Mostly an effective thriller that (for the most part) takes aim at trend pharmaceuticals. Okay performances - Law standing out from the rest - and a decent script clip along at a reasonable pace. The final act felt too neat and the twists could've easily been a more intelligent trail of breadcrumbs instead one character spilling their guts.
Much like Contagion, the clinically mundane realism is an effective cinematographic understatement. The narrative has an intricacy which is enthralling and convincing. Soderbergh has always been a borderline auteur - this film is his oeuvre in cruise control mode.
The film in its entirety is never quite sure what it wants to be. Before things get far-fetched, however, Soderbergh and Mara create an unusually effective portrait of depression. We feel trapped with her, distanced from the rest of the world, amazed at its triviality. Here's hoping Steve doesn't actually retire -- he's still a hell of an auteur.
It's like a postmodern De palma. A deep dark dream about desire. There is also a void which is so huge and obscure that nobody can't escape even if it seems like. So sleepy, so fake that becomes real, so empty, as in our reality.
Split into 2 parts, Side Effects lulls the viewer in with what feels like an interesting comment on the increase in mood-regulation within contemporary society. The second half morphs into a redemption thriller that while often gripping, pushes into the melodramatic and undermines the strength of it's set-up. A less seductive, more cunning Catherine-Zeta may have helped shore it up. 3 stars
Only further proof that Steven Soderbergh's imminent retirement is nothing short of a catastrophic tragedy for American cinema. Few filmmakers, even in the Classical Hollywood age, were as adept at transitioning from project to project with the precision and grace that Soderbergh consistently displays. He's a modern master; no two ways about it.
A movie divided into three parts: a melodrama, a conspiracy flick and a film noir; an intelligent script that twists without betraying; a fast-paced editing style that grabs you from the first shot to the last; and an ever subtle critique of capitalism and its "side effects" on social and personal relationships, this is the first good movie of 2013 as it still believes in the power of elegant filmmaking.
Continually twisting without ever cracking its smooth surface, this is like a 70s paranoia thriller shot on digital. The same story told conventionally could easily be awful, but Soderbergh-style, it becomes a compelling whats-it: a unnervingly tense drama, a satire of late-capitalism, a subversion of cliches, a preposterous mystery, and ultimately a goof on panic over Rx drugs. Brainier than de Palma. 4 stars.