Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’ is Stylish Yet Predictable

Side Effects movie poster
“Side Effects” © Open Road Films

This week’s Weekend Movie Preview column has my review of Steven Soderbergh’s crime thriller “Side Effects.”

Summary: Psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) finds his happy marriage and successful career crashing down around him after he prescribes his patient Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) a new antidepressant, which has unanticipated side effects.

Director: Steven Soderbergh (“Magic Mike,” “Haywire”)

Writer: Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “The Informant”)

Notable Supporting Actors: Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mamie Gummer

Click here to read my take.

Evan Crean

Hello! My name is Evan Crean. By day I work for a marketing agency, but by night, I’m a film critic based in Boston, MA who has been at it since 2009. I have written hundreds of movie reviews and celebrity interviews for I have also contributed pieces to In addition to publishing short form work, I am a co-author of the book Your ’80s Movie Guide to Better Living, which is available on CreateSpace and Amazon. On top of writing, I co-host and edit the weekly film podcast Spoilerpiece Theatre with two other Boston film critics. I’m a founding member and the current treasurer for the Boston Online Film Critics Association as well. Lastly, I’m the marketing director and a contributor to Boston Reel, a site dedicated to Boston’s independent film culture. Have any questions or comments about my work? Please feel free to email me (Evan Crean) at: ecrean AT reelrecon DOT COM .

2 thoughts on “Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’ is Stylish Yet Predictable

  • February 11, 2013 at 4:16 am

    “The investigation…plays out in a predictable fashion…. Although the tale keeps your attention…there are few surprises…”

    There is no way anyone could’ve possibly predicted the way this film would end up. It starts out as a cautionary tale about the dangers of prescription drugs and develops into something else entirely. Most twisty plot I have seen in years!!

    Check out my review to see why I loved this film.

    • February 11, 2013 at 6:57 am

      Thanks for reading Mark! From the moment I started watching “Side Effects” I had a sneaking suspicion that this would be one of those thrillers that involved the standard formula of a good guy unwittingly conned by a woman with a hidden agenda. I just knew she was out to make him a scapegoat for her nefarious deeds or distract everyone else from what her true plan was. The big Pharma piece did provide an interesting red herring although I never really bought into the fact that this was just about the dangers of prescription drugs. I’ll definitely check out your review and see why you loved it.

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