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Plot: Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a "sleepwalking" state. With Emily plea-bargained into mental hospital confinement and Dr. Banks' practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed. However, Dr. Banks cannot accept full responsibility and investigates to clear his name. What follows is a dark quest that threatens to tear what's left of his life apart even as he discovers the diabolical truth of this tragedy. Runtime: 106 mins Release Date: 07 Feb 2013
Best movie I have seen in quite a while (by warthogjump)
The excellence of this movie comes from its transition from a well developed, but slow drama to an intense and gripping thriller. NOTE: Before I go on, I provide a brief synopsis below, but beware of other "summaries" because in my opinion they give too much away. Watch the movie with no more knowledge than what I give below and you will enjoy it much better. The movie begins with a focus on Emily Taylor played by a very impressing Rooney Mara , who is suffering depression since her husband Martin Taylor aka Channing Tatum has gone to prison. However, when he returns, she does <more>
not get any better. Emily attempts to commit suicide more than once, which results in a psychiatrist known as Dr. Jonathan Banks played by a convincing Jude Law trying to help her. With consultation from her previous doctor, Victoria Siebert played satisfactorily by Catherine Zeta Jones , Dr. Banks decides to prescribe a drug to Emily to help with her depression. One of the side effects of the drug is sleep walking. Obviously, her husband Martin begins getting very annoyed of her sleep walking, albeit his happiness that she is getting better. Martin consults with Dr. Banks for Emily to stop taking the drug. However, Dr. Banks reminds Martin that it is Emily's choice and Emily refuses to stop taking the drug because she claims she is happy on it.And that's it. That is all I'm giving away. That synopsis is what sets the scene for an excellent psychological thriller. But I will also say that the plot I have given away is the "drama" part. Sometime later it transitions into a thriller impeccably and without any notice. We have a shift of focus from Emily to Dr. Banks almost creating a whole new storyline, although it is directly related to the previous half of the movie. It's an amazing thriller, what can I say. But it doesn't have much action or violence etc. It's a slow burning thriller, but a perfect one!
Emily Taylor Rooney Mara is awaiting her husband's return from jail. After receiving a four year sentence for insider trading, Martin Taylor Channing Tatum returns to his wife with the hopes of starting a new life, and slowly piecing everything back together. But Emily has trouble adjusting to Martin's presence in her life, and Emily quickly sinks into a deep depression. Emily tries to commit suicide by driving her car into a wall, but she survives the crash.As Emily's assigned psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Banks Jude Law contemplates sending Emily to a mental hospital, but <more>
Emily pushes for a series of one on one sessions with Dr. Banks instead, and he agrees. With the help of various medications, Emily slowly recovers from her depression, and the relationship with Martin improves. Emily enjoys her newfound happiness, and Martin is looking for a way to "get back in the game." But Emily's erratic behavior worries Dr. Banks and Martin. As she prepares for dinner one night, Emily murders Martin with a butcher knife during a sleepwalking phase a side effect from Emily's most recent prescription drug . Emily's former psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Siebert Catherine Zeta-Jones lends a helping hand by revealing crucial information about her former patient that could save Emily from a lifelong imprisonment.As Emily goes through her trial, Dr. Banks' reputation is destroyed, and answering the three most important questions surrounding Emily's fate could clear his name, or ruin his life forever: Is Emily just a cold-blooded killer? Is Emily the victim of a bad reaction to the medication? Or did Emily knowingly murder her husband for her own selfish reasons? At first, Emily is a sympathetic character. Mara really nailed the broken and helpless victim persona during Emily's breakdown, but as the story develops, Mara shows us a more diabolical and devious personality. Mara's transformation is smooth, and her ability to bounce back and forth between Evil Emily and Innocent Emily towards the end is