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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2013
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2013
Sometimes there are films where you don't know much about before you watch them. And, in this case, it's a good thing. I won't dwell too much on the plot as it's probably something you don't want/need to know about. The best part of the film is the fact that (hopefully) you won't know what's coming next.

I had to admit that I didn't like the film for the first half. I found it too depressing. It starts out with a woman who's down on her luck, but is hanging on to wait for her husband to be released from prison after being convicted of insider trading. She's depressed, naturally. And, for the purpose of the film, plays it convincingly, i.e. she makes anyone watching it feel pretty depressed, too.

In an attempt to treat this depression, she sees a psychiatrist (Jude Law) who prescribes her various prescription drugs to help her. However, there are some - unfortunate - side effects to this course of action.

And that's all I'll say about the plot. What you do need to know is that the film's tone sort of changes from `generally depressing' to a much sharper thriller with plenty of plot twists to keep you entertained.

Jude Law puts in an excellent performance (and I'm not normally a fan) and plays his part perfectly for what's required.

If you choose to watch this, just make sure you're in the right frame of mind before you do. If you're expecting anything vaguely light-hearted and frothy then don't watch this (right now). Be prepared for something much darker and bleaker and you'll definitely enjoy the ride.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 April 2013
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 vulnerable patients whose sickness is relieved only at the price of grim side effects, and corrupting medical professionals in the process. In short, this starts off very much in the same vein as the director Soderbergh's crusading Erin Brockovich with its attack on corporate environmental polluters.

Halfway through, the film takes a sharp turn to become a complicated and fast-moving thriller of the type which causes you to risk missing a point if you spend too much time trying to work out the previous clue. It was entertaining at the time but left me feeling dissatisfied with too many somewhat implausible plot twists.

This is well-acted, skilfully filmed, is hard to review without giving away too much of the plot but would have been much more powerful if it had kept to the moral dilemmas of modern psychiatric medicine.
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on 9 October 2013
I don't want to give away anything about the plot as it is full of twists and turns and kept me guessing right until the end. I will say that Rooney Mara and Jude Law work beautifully together as patient and psychiatrist. This is the best performance I have ever seen from Jude Law. I hardly recognised Rooney Mara only ever having seen her play Lisbeth Salander. Here she plays a much more feminine and vulnerable character, Emily who is suffering from terrible depression and has had to cope with her husband (Channing Tatum) being sent to prison for insider-dealing. Law's character, Dr Banks, meets her after a suicide attempt and tries to get her back on track. Catherine Zeta Jones is perfect as sexy but stern fellow psychiatrist, Dr Siebert. An intelligent story based on the lawsuits against big drug companies we often read about. Side Effects is one of the best thrillers I have seen in years.
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on 11 March 2013
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!
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on 8 March 2014
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 havent seen it, check it out, its in the same vein, again very clever.
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on 10 March 2014
Definitely one to watch! Don't be fooled into thinking this is just another slow court room drama by the first 30 minutes of the film, stick with it you will be on the edge of your seat by the end.
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on 10 August 2016
Great movie. Rooney Mara is the real star of this show with her acting skills. I mean she really produces a great acting spectacle for all to watch.
The movie is basically based around the side effects of some medication Rooney Mara is having to take to deal with her depression due to the whole episode with her husband being in prison (he has now just been released). However after he gets released things are not always what they seem and with Maras husband being murdered it becomes a mystery in itself how this actually happened and who was to blame.
If you have a background in pharmacy or medicine it's definately a must see. For everyone else you should still see it anyway, definately worth your time and mental capacity as you ponder whether drugs really can cause such side effects.
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on 13 July 2014
I found this film to be really boring, I persevered with it because of the good reviews it's received, but for me it was the usual and formulaic stuff America seems to be churning out all the time now. It certainly wasn't a psychological thriller, it's a crime story that tries to be clever but is incredibly predictable.
I gave it 2 stars, one because at last they had a Brit in a film who wasn't either incompetent or the criminal and the other for Jude Law.
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on 5 August 2015
One of my favourite films, because the plot is so clever - on a par, in my view, with the screenplay genius of The Shawshank Redemption or the original Korean Oldboy. Fantastically written. And although I am not a big fan of Jude Law, he is outstanding in this. Absolutely outstanding. I will not say anything spoilerish because it would stop the script from doing its proper job, and in this film that is crucial. You won't regret watching this. Plus, if you know how mental illnesses can affect people, something about drug treatments and side effects, and also how the "system" works and is weighted, your insights will make you enjoy this a whole lot more.
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