpredictable, enough goes on to keep you questioning what is actually happening.

Great performances coupled with an interesting story make for a fresh and modern thriller. Well worth a look if you want something a little different.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WHO CAN SEE THE LIES?,, 3 May 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Emily (Rooney Mara) is clinically depressed. She has been seeing a psychologist (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Her white collar criminal husband (Channing Tatum) is getting out of jail, which leads to more depression. Having failed a suicide attempt, Emily is placed on medication and does the unthinkable. At this point the film goes into an odd mystery/thriller, one where everyone knows who done it. Just when you think you have it figured out, it twists, having more twists than Taylor Swift having break-up songs. Jude Law plays Dr. Jonathan Banks, a man caught in the middle of all of this.

I didn't know what to expect going into this feature. It is best not to read the reviews as it is impossible to write anything without giving away too much of the plot. If you like mystery thrillers with twists and clues that hurt your head like a Hitchcock masterpiece, this one will fit the bill. If you know anyone who takes meds for depression, then you can enjoy the film on a different level.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, sex, very brief nudity (Rooney Mara)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out: every single line of dialogue has a meaning, or at least two, or maybe even three..., 28 Feb 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
Do you remember the very well done The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005], where ordinary people tried to fight pharmaceutical companies, and what arsenal of illegal means these world-famous companies had to fight back [not decease, but] people. From the "Side Effects" preview I believed the film will be about pharmaceuticals, and researches into the unknown of human psyche, and the fight for justice, sprinkled with some suspense. And I was right, the first half of the film was tense and gripping and my attention was grabbed in the whirlwind of [what I thought] was a beginning of exposure of wrong-doing by the medical institutions and the pharmaceutical corporations. The acting was brilliant throughout the film, there was believable chemistry between the young couple in the centre of it all (Emily, played by Rooney Mara and her husband, played by Channing Tatum), I literally jumped on my seat at a certain scene involving knife. God, the film was brilliant!

There were so many different ideas and ways where the film could go, you keep guessing and wondering who is the guilty party, who is trying to help and who is only thinking about saving his or her own a**! I went from one theory to the next (thanks to the brilliant Jude Law, fighting for justice... or was he?!), I thought that if I took my eyes from the screen for a mere minute, I would overlook some important clues. At some point, I just stopped trying to unknot the very twisted narrative of "Side Effects" and started to fully enjoy the shattering of my theories again and again.

And then, there was the revelation. I thought it was a disappointment and an easy way out, somewhat standard conclusion, I don't want to spoil it to anybody, and STOP READING NOW, but it was a let-down that the conspiracy involved the third party, ah, there was a love triangle.

You can START READING NOW. So yes, the acting, the tension, the twist, the chemistry between actors... Rooney Mara is brilliant, I think she absolutely found her niche as a thriller heroine. And Jude Law, he gets better with age, in my humble opinion. And Channing Tatum for the ladies. You know what, this is four stars at least!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SLOW AND DEPRESSING,BUT INTERESTING., 14 Oct 2013
This review is from: Side Effects [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is going to bore some with the slow moving story,but it's a story that does eventually make a good point.
This starts off looking like a a murder or major accident has just happened,then we go back to how this came about. A woman who is seemingly depressed,seeks help and her psychiatrist puts her on a pill that appears to be good for her,but has the side effect of sleep walking,this leads to some very serious taking place and so the story kicks off with a more interesting pace. A lot of viewers won't make it this far as it is depressing and very slow,but for those that don't mind that,the story has twists and turns to keep you watching. There's a good message about medication but also mental illness and how it's viewed.
It's a film I appreciated,with some top acting,one that at least dares to ask questions and isn't just depressing with nothing really said.
I liked the end and though it gets a little complicated,it does deliver.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, but interesting tale, 19 July 2013
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
Poor Jonathan Banks. A British psychiatrist trying make a decent living for his wife and son in New York. He puts one of his clients on a new drug with devastating (side) effects and Dr Banks sees his career begin to circle the drain.

