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Side Effects

10/10
Thriller . Drama . Crime
 

A woman turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband's upcoming release from prison.

 
Actors: Ann Dowd , Mamie Gummer , Andrea Bogart , Polly Draper , David Costabile , Vinessa Shaw , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Channing Tatum , Jude Law , Rooney Mara
Directors: Steven Soderbergh
Country: USA
Add a Review

Jordan Hoffman
Film.com

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.


Marc Mohan
Portland Oregonian

By the time the satisfying conclusion rolls around, though, it proves to be much more about the ability of a world-class director to induce such willing suspension of disbelief that even the loopiest narrative developments seem like the most natural thing in the world.


Richard Corliss
Time

Side Effects virtually demands a three-word review: Just see it.


Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

This clever bag of tricks is made with so much cinematic skill it makes implausibility irrelevant. What happens on screen is unapologetically far-fetched, but it unfolds with enough panache to make turning away out of the question.


Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

In another sense, though, everything is exactly what it seems, expertly crafted and cleverly compounded for high-dose entertainment.


A.O. Scott
The New York Times

While the plot may be predictable (and more than a little preposterous) in retrospect, Mr. Soderbergh handles it brilliantly, serving notice once again that he is a crackerjack genre technician.


Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic

Ultimately, think of the movie as a puzzle box in which all the pieces fit together wonderfully well. Once you step back and take a look at how it’s all put together, you have to marvel at how cleverly constructed the whole thing is.


Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Side Effects, chilly and noirish, and boasting a wily performance from Catherine Zeta-Jones as a therapist who worked with Emily earlier in her adulthood, is, Soderbergh says, his swan song.


Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Imagine music for a sorcery-related plot and then dial it down to ominous forebodings. Without Thomas Newman's score, Side Effects would be a lesser film, even another film.


Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Side Effects is Soderbergh in full, flinty vigor. It's anything but a formula murder mystery.


Scott Tobias
The A.V. Club

Like his underappreciated "Haywire," Side Effects screws around in its own thriller architecture, toying with feints of structure and clever bits of misdirection, and otherwise playing the audience like a fiddle. At this point in his career, Soderbergh pulls it off with the unpracticed ease of a maestro.


Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Side Effects is mostly a good Saturday-night movie, but by the end, it's caused a few unintended side effects of its own: a bit of head-scratching, and a giggle or two of disbelief.


Eric Kohn
indieWIRE

The scenes pile up with frenetic intensity; as with Soderbergh's other recent exercises in the suspense genre, no single cutaway goes wasted.


Ian Freer
Empire

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.


Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

The movie respects a viewer’s intelligence, which should also serve as a warning; don’t be lulled into a stupor. Keeping sharp will allow all the fun and menace in this terrific thriller to seep into your head.


Melissa Anderson
Village Voice

If Side Effects, an immensely pleasurable thriller centering around psychotropic drugs, really is Steven Soderbergh's final big-screen film, as the director claims it will be, then he has peaked in the Valley of the Dolls.


David Edelstein
New York Magazine (Vulture)

Soderbergh’s alleged last theatrical film is paranoid and hopeless, but he leaves the field with a bounce in his step.


Justin Chang
Variety

Steven Soderbergh's elegantly coiled puzzler spins a tale of clinical depression and psychiatric malpractice into an absorbing, cunningly unpredictable entertainment that, like much of his recent work, closely observes how a particular subset of American society operates in a needy, greedy, paranoid and duplicitous age.


Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

You never really see any of it coming, which is what makes the film such a marvel – and so difficult to discuss.


Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald

The main thing to keep in mind while watching Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Side Effects is not to take the movie too seriously or else you’ll feel betrayed by the end.


Ty Burr
Boston Globe

A sleekly clever murder mystery, the film plays as many games with the audience as it does with its characters, and for the majority of the running time — the challenge comes from matching wits with what you’re seeing.