remarkable.Catherine Zeta-Jones is solid as Dr. Siberet, but she's more entertaining as the treacherous backstabber, who'll do anything to destroy Dr. Banks. Jude Law is a good leading man, and for the second time, Law forms a cohesive team with director Steven Soderbergh. If Soderbergh sticks around longer more on that later , Soderbergh/Law could reach the levels of Sam Jackson and Quentin Tarantino, or John Goodman and The Coen Brothers for successful director/actor teams. They won't reach the levels of Scorsese/De Niro, but both men could have a bright future together. As far as Channing Tatum goes, I don't think it's fair to grade his performance here. His screen time is limited, Tatum doesn't make it to the end, and his character doesn't have any spoken dialogue in flashbacks.I'm indifferent to director Steven Soderbergh's work. I'll admit, I haven't seen all of his films I will never watch Magic Mike , but I really enjoyed Haywire and Contagion. Soderbergh returns to the big screen with precision, and a sleek style for Side Effects. Soderbergh has a formula behind the camera, and he sticks to it. You'll always notice the crisp cinematography, deliberate pacing, and Soderbergh's work has a unique and stylish look. It's weird, because Soderbergh has voiced his desires to retire or "take a break" recently. Contagion, Magic Mike, and Side Effects received positive feedback for the most part, and you could say Soderbergh is peaking at the right time, so why walk away? Unless I forgot some crucial details family problems, stress, etc. about Soderbergh's statements regarding the decision to walk away for a while, I'm honestly baffled by this decision. Filmmaking isn't like pro sports, or some other profession that requires a physical effort. You don't have to worry about the shelf life problem in the world of movies, and I hope Soderbergh will return to directing soon enough.Side Effects is a real mind-trip. Side Effects starts out as a cautionary tale about the side effects of anti-depressant medications, and a conspiracy about psychiatrists, who use their patients as guinea pigs for testing new medications. Eventually, the story evolves into an intricate murder mystery, as Dr. Banks struggles to clear his name. Side Effects is a crafty and smart thriller with shocking and thought-provoking twists, and a well-executed suspenseful finale. I know it's early, but I loved every second of Side Effects, and I was glued to the screen during the last twenty minutes.
Hey, typical moviegoer over 30, Hollywood knows what you want to see! You want to see 3-D computer-generated cartoons with talking animals, and when the anvil falls on the guy's head you get to hear birds chirping in 5.1-channel Dolby® digital sound, and since it's 3-D, the stars around his head come out over you in the theater? Surely you want to see a revenge story where the mild-mannered hero is turns out to be an ex-special forces guy with a wall full of weapons hidden behind a secret panel, and he has a handgun so powerful that when he shoots-up the gang of swarthy bad guys, <more>
their bodies explode in fountains of blood? OR, you want to see comic-book superheroes and plenty of digitally-generated special effects? Then you >must< wish to see bikini girls with machine guns? No plot, just bikini girls with machine guns. What's that? You don't want to see any such standard fare from Hollywood? Well, it's not like you have a choice.Fortunately, every few years, a movie which might appeal to grownups -- mature people with sophisticated tastes -- falls through the cracks and is shown in theaters for about a week. Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects" is such a movie, and although it will not appeal to the lucrative youth market, you having read this far will enjoy it.You will enjoy it, despite that it starts out slow, and there are no car chases. You will enjoy it despite that you must pay attention to the details of the intricate plot and not simply wait until something explodes in a huge propane-fireball again. You will enjoy it because has the best script of any movie since Hitchcocks "North By Northwest" and the best acting you've ever seen."Side Effects" demonstrates what movies for mature viewers should be like, and that it's still possible for Hollywood to make something artistic. I urge you to see it in a theater, because you'll be voting with your dollars, and if you don't, the entire multiplex will return to screening nothing but constant junk for juveniles. This may be the last chance for grownups to take back the theaters! Go!
