3/4

Side Effects [2013] ★★★

channing-tatum-rooney-mara-side-effects-posterThe most satisfying movie of the year so far is a thriller from Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh who says this is the last film he plans to direct. Damn shame. “Side Effects” is both clever and entertaining with surprises you don’t see coming (I mean it). Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, who previously worked together on “Contagion” and “The Informant!” has crafted the kind of “film noir” we rarely see nowadays. Emily (Rooney Mara aka “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is married to Channing Tatum, who just got out of prison after serving 4 years for insider trading. It’s a shock to Emily’s system, so she seeks out a psychiatrist, played by Jude Law. His drug of choice, a fictional one, is called Ablixa. Emily gets better (a wild sex scene is proof of that). “Whoever makes this drug is going to be very rich,” says Tatum. Then come the side effects. For me to reveal more would be stepping into spoiler territory. But you can’t deny the heat generated by the all star cast. Soderbergh’s exceptionally well-chosen cast never strikes a false note. Law in particular is terrific as the psychiatrist who is looking for answers. So’s Catherine Zeta Jones as the shrink Emily bonded with before Law. Soderbergh and Burns keep us guessing right through the closing credits. And the getting there is terrific mind bending fun. There’s no easy way to shake off “Side Effects”. It gets in your head and refuses to leave.

Rating: 3/4

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