Side Effects (2013) | Movie review

Side Effects 2013 film large movie poster
Release Date in Malaysia
: 21 March 2013
Classification: 18
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 106 minutes
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara

Synopsis: “A provocative thriller about Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law) – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects” (GSC).

Verdict: One might thought Side Effects is going to turn out to be similar to Contagion (2011), which was also written by Scott Z. Burns, but it’s actually not even close. Not only the smart trailer doesn’t give away much, it traps viewers into their common perception, which allows the film to surprise them more, especially if they’ve never seen the movie entitled…(see spoiler section below). It’s compelling and thought-provoking in the subject of depression and the practice of psychiatry, but only until its logic becomes questionable. Great performance, however, by Jude Law and Rooney Mara, keeping the film engaging enough until the closing credit rolls.

Second opinion: “Quite nice but some parts are a bit draggy” (Iris Loong).

Malaysian censorship: Pretty bad. Other than the kissing and sex scenes (including a hot lesbian action), 2 to 3 more scenes are awkwardly cut, which makes the sequences of those parts a bit confusing.

Malaysian subtitles: Timing is off here and there.

Rating: 3 / 5


Predictable for those who’ve seen… Primal Fear (1996). So yeah, unless you’ve never seen it, Side Effects wouldn’t be that impressive to you.

Possible plot holes: In the film, Emily (Rooney Mara) and Dr. Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones) plot to get rich by manipulating the stock prices of medical drugs. In order to make it happen, Emily fakes her mental condition, kills her husband (Channing Tatum) and claims that it’s caused by side effects of the drug, Ablixa. Basically, they’re intelligent and composed bitches. So why does Emily agree to take the truth serum knowing that Dr. Banks (Jude Law) is suspecting that she’s faking her condition? She should be smart enough to refuse. To being with, why does the court even allow Banks to be the psychiatrist for this case when he’s involved and being investigated as well? Shouldn’t his license be suspended?

Channing Tatum’s role:

channing tatum meme side effects

Poor ending: Dr. Banks manages put both the chicks behind bars, continue practicing psychiatry even though he was connected to a murder case and fraud and worse of all, gets back with his stupid wife, who whines a lot at the beginning of the film about not getting a job, unwilling to understand Bank’s situation later on, being totally not supportive and leaves him after receiving a fake photos of him having an affair with his patient, who’s clearly crazy. What a bitch.


FB Comments


  1. Emma

    Channing Tatum's role in the film was a little desperate, as were his moans and groans throughout the love making scenes – they were not sexy in the slightest!

    I did find the ending incredibly poor and ultimately unrealistic. I wanted to see a film about mental health/depression rather than a lying, coniving woman who's blackmailed by her doctor who then starts having an affair with her.

    Jude Law was a-mazing though!

  2. Anonymous

    What's so wrong about agreeing to take a small role? Why would some of you people call it "desperate"? Is it so bad to want to learn from a good director & from good co-actors so much that you'd be willing to take a small role, even when you're a big star? If anything, I would call it humility. Maybe, some of you need to learn that.

  3. Anonymous

    Channing Tatum is not desperate for roles. He has a lot of projects lined up till 2014, he can hardly take a breather. He accepts small roles or cameos out of friendship, or for exchange-deals, or when he wants to learn from his mentor. I am a fan so I just can't let this insult go without answering it. It's your blog and your opinion, but it just shows your depth as a judge of human character.

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