Morally ambiguous characters in a deceptive, complex thriller plot (by napierslogs)
In "Side Effects", Emily Rooney Mara is feeling hopeless, suffering from prolonged effects of abandonment issues, unsure how to proceed in her life. Her husband, Martin Channing Tatum has just come home from prison, serving time for insider trading. But Emily doesn't know what she should be feeling; Emily doesn't know how to feel what she should be feeling. Psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks Jude Law is exactly what the doctor ordered.For those of us who watched "Contagion" 2011 and wanted to focus only on Jude Law's morally ambiguous blogger, Alan <more>
Krumwiede, we have finally gotten our wish. Law's morally ambiguous Dr. Jon Banks and Mara's psychologically ambiguous Emily are the only two main characters. There is only one story to follow.It starts off with some strange camera angles Steven Soderbergh serving as his own director of photography as he has for the majority of his films but then settles down as a thriller, or what will become a thriller once we get to know the characters better. Emily has tried many antidepressants in the past but most leave her with undesired side effects: nausea, dizziness, or lack of a sex drive. Won't Dr. Banks please prescribe her something different? Sure, how about Ablixa, the new medication which Dr. Banks is being paid to try out on patients.And although we now think we know in which character evil lies, we do not. Dr. Jonathan Banks is singularly the most complicated, interestingly created character in recent times. He's modern, selfish, compassionate, professionally-oriented, family-oriented, has respect for the legal system, and will go to extremes to distinguish between right and wrong. He's the focus of this character-centric, film noir thriller which uses Mara's Emily as the vehicle for the plot.A crime is committed. It's bad, really bad. But the question is not who did it, the question is, who is guilty? In answering that question the film weaves from deception through twist to deception, never ceasing our questions of what is morally right, what is morally wrong and who is guilty? The screenplay is incredibly well-written, creating characters that amaze us, disappoint us and deceive us all the while being a part of an interesting and complex story. The dialogue fits with that theme, using words like "hopeless" to tie multiple characters together - conceptually not physically.It's more of an edge-of-your-mind thriller rather than an edge-of-your- seat thriller. Never really scared, always questioning the moral and psychological behaviour of these characters. The ending takes some strange, sexually-charged turns, and perhaps a bit more conclusive than I was originally expecting, but don't worry, you can still question where the line is between right and wrong and when each character crossed it.
A delicious dinner of a movie with the perfect dessert of betrayal and suspense (by zken)
What a delicious surprise of a movie for this early in the year. As has been the case before, a few films of greatness end up playing just after the first of the year. I saw this movie with expecting a clichéd crime drama. What I saw was one of the most inventive and riotous versions of suspense in years. Despite signs that this genre is dead and buried no pun intended here is a very modern film that updates the themes and tones of film noir without a pause or hitch of any kind. And as usual in great movies of this type, the setting is a character as strong as any of the actors. New York <more>
City has never looked this depressing and cold. But what really works here is a cast so perfect, that you can hardly remember their names. Each actor fits so perfectly in the tapestry of the plot, that the film has a naturalism so real it is surreal. There is a an incredible attention to detail that is what you would expect from a Broadway play or a painting by Dali. One suggestion-DO NOT go by yourself. Having a fellow traveler to discuss this is very required. And I say this as someone who goes to the movies alone often.
Catherine Z. Jones is the hottest in the land when playing the bad one! (by jotaemesg)
I have just seen this film tonight in Luxembourg, the famous Ruritanian duchy. It is the first film in quite a time that really thrills me and gets me high. Everything is very good, from the twisted but consistent plot to the great cast. In fact, there were many films shown today at the movie theater and when I saw Soderbergh, Law and Z. Jones were involved I thought to myself: it can't possibly be a fail, and I am glad to say now my assumption was utterly right. This is a real treat like those we used to have back in the forties. The evolution of the main character is very realistic and <more>
convincing, from an honest but somewhat naive English shrink in NY to a red blooded survivor struggling to get back his life in a ruthless legal jungle. In the end we even get the morals from the tale, which I will not disclose for the sake of a good watching. Much can also be said about a paranoic society feeding on pills to live up to overwhelming expectations of success and top-performance; a cowardly and hypocrite society which, ironically, is not ready to take responsibility when things take, say, an unwanted course. But, fortunately, these clever hints masterfully scattered throughout the film do not harm the most important thing, a sound mystery story with excellent players and a spectacular ending. Most highly recommended by all means.
