Movie Review: Side Effects [2013]

One Pill Can Change Your Life - IMDB 
One Pill Can Change Everybody's Lives

For me, Steven Soderbergh's movie means much. Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's 11-12-13 are some of his brilliant works. And I truly believe Side Effects is one of them with extraordinary story, a great cast and pure directing.

Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara) is young, a 28-year-old girl married to sexy but imprisoned Martin (played by Channing Tatum). It's been four years she waiting for husband's release and when finally he comes out, something changes - Emily gets depressed. Their relationship is just ruining day by day, the more time they spend together, the worse she feels - even her suicide attempts fail. Then she starts visiting Dr. Banks (played by Jude Law) whose decides that Mrs Taylor needs emergency psychiatric treatment. There is a moment when everybody thinks that nothing can go more wrong, but obviously they do not know the Side Effects of medicine, Emily receives daily.

To begin with the screenplay, Scott Burns made a original story with exquisite dialogues. Each piece of scenario is logical, thrilling clue of the movie ending. But it does not fully tells you whole story. What I really really loved is that you can't actually get the entire plot at the same time, you are discovering everything minute by minute, act by act and at last you've got the whole picture. And then you remember all the clues you received before. Soderbergh managed to bring this script in a very dynamic and live way, with brilliant shots and camerawork. Besides that, Steven wonderfully shows development of each character, it feels like getting known to totally unfamiliar person step by step and in the end you see a clear picture of each, but not earlier. In the beginning, Emily, for instance, is average husband-loving young girl, but then she changes and you learn many many things about her and after an hour and forty minutes she gets another person, which is most likely to be her real face.

I think Rooney Mara is far better actress at this moment than she was two years ago. Her performance is very powerful, delivering  a character with unstable emotional conditions. Naturalism of her emotions made entire movie a lot enjoyable. I have not seen such confident acting by Jude Law for last couple of years.

I make Side Effects this year's highest recommended movie to watch, so far.


  1. Good review!Totally agree. Rooney Mara is very good I am sure we will see many more great performances by her. It is definitely a great thriller, one of the best I have seen this year so far as well.

  2. Hopefully she won't go down after first Oscar nomination, as it happens for many young actors. I thinks it's a great good-bye by Steven Soderbergh