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Side Effects (2013)


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 195
Fresh: 162
Rotten: 33

Critics Consensus: A smart, clever thriller with plenty of disquieting twists, Side Effects is yet another assured effort from director Steven Soderbergh.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 51
Fresh: 41
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: A smart, clever thriller with plenty of disquieting twists, Side Effects is yet another assured effort from director Steven Soderbergh.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 66,707


Movie Info

SIDE EFFECTS is 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. (c) Official FB

R (for sexuality, nudity, violence and language)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Scott Z. Burns
In Theaters:
May 21, 2013
Box Office:
Open Road Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Side Effects

All Critics (195) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (162) | Rotten (33) | DVD (1)

It's difficult to escape the impression that the movie is impressed only with its cleverness.

Full Review… | January 3, 2014
Top Critic

Once Side Effects gets into its crime story, medication is swept aside by movie nonsense. The storyline goes into tangles that have to be dealt with very rapidly if the audience is not to start laughing.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

As a thriller in the Hitchcock mould, 'Side Effects' is great fun: its characters are well acted without being entirely likeable, which makes their jeopardy all the more enjoyable while putting us at a clinical remove.

Full Review… | March 5, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Soderbergh is less interested in making statements than he is in skillfully fulfilling genre expectations.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

A crafty teaser that presents itself as one kind of film before gradually evolving into another kind altogether. I, for one, enjoyed both enormously.

Full Review… | February 11, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

Steven Soderbergh is one of our best and most versatile directors.

Full Review… | February 8, 2013
Top Critic

This movie isn't nearly as smart as it wants to be. It's the dunce wearing a valedictorian robe.

Full Review… | February 6, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

Side Effects delivers a skillfully crafted, yet ultimately pale and shallow, play on well established tropes, rather than anything genuinely new or in any manner deeply felt.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
IGN Movies

Side Effects is a more than worthy film for anyone to end their career (well, maybe) on.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Film School Rejects

The director is Steven Soderbergh at his coolly mercurial best and in that exciting middle ground between experiment and entertainment, where formal playfulness goes very well with great faces.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Sacramento News & Review

If audiences stop trying to unravel the very tangled plot and don't mind have the carpet pulled from under their feet again and again, they should find plenty here to relish.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013

Side Effects looks like it's going to be an expose of America's prescription-drug addiction issues, before it swerves nicely into thriller territory, and a seemingly minor character becomes the protagonist.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
National Post

Side Effects is, ultimately, another example of the director's commitment to fine craftsmanship above any identifiable fingerprint.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
Paste Magazine

This is one of those films where every single line of dialogue has a meaning, then another meaning, and possibly a third as perspectives shift with each new revelation.

Full Review… | October 5, 2013

Even if you think Soderbergh has screwed up, you'll probably find the mistakes interesting.

Full Review… | July 13, 2013

A provocative thriller that offers intelligence and solid surprises until its lame third act.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

Performances are generally fine with the glaring exception of a laughably earnest Catherine Zeta Jones (channelling '90s Demi Moore) as Emily's previous therapist.

Full Review… | June 10, 2013

Side Effects is a twisty pharmaceutical thriller that functions both as an effective drama and a social commentary on America's rising obsession with prescription drugs.

Full Review… | May 27, 2013
We Got This Covered

It suggests Jagged Edge retold in the measured voice of the New Yorker.

Full Review… | May 22, 2013
Seven Days

...another disappointing misfire from Soderbergh...

Full Review… | May 20, 2013
Reel Film Reviews

Um experimento de gênero eficiente e que demonstra certa coragem ao puxar o tapete sob as expectativas do público quanto ao tipo de filme que está vendo.

Full Review… | May 17, 2013
Cinema em Cena

It's the nuances that lift it into the upper echelon, especially the subtle way it poses questions about our growing dependence on psychopharmaceuticals and the motivations of the doctors who so freely prescribe them.

Full Review… | May 13, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

There's no lasting surprise, no wonder or "wow" factor. Instead, Side Effects is a serviceable suspense effort that owes more than a little to its desire to mimic one of the medium's masters.

Full Review… | May 13, 2013
Film Racket

Even when it twists back to Hitchcockland, there's more than enough lingering spookiness about a culture's dependence on prescription drugs and psychiatry to wrench Side Effects away from being a mere trickster-tale.

Full Review… | May 6, 2013
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Audience Reviews for Side Effects


A depressed woman finds the drug and psychiatrist who prescribed it may be responsible for her killing her husband.
The first part of this film is vintage Soderbergh, social issue drama with compelling characters and well-constructed plot lines. The second part of this film is a milquetoast, predictable thriller that is fun but not all that interesting. Some of the stock that the film built up over the first part of the film is squandered.
Rooney Mara's performance is good; she's vulnerable and can be intimidating.
Overall, Soderbergh is one of the finest directors working today, but he's a lot better in a film that is all his ilk, not just half his ilk.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Side Effects is a really good thriller but once you deconstruct it it's only just average. So why is it so good? Well, firstly it's not nonsensical. It could happen. Secondly, there are no stupid action scenes, no pointless car chases or explosions. Thirdly, Jude Law can act. He's a believable character and plays it very well. However, Steven Soderbergh looses points for badly written supporting roles, particularly of Jude Law's on screen wife Dierdre played by Vinessa Shaw. Her character is completely unbelievable, is lazily written and because of that, badly acted, and it would be unfair to blame Miss Shaw in this instance. This film works because many like it are so bad, it's a refreshing return to form for the genre. Steven Soderbergh's films are hit and miss, it's a shame that he's giving up directing just when his films were getting continuously good. I really liked the ending too, it felt rewarding among the silly twists of late.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


Movies like Side Effects quite simply don't get made often these days. And now that this is reportedly director Steven Soderbergh's final film, it is likely another one of this kind won't be made again.
This is a thriller that keeps the suspense high and the plots twists as unexpected as any of Alfred Hitchcock's best works. Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum are all excellent.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

I felt as if it may be about a case on profiting from certain drug prescription, but then it turned out to be some another sort of thriller. Fortunately, it wasn't a disappointing venture.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Side Effects Quotes

Dr. Jonathan Banks:
Depression is an inability to construct a future.
– Submitted by Maryam Z (8 months ago)
Dr. Jonathan Banks:
The drug, basically it helps stop the brain from telling you that you are sad.
– Submitted by Maryam Z (8 months ago)
Dierdre Banks:
Oh, the advantages of having a husband who can write prescriptions. What are they called again?
Dr. Jonathan Banks:
It's beta blocker.
Dierdre Banks: it bad that I'm doing this?
Dr. Jonathan Banks:
Everyone takes them. Lawyers, musicians. People going to interviews for big jobs..It doesn't make you anything you're not, it just makes it easier for you to be who you are.
– Submitted by Wan I (15 months ago)
Dierdre Banks:
Did the person do it? Are they guilty?
Dr. Jonathan Banks:
In this case, those are two very different things.
– Submitted by Caleb S (20 months ago)

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