Steven Soderbergh's latest directorial effort, Side Effects is a maddening movie. I found it entertaining and engaging enough while watching it, but then couldn't help but rip it to shreds when discussing it afterwards. Don't over think this movie!
One plus, is the trailers really didn't give away most of the plot, including the big twist. The movie is far less an indictment on pharmaceutical industry or our societies views towards prescription drugs, than it is a pure thriller. It felt like John Grisham must have had his hands somewhere in this project. In the end, the movie was entertaining, but not as meaningful as it could have been based on the subject matter.
Rooney Mara stole the show and was well cast. She drove the movie.
Catherine Zeta Jones was woefully miscast, having zero chemistry with any of her co-stars. I didn't believe her for a second and her character was only made worse by having been dressed in frumpy, ill-fitting suits. Jones just didn't work in this role.
Jude Law and Channing Tatum did a solid job, but it was Mara's movie.
There's a long build to the climax (sharper editing would have tightened the pacing), but the resolution is quick and way too convenient. A series of events falls into place far too easily and character involved with the resolution suddenly turns into a super sleuth. Often times, thrillers and mysteries are a bit outlandish, making crazy plot schemes a bit more forgivable. The problem, is Side Effects takes itself seriously, so the ridiculous aspects are harder to justify.
I was entertained. This is a fluff movie and would be a great rental. There is no reason to spend money to see this in theaters.