Liam Lacey
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

But it’s Rooney who commands the most attention. As she already proved in David Fincher’s "The Social Network" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," she has an oddly fascinating screen presence, suggesting both vulnerability and inscrutable levels of calculation. Few actors or actresses can make inexpressiveness look so smart.


Lou Lumenick
New York Post

I walked out of Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects thinking to myself, “Finally, a mainstream 2013 movie I can whole-heartedly recommend’’ — then quickly added, “well, except that it will probably piss off a sizeable portion of the target audience.’’


Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

It's a gripping, maddening and thoroughly satisfying thriller, made with artfulness and integrity. Soderbergh sees things in his actors and gets things from them that other directors don't.


Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

With Rooney Mara as the woman in question — a poised, tense Manhattanite prescribed anti-anxiety medication by her psychiatrist with newsworthy results — Side Effects finds its ideal performer.


James Berardinelli
ReelViews

There's something delightfully old-fashioned about Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects. It's the kind of thriller that Alfred Hitchcock might make if he was still alive and active today.


Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Steven Soderbergh, rightly considered one of Hollywood’s smartest movie makers, is at his cleverest in Side Effects, a canny, cunning big idea thriller in a minor key, an engrossing zeitgeist whodunit about Wall Street, Big Pharma, prescription drugs and the power we give psychiatry and psychologists.


Drew Taylor
The Playlist

The picture's conspiratorial late-night tone and fleshy after hours luridness was practically built for watching at night, when our parents think we've gone off to bed (think '80s films directed by folks like Adrian Lyne).


Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com

It’s masterfully shot and edited, with a brooding soundtrack and a mysterious, dreamlike undertow – and, when all is revealed, it’s not even half as interesting as it seems to be.


Dana Stevens
Slate

Some of these revelations feel like clever reversals, others like calculated rug-pulls, but we never stop caring about what happens next.


Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns maintain a tone of taut creepiness, but the plot’s double and triple crosses are more ingenious than believable.


Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Like Magic Mike, Side Effects is enlivened by Soderbergh's jazzy style and laidback moralism, bringing to mind the work of another connoisseur of genre, Robert Altman.


Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York

It’s a reasonably diverting piece of work, falling somewhere between the high of "Magic Mike" (2012) and the low of "Haywire" (2011), among his recent efforts.


Scott Bowles
USA Today

Like a lot of meds, it loses its effectiveness over time, and you'll build a resistance to Effects eventually, particularly when it dissolves into a standard crime flick.


Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

Like a gel cap in a sip of orange juice, the psycho-pharmacological thriller Side Effects goes down easily, even if its long-term impact turns out to be barely dis­cern­ible.


Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter

In trying to merge this alarmist theme with an old-fashioned murder mystery, the filmmakers throw at least one plot-twist sucker-punch too many, leaving the viewer with an “Oh, come on” reaction to the entire film.


Mark Jenkins
NPR

The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider.


Rex Reed
New York Observer

What it turns out to be is a preposterous puzzle that fails every test under scrutiny, leaving the spectator with a “Huh?” that is meant to be uttered only while chewing gum.


Add Soundtrack

1. The Forgotten People ( Performer: Thievery Corporation )


2. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067 - Menuet & Rondeau ( Performer: Alice Hamlet, Jessica Nelson, and Ann Marie Yoo )


3. Very Sick Girl (Main Title) ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


4. Malingering ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


5. Another Acquittal ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


6. Take Back Tomorrow (End Title) ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


7. Past Behaviour ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


8. Houston Free Meds ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


9. Relativity ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


10. St. Luke's ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


11. Hopelessness ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


12. Salt Water ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


13. Poisonous Fog ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


14. Allison Finn ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


15. Dark & Stormy ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


16. Acute Parasomnia ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


17. Knife ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


18. Conduct Review ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


19. Double Jeopardy ( Performer: Thomas Newman Itunes )


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