“Side Effects”, indeed

Side Effects: Director Steven Soderburgh, Writer/Screenplay Scott Z. Burns

A short review by Russ Imrie February 14, 2013

A drama of twists upon twists. No, it’s not a hit piece on big pharma. Well, sort of—but it leaves no one out of the dirt. From deeply disturbed Emily (Mara) to sensitive psychologist Dr. Banks (Law), treating Emily with a cocktail of psychoactive prescription drugs pushed by a craven drug industry.

The sex (not graphic) steams and takes an unexpected turn. The entire cast make a complex story very, even uncomfortably, real. Character development succeeds in swaying our feelings for the personalities of each as they fluidly shift from good, to evil, and back again. A neat trick most films channel into a linear mode. Not here. Like life, it could end at any time and the story to that point could almost stand on its own—then it kicks in and shifts happen.


Our senses felt massaged by skillfull hands, pain, bliss, intrigue, the deepest appetites are gratefully and skillfully savored and stimulated.


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