7.1/10
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290 user 458 critic

Side Effects (2013)

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A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

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2,153 ( 282)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Emily Taylor
... Prison Desk Guard
... Upset Visitor
... Martin Taylor
... Emily's Boss
... Martin's Mother
Haraldo Alvarez ... Garage Attendant
... Dr. Jonathan Banks
... Police Officer at Hospital
... Augustin
... Desk Nurse
... Joan
... Dr. Victoria Siebert
... Conference Organizer
... Carl
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Storyline

Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a "sleepwalking" state. With Emily plea-bargained into mental hospital confinement and Dr. Banks' practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed. However, Dr. Banks cannot accept full responsibility and investigates to clear his name. What follows is a dark quest that threatens to tear what's left of his life apart even as he discovers the diabolical truth of this tragedy. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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One pill can change your life. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

8 February 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Side Effects  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,303,145, 10 February 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,172,757

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$63,372,757
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh considered casting Lindsay Lohan for the role of Emily and he auditioned her three times. However, producers felt that her ongoing legal issues would disrupt the production process. Rooney Mara was eventually cast for the part. See more »

Goofs

(at around 3 mins) The mic, cameraman and camera are reflected in a car window. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Female Guard: Front door!
Prison Desk Guard: I can't let it in unless I see it.
Upset Visitor: I know. I know what the rules are. I'm just asking if you can make an exception.
Prison Desk Guard: There are no exceptions. That's why we have rules.
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Hangover Part III (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Forgotten People
Performed by Thievery Corporation
Written by Rob Garza (as Robert Garza) and Eric Hilton
Courtesy of ESL Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An intriguing, complex psychological thriller
9 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Steven Soderbergh has decided to end his career what can only be described as a pharmaceutical, psychosexual thriller that deals with several morally ambiguous characters all revolving around one horrible incident. Out of fear of giving away the intelligent, twist-filled plot written by Scot Z. Burns, that's really all I can say, although I can tell you that Soderbergh directs the film with extreme confidence, and it shows. He was able to convey a sort of quiet chaos with his frequent close-ups, and, by shifting in-and-out of focus throughout the screen, he was able to draw attention to the many small, yet important details.

The real strength of this film, though, is not necessarily the story itself, but how it is presented. To be honest, the story is almost too smart to the point of absurdity, but it never comes off as such. By releasing only one small piece of information at a time, we are kept waiting through interviews, court hearings, false trails, and many psychiatrist visits until, finally, everything comes together into one neat conclusion. The entire film is very subdued, but if you pay attention, you will be rewarded in the end.

Of course, the story would not have turned out so well without the multiple impressive performances that carry it all the way through. Rooney Mara is once again stunning as Emily Taylor, a woman who starts taking prescription antidepressants to cope with her husband's release from prison. Without giving much away, Emily is far more complex than she first appears, and Mara plays this perfectly by retaining a dark mysteriousness about her. She truly steals every scene she's in, and displays such a range of emotions that, at times, it's difficult to tell what her character is truly thinking. This is unfortunate for Channing Tatum, who does a fine job as her loving and sympathetic husband trying to make everything right after being released for insider trading, but who doesn't have close to enough material to compete with Mara.

Jude Law, on the other hand, is arguably the most central figure as Dr. Jonathan Banks, Emily's psychiatrist who is thrown into a scandal when his patient is involved in a tragic accident after taking an antidepressant he prescribed for her. He slowly mentally unravels as his decisions come back to haunt him, and eventually has to cross several moral boundaries in order to get his life back on track. Law shows this frustration with expert skill, and gives one of the best performances of his recent career. The same can be said for Catherine Zeta- Jones, who—as Emily's former psychiatrist Dr. Victoria Siebert—gives possibly the most complex performance, and does it brilliantly despite her lack of screen time.

To give away any more would be to say too much, as the film is so perfectly structured, it is difficult to discuss without giving away the whole thing. All I can add is, it is not so simple and straightforward as it may appear. It is a complex of characters, their motives, and the consequences of their actions, and, despite taking a while to get started, it is truly a spectacular, thrilling, and intricate journey that should not be missed.


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