Side Effects Movie Review

Photo courtesy of Open Road Media and Endgame Entertainment

Photo courtesy of Open Road Media and Endgame Entertainment

**Note** If you haven’t seen Side Effects and are thinking about going to watch it, then I would advise you to wait and read this review after you have already seen the movie.

Steven Soderbergh has established had quite the resume over his 35 films that he has directed. To many movie critics he is beloved and held as one of the top directors working today. However, I have noticed the general movie fan has mixed feelings when it comes to his career. Overall, I am an avid fan of Soderbergh’s work. I loved the Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen; I enjoyed Out of Sight, Haywire and The Informant; and I didn’t care too much for Contagion. Since 2005, there have only been 3 out of the 11 movies that Steven Soderbergh directed that audiences have liked more than the critics have like on RottenTomatoes. That being said, I believe that both critics and the general audience will find Side Effects to tense and exciting.


Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Written by: Scott Z. Burns

Music by: Thomas Newman

Cinematography: Peter Andrews


“Emily (Rooney Mara) and Martin (Channing Tatum) are a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects.” -IMDB

The Good:

  • Rooney Mara: Mara has really showed her range in the past couple of years on screen. She went from playing Mark Zuckerberg’s love interest in The Social Network to a fearless gothic computer hacker in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now, she plays Emily Taylor, a 28 year-old who character suffering from depression and struggling to live a normal life when her husband Martin Taylor (Channing Tatum) is released from jail. This role may have been her most challenging role to date, but Mara continued to show off her unbelievable acting range here in Side Effects. Watch out for Rooney Mara in the next couple of years.
  • The Twists: You will be best served if you can go into this movie with as little knowledge as you possible. This may have been the first movie that I have seen in theaters without having seen the trailer prior (aside from TV spots). I won’t go into detail and spoil the movie for anyone, but I will say that the there is more than one twist and they are perfectly timed.
  • Steven Soderbergh: I talked earlier about how critics seem to love Soderbergh, but audiences do not. While this movie includes a lot of those vintage ‘Soderbergh’ shots and moments, it is not your typically Soderbergh film. I think Side Effects will resonate with the audience better than his the majority of his previous films have.

The Bad:

  • The Start: Again, I do not wish to spoil the movie for anyone who has not seen it, but I will say that the opening shot does feature some foreshadowing. It takes nearly 45 minutes to reach that foreshadowing which was to the films determinant.

Grade: 8/10


If you thinking about watching Side Effects, just go and see it and don’t watch the trailer beforehand if you have not already watched it. Rumor has it that this is Steven Soderbergh last film that he will direct. If this is the case, then Side Effects is a good, solid movie to go out with and is a fitting way to end his career as a director.


3 thoughts on “Side Effects Movie Review

    • Viewed your post…great review. I agree that Jude Law and Rooney Mara were the highlights and gave gave the best performances of the film. Also, it seems like Jude Law has been wiser in the roles that he takes now and I really liked him as the psychiatrist in Side Effects.

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