Saturday, February 9, 2013

Side Effects (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw Side Effects and it was not what I expected but in a good way.  It stars Jude Law as Dr. Banks a New York psychiatrist and his patient Emily Taylor, played by Rooney Mara.  Emily becomes a patient of Dr. Banks and is placed on a new medication to help with her depression. She has been dealing with life after her husband, Marin, played by Channing Tatum, is released from prison.  Emily deals suffers from side effects from the drug and ends up in a predicament of did she kill this person or is she just a victim of the medication.
Being a therapist myself, I wasn't sure how i was going to like this movie, as I am extremely critical to how movies present mental illness and therapist/psychiatrist. I find myself analyzing the performances to see how realistic they are and Jude Law and Rooney Mara did a great job.  Rooney plays the depressed patient who appears confused and struggles with the situations she is in, and Jude is more of the secondary person who just happens to be a psychiatrist.  There are some moments of therapy and diagnosis, but it is more focused on Emily and her experiences.
Throughout this movie, there was lots of twists and turns and I was so caught up in the experience of watching the movie, I didn't see all of them coming.  It kept me interested and intrigued throughout and after seeing it, I could look back and see some of the misdirection and enjoy the thought that was put into the story telling.
There some things that I didn't like, there was nudity thrown in that was unneeded and seemed to be there just to have a naked women on screen for a few seconds, and they tied everything up a little too neatly at the end.  Although they had these things, it did not detract from my interest in the film and how it was a film that encouraged me to use my brain, not just be entertained by action scenes.  It was one of the better psychological thrillers I have seen in a while.

My Rating: 3


  1. The pieces may not all come together to form an understandable flick, but this is a good slow-burner of a thriller in its own right, with an interesting set-up and a twist halfway in which will genuinely shock you. Good review Jane.

  2. This movie does really pick up steam as it goes along.