An intriguing, complex psychological thriller (by parallel_projection)
Steven Soderbergh has decided to end his career what can only be described as a pharmaceutical, psychosexual thriller that deals with several morally ambiguous characters all revolving around one horrible incident. Out of fear of giving away the intelligent, twist-filled plot written by Scot Z. Burns, that's really all I can say, although I can tell you that Soderbergh directs the film with extreme confidence, and it shows. He was able to convey a sort of quiet chaos with his frequent close-ups, and, by shifting in-and-out of focus throughout the screen, he was able to draw attention to <more>
the many small, yet important details.The real strength of this film, though, is not necessarily the story itself, but how it is presented. To be honest, the story is almost too smart to the point of absurdity, but it never comes off as such. By releasing only one small piece of information at a time, we are kept waiting through interviews, court hearings, false trails, and many psychiatrist visits until, finally, everything comes together into one neat conclusion. The entire film is very subdued, but if you pay attention, you will be rewarded in the end.Of course, the story would not have turned out so well without the multiple impressive performances that carry it all the way through. Rooney Mara is once again stunning as Emily Taylor, a woman who starts taking prescription antidepressants to cope with her husband's release from prison. Without giving much away, Emily is far more complex than she first appears, and Mara plays this perfectly by retaining a dark mysteriousness about her. She truly steals every scene she's in, and displays such a range of emotions that, at times, it's difficult to tell what her character is truly thinking. This is unfortunate for Channing Tatum, who does a fine job as her loving and sympathetic husband trying to make everything right after being released for insider trading, but who doesn't have close to enough material to compete with Mara.Jude Law, on the other hand, is arguably the most central figure as Dr. Jonathan Banks, Emily's psychiatrist who is thrown into a scandal when his patient is involved in a tragic accident after taking an antidepressant he prescribed for her. He slowly mentally unravels as his decisions come back to haunt him, and eventually has to cross several moral boundaries in order to get his life back on track. Law shows this frustration with expert skill, and gives one of the best performances of his recent career. The same can be said for Catherine Zeta- Jones, who—as Emily's former psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Siebert—gives possibly the most complex performance, and does it brilliantly despite her lack of screen time.To give away any more would be to say too much, as the film is so perfectly structured, it is difficult to discuss without giving away the whole thing. All I can add is, it is not so simple and straightforward as it may appear. It is a complex of characters, their motives, and the consequences of their actions, and, despite taking a while to get started, it is truly a spectacular, thrilling, and intricate journey that should not be missed.
Being Fooled is Part of the Fun (by kkboyd-603-991354)
I read an article that said that, with Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh wanted to return to the old suspense classics like Jagged Edge and much of Hitchcock, psychological twisters that aren't made much anymore.I suspect that's because today people expect vampires, car chases or buckets of blood to justify the price of a ticket. Well, I too remember those old classics and I loved them. Side Effects is a worthy addition but be warned that it's a thinking person's movie not a chainsaw caper.I'm surprised that so many people mention the twists and turns. Yes, there are some <more>
but not that many and they're what makes it all so fascinating. You think you know what's happening -- but you don't! What I especially enjoyed was the gamesmanship the different characters displayed. It's like a chess match with three people and more to kibitz.And yet as we travel through the story, the surprising bits do make sense and we wonder why we didn't think of those things before. We're deep into the heart of mental illness and psychopathology. Almost every character has secrets or hidden motives they would not like to see the light of day. Although the main character seems at first to be the troubled young wife, it becomes clear that it is Jude Law's character as the shrink who is struggling to find the truth and do the right thing.Just when you think everything that can go wrong for him has, the tide begins to turn and it's Oh My Gosh. Just like a Hitchcock film, you have a guy to root for and wonder how he will ever work his way though. I expected a different -- more startling -- ending, but there is the promise perhaps? of more horror to come.Yes, let's definitely have a sequel! Okay, Stephen?
Soderbergh Does Drugs and Does Them Well (by DjMethod)
Side Effects is a psychological thriller centered around the pharmaceutical industry. I won't say much more for fear of spoiling anything, but let's just say an experimental drug prescription goes... haywire. ; Steven Soderbergh crafts his suspense from the very first frame with a perfect start for the film. The plot then pulls us in and keeps us guessing as the mystery slowly unfolds. The cast meshes wonderfully. Jude Law delivers a strong lead as the frustrated psychiatrist and Rooney Mara is mysterious and unpredictable. My only complaint is the performances were not as dramatic as <more>
they could have been. Mara was excellent at portraying her character's cold and lifeless depression, but I have seen what she is really capable of Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" , and she could have definitely reached those heights with this type of character. Nonetheless, a fine set of performances all around, but they take a back seat to the intoxicating narrative.So is Side Effects Soderbergh's last hurrah? I certainly hope not, as it's probably my favorite film of his. I do wish Soderbergh got more range out of Mara, but the result is a satisfying and expertly-woven psychological drama packed with twists and turns.