Saturday, November 2, 2013

Side Effects (2013)

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

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Synopsis: A young woman, Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara), starts showing signs of depression after her husband(Channing Tatum) is released from prison. She begins to see a psychiatrist (Jude Law) who prescribes her a new anti-depressant that has an unfortunate side-effect that changes the course of everyone’s lives. 

Reviewer Rating: 4/5 Reels

Review *spoiler alert*:

This star-studded movie has plot-twists at every turn.  The viewer is constantly wondering who the real victim is, who is lying, and who is telling the truth. When Channing Tatum’s character is murdered by his wife, Emily, we can’t help but victimize poor Channing Tatum (since he, you know, is dead), but we also want to victimize Emily because she killed him whilst sleep walking, which is a side effect of the antidepressant she was taking.

There is no denying she killed her husband, but she had no recollection of it. She was not in control during her sleep-walking episode—or so we think. Before we know it, Emily’s current psychiatrist becomes a victim. Since he prescribed the medication, he loses his job, his family, and his reputation. Yet when we find out the whole thing was a scandal (the depression, the antidepressants, the murder, the sleep walking) plotted by Emily and her old psychiatrist, we see the tables turn.

This movie was well-written and the acting was good. The plot weaves all the characters together soundly. It doesn’t move too fast, so the viewer can follow the intricate plot. It also doesn’t move too slowly, so the viewer isn’t left waiting for the next breakthrough in the plot. It’s nice that this movie has an ending that ties up all the loose ends. We, as the audience, can be satisfied with the fact that justice was served to those who truly deserved it and Emily’s current psychiatrist got his life back in order (or there were at least hints that he was getting his life back).

Side Effects is not a movie to see with the little ones. It has adult content, strong language, and a couple of really risqué scenes.  Although it moves at a good pace, the scenes tend to jump around chronologically, so if the viewer is not paying attention, he or she might miss the transition to a flashback.

If movie-goers desire a movie that lacks common clichés, has an enticing plot, and offers just the right amount of drama and thrill, Side Effects might be the right fit for them. 

By: Adrienne Nunley

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. This sounds like a really interesting movie. I really enjoy movies where there are lots of plot twists and turns as they keep the film moving and suspenseful. I love solving mysteries and trying to see if I can predict what is coming next. It sounds like the director did a good job keeping the plot relatively easy to follow but also complex enough that it made you think. His pacing and use of flashbacks must have been well planned and executed. It is also nice that the director chose to tie up the loose ends and have justice served instead of leaving it unresolved. I am really interested in seeing this movie. Thanks for the review!

  2. This was a great movie review about what seems to be an emotional and involved movie. Reading the review I could not help but be shocked with every new fact that was listed about the story and the plot line. I imagine watching the movie would bring about the same reaction but at an even higher scale. The review did a great job of keeping my interest and making me want to learn more about what events and facts lead to the ending of the story. I appreciated the information that was given about how quickly the story moved. That information makes me want to see it even more because there is nothing worse than a slow suspenseful movie and you made it clear that this movie moves quickly and gets to the next detail and point. I also appreciated how you explained that the movie tied up the loose ends; this fact also made me want to see the movie because I appreciate and enjoy movies that do that for the viewer. Overall, I appreciated this review and it made me very interested in the movie and seeing the story line of these characters. Thanks!


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