However, it turns out that there is more to the story that meets the eye and that is what makes for a fascinating insight into the murky world of pharmaceuticals and the pitfalls of psychiatry.

Jude Law is simply perfect as the hapless psychiatrist who's life has been turned upside down. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a good role too, but Rooney Mara excels as the depressed patient who seeks out Dr Banks.

The movie takes time to gain momentum and this might put a few viewers off, but it's worth sticking with it. Mind you, pay attention. The cast mumble a lot and things can be missed which can spoil the film or leave the viewer a bit at sea at the end.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as smart as it thinks, 31 Mar 2013
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
The reviews for this film were generally favourable yet I came away thinking whether I had watched the same film. With an interesting plot line which deals with the prescription of medication to deal with depression and the culpability of the patient following a serious crime, there was a point about a third of the way through this film where the direction of the story line was gripping. A line was drawn up whereby Jude Law's shrink was likely to lose his reputation if it transpired that the court ruled that the crime was a consequence of the victim's wife acting under the influence. By this stage a complicated web of intrigue has been built up concerning insider dealing and the ethics of pharmaceutical companies pushing their products. Law's character is by far the most interesting one on the film despite Rooney Mara also getting some glowing write-ups and the culimination of the first act in the film essentially set up an extremely interesting premise.

Unfortunately the storyline unravels pretty soon afterwards as the plot essentially goes into auto-pilot and we are left with trying to pick up the bones from a convoluted and incredible chrime which tests the logic of what went before. In my opinion, the first part of the time justified the hype yet the notion of the culpability of psychiatrists being manipulated by pharmacuetical could have made a fascinating film in it's own right had a followed the kind of direction of something like HBO's "The Wire." Here, the story loses cohesion and the film descends in to cliche.

I like films with twists and that have plot lines which make you work. For the first third of the film it seemed to follow this route yet the film's conclusion was a weak as an episode of "Murder she wrote" and squandered the interesting premise that Soderbergh tried so hard to construct in the first 40 minutes. It's strange that some critics seem harsher on British drama of this ilk than American efforts on the silver screen. "Side Effects" is a bit of a mish-mash and the lack of tension and excitement that should have been added when the writers opted out for a far punchier critique of medical ethics is a disadvantage. I suppose that this film was very much caught between two stools and the unlikely conclusion which sees Law's psychiatrist perform and about face illustrated yet again Hollywood's inability to reach for something more unresolved and perhaps unsettling. All told, the reviews have been a bit too kind with this one-pace film and it is not quite as smart and clever as it believes itself to be. Something of a missed opportunity to make a film that could have been far more sinister and musch darker.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The drugs do work - but with unforeseen..., 23 April 2013
This review is from: Side Effects [DVD] (DVD)
Steven Soderbergh recently announced that this was to be his final film as a director, preferring to concentrate on his painting from here on in. If it is his last, it will be a decent legacy, reflecting his not inconsiderable output as well as his solid if unspectacular directorial style.
The plot is fairly complex without being particularly deep - Jude Law's ex-pat psychiatrist has the rug pulled from under him after encountering car-crash victim Emily, whose husband has recently been released from prison for insider trading. It appears that Emily is suicidal and deliberately drove the car into a wall, and with her previous history of depression, Law's Doctor Banks agrees to discharge her - on the condition that she attends regular therapy sessions with him. After the failure of various anti-depressant drugs to `cure' Emily, Doctor Banks agrees to prescribe her Ablixil, a new drug recommended to him by Emily's former psychiatrist, Catherine Zeta-Jones' Doctor Victoria Siebert. Aside from some sleepwalking the side effects of the drug appear negligible, and Emily seems to be making rapid progress, however it is at this point that things take an unexpected and dramatic turn...
Suffice to say that there are dramatic developments aplenty, and that Soderbergh's human drama plays out in some refreshingly unexpected ways. Contrivances there may be, but the film remains a highly entertaining and pleasingly cerebral one, that will bear repeated viewings no problem.
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Side Effects [Blu-ray]
Side Effects [Blu-ray] by Stephen Soderbergh (Blu-ray - 2013)
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