2013's Most Anticipated: Side Effects

23. Side Effects (R) - Runtime: 106 minutes
Starring: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns

I cannot believe Soderbergh is leaving us. He's had a string of very awesome movies lately (Magic Mike, Haywire) and he seems to be at the top of his game. I highly doubt he'll be completely retiring from the movie-making business, but for now Side Effects is his swan song. While not quite going out with a bang, Side Effects is still an awesome and taught thriller that everyone should see.

Rooney Mara plays Emily, a woman who finds herself alone after her Wall Street fat cat husband, Martin (Tatum) gets sent to jail for insider trading. She's increasingly despondent and depressed - to the point that when Martin gets out, she seeks a therapist to help her ease back into normalcy. Jude Law plays the doctor who is pretty much a stand up psychiatrist. He soon becomes ensnared in a con perpetrated, he thinks, by Emily. There's several twists in this movie but it never gets too complicated or seem completely unrealistic how things unfold.

Soderbergh, I think, really knows how to cut a film and bring out the best acting in the cast and also provide the best shots. This movie wouldn't be as thrilling or enthralling if someone else was behind the lens. Although in the beginning the movie seemed like it was going to derail and go off on a "DRUGS ARE BAD" tangent. There was this shot of a pill bottle on the nightstand and the camera zooms in and lingers on that shot, when Maggie jokingly said "Pills are evil!" But the movie righted itself and began to focus more on Jude Law's life unraveling.

Rooney Mara is perfect in this movie - she plays Emily so well - with mood swings and slightly crazy. And the rest of the cast is fairly good too. Jude Law seems like he should be a psychiatrist in real life, so that worked out pretty well. And Tatum, while not getting a whole lot of screen time, does a decent job. Although it's very hard for me to believe he was some sort of suit on Wall Street. I will say Jude Law seemed to be pretty calm throughout the whole life unraveling - losing his practice, his wife and family. I don't think even a calm, rational person could endure such a sudden and abrupt change. But I've never been accused of being an accessory to murder along with losing my job and family. At least, not all at the same time.

Side Effects is good thriller - the movie is beautifully shot and acted and there's really not too much to complain about. Soderbergh will be missed, but at least he's leaving on a high note.

Rating: See It!

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