Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Side Effects - Review


sideeffectsposter.jpgRooney Mara has dropped the Dragon Tattoo to star as Emily Taylor - a woman who should be celebrating the release of her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), from prison after he served his time for insider trading, but it has sent her life into a tailspin.  After a horrible incident, Emily has ended up under the care of a psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), who is ready to prescribe a series of different medications.

Unfortunately, finding the right combinations has become tricky, Emily's condition is worsening, and Dr. Banks is being blamed for what happens next, which leads to him losing everything he has ever wanted or attained.

What happens?

Is it Banks' fault?

Can he undo this series of events?

Yes, I am trying to be coy about what happens because I am not one of those people who reveals major plot points and ruins the movie for you.  Deal with it (hopefully, you will applaud it, go ahead and take a moment to applaud in front of your screen right now, I can wait).  

Writer Scott Burns and director Steven Soderbergh have crafted a taught film noir that takes the audience into several different directions, which keeps us guessing and wondering what the final pay off will be.

Side Effects
feels like some sort of indictment on the prescription drug culture of popping pills to solve all of our ills.  It makes us question a practitioner's ethics and motivations.  It becomes about the characters, their possible obsessions, their possible mistakes and what they are willing to do to get what they want.

Ultimately, after a bit of getting the runaround and starting to feel like it might be time to give up, Soderbergh and Burns deliver the twists and turns that make you feel grateful you stuck it out.  Suddenly, all of it comes together perfectly.  
Law is very good as the man who is on edge and wondering if he is losing his mind.  We love watching him being driven to the brink, forced to question everything and unleash a very dirty side to survive.  It's an unraveling that captures your attention, and a reaction that perfectly fits.  

If you are looking for a hero, try some other movie because Side Effects is about a seedier side of life and humanity, but that's why you enjoy it so much. 


3 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Side Effects is rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language