Film Review: Rooney Mara, Jude Law Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Thrilling, Stellar ‘Side Effects’

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CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh has given interviews in which he claims that his latest film, the fantastic “Side Effects,” will be his last. As much as I have my doubts that this is true, it makes more sense after viewing the thriller starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. It plays like a proof of the auteur theory; like a “Greatest Hits” of Soderbergh’s career. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

With elements that remind one of “Contagion,” “”Sex, Lies, & Videotape,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “The Underneath,” and much more, it is a testament to the man’s incredible ability that he can blend all of these different styles and creative visions into one highly-entertaining piece of work. “Side Effects” not only draws on Soderbergh’s career but has conscious echoes of Roman Polanski, Brian De Palma, and Alfred Hitchcock as well. I hope it’s not one of the modern era’s best director’s final film but it would be fitting if it was.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Side Effects” in our reviews section.

Emily Taylor (the great Rooney Mara of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is going through a rough period. Her husband Martin (Channing Tatum, making his third Soderbergh appearance in just over a year after “Haywire” and “Magic Mike”) is about to be released from prison after doing a few years for insider trading. Emily has stayed loyal to Martin as her world collapsed and her spouse’s release seems to trigger an emotional upheaval. She breaks into tears randomly. She disappears into the “poisonous fog” of depression and even attempts suicide by driving her car into a brick wall in a parking garage.

After the accident, Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) comes to visit Emily and sees a woman in trouble. She refuses to be admitted to the hospital for observation but agrees to see Dr. Banks regularly. The doctor cannot quite crack Emily, even after going to visit her old psychologist, Dr. Sebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and learning more about his fascinating patient’s back story. Dr. Sebert suggests a new drug, Ablixxa, one that is being heavily advertised as the cure for what ails ya. Emily begins taking the drug but, of course, it has some side effects.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Side Effects” review.

“Side Effects” stars Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ann Dowd. It was written by Scott Z. Burns and directed by Steven Soderbergh. It will be released on February 8, 2013 and is rated R.

Side Effects
Side Effects
Photo credit: Open Road Films

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