Side Effects Reviews

Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
It's difficult to escape the impression that the movie is impressed only with its cleverness.
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David Thomson
The New Republic
June 13, 2013
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.
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Ben Walters
Time Out
March 5, 2013
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 | Original Score: 4/5
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Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
March 1, 2013
Soderbergh is less interested in making statements than he is in skillfully fulfilling genre expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.9/10
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
February 11, 2013
A crafty teaser that presents itself as one kind of film before gradually evolving into another kind altogether. I, for one, enjoyed both enormously.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 8, 2013
Steven Soderbergh is one of our best and most versatile directors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 8, 2013
Side Effects is a cracking thriller that ranks amongst Soderbergh's best, featuring electric performances by Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 8, 2013
Side Effects virtually demands a three-word review: Just see it.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 8, 2013
The main thing to keep in mind while watching Steven Soderbergh's playful new thriller is not to take the movie too seriously or else you'll feel betrayed by the end.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 8, 2013
Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns maintain a tone of taut creepiness, but the plot's double and triple crosses are more ingenious than believable.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 8, 2013
"Side Effects" does a nice job teasing current anxieties about depression, medical ethics and class striving with the classic thriller quandary of "Who's playing whom?"
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 8, 2013
[It] will both keep you on your toes and at the edge of your seat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 8, 2013
A stylish take on the psychiatric-thriller genre that, despite progressive narrative absurdities, mostly delivers a dose to the pleasure centres.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 8, 2013
In some ways the film is more traditional than you think it will be, becoming a psychological puzzle piece. But Soderbergh lays the puzzle out so neatly, you can't help but be engrossed.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 7, 2013
It's a gripping, maddening and thoroughly satisfying thriller, made with artfulness and integrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 7, 2013
If this does prove to be Soderbergh's final film - and I wouldn't hold my breath - he picked a heck of a one to go out on.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 7, 2013
Like a gel cap in a sip of orange juice, the psycho-pharmacological thriller Side Effects goes down easily, even if its long-term impact turns out to be barely discernible.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Bowles
USA Today
February 7, 2013
The movie descends into a TV-grade police procedural, with twists so sharp and a plot so convoluted you may need meds to clear your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 7, 2013
Side Effects was shot on digital video that makes it look as if we're peering through dirty glass, but it's still a lavishly dread-fueled suspense movie full of twists, reversals, double crosses, and dangerous liaisons.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 7, 2013
The film as a whole is consistently enjoyable and sometimes thrilling, a classic Soderbergh showcase for provocative storytelling and marvelous acting.
Top Critic
February 7, 2013
The movie maintains its sense of style throughout, but that hardly matters as the story just gets stupider and stupider.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 7, 2013
The film keeps viewers emotionally invested yet intellectually off-balance, suffusing even the most ostensibly straightforward scenes with a sense of free-floating anxiety.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 7, 2013
Sex, lies, and violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
February 7, 2013
"Side Effects" has the sleek, chic look of a Soderbergh film -- cool colors, seductive lighting -- but the script, by frequent collaborator Scott Z. Burns, is disappointingly clunky.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 7, 2013
A pill-popping drama that suddenly turns into something entirely different.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 7, 2013
Soderbergh, in what's rumored to be his final theatrical release (don't believe it), jumps from imitating the master to imitating the master imitators.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 7, 2013
The fun of "Side Effects" lies in figuring out what sort of movie it is even as you're watching it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
February 7, 2013
Stop reading now, avoid all reviews and blabbermouths, and go see the movie yourself before anyone tells you anything.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 7, 2013
The movie respects a viewer's intelligence, which should also serve as a warning; don't be lulled into a stupor. Keeping sharp will allow all the fun and menace in this terrific thriller to seep into your head.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
February 7, 2013
If this is indeed Soderbergh's final theatrical film, as the director has said he's going into semi-retirement, it's not such a bad way to go out.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
February 7, 2013
A doozy of a Hitchcockian thriller with Jude Law, Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Effects is a go-for-broke valentine to '80s cinematic psychological potboilers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 7, 2013
This neatly executed mystery is just the sort of thing Hollywood craves from Steven Soderbergh: genre entertainment as cool, clean, and impersonal as a Formica countertop.
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
February 7, 2013
The director who came into the field with Sex, Lies, and Videotape leaves it with sex and lies shot on video, still surprising us with both the stories he tells and the stories hidden inside them.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
February 7, 2013
Provides a minor but distinct kind of cinematic pleasure: the joy of sitting back and letting a master manipulator mess with your head.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 7, 2013
While the plot may be predictable (and more than a little preposterous) in retrospect, Mr. Soderbergh handles it brilliantly, serving notice once again that he is a crackerjack genre technician.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 7, 2013
"Side Effects" goes to unexpected places, and we breathlessly follow along.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 7, 2013
It's the kind of thriller that Alfred Hitchcock might make if he was still alive and active today.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 7, 2013
Burns' plotting gets a little knotty in the third act, but he's a smart writer, who has a knack for juggling an array of characters of varying intelligence and varying corruption levels.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
February 7, 2013
Of the many twists and turns in Steven Soderbergh's vastly entertaining thriller Side Effects, the most gratifying has less to do with the nimble plotting than the fact that it isn't the type of movie it initially appears to be.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 7, 2013
Soderbergh came, he saw, he conquered, and now he's moving on.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
February 6, 2013
We'd like to believe that our SSRIs and MAOIs will bring us happiness, that love is real, that art or spirituality can offer transcendence. Steven Soderbergh would like to remind us that it's all a trick, and we're on our own.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 6, 2013
Side Effects is a hell of a thriller, twisty, terrific and packed with surprises you don't see coming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
February 6, 2013
It starts out as one type of film and ends up as another, and manages the transition seamlessly.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 6, 2013
Steven Soderbergh keeps giving interviews confessing that he is bored with movies and promising that Side Effects will be his last one. Not a moment too soon, if you ask me.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
February 6, 2013
The complexity of emotion, confusion and loss at the film's start gives way to some acrobatic trickery by the end, but "Side Effects" is never less than gripping or entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
February 5, 2013
Side Effects points out, but never didactically, just how broken our systems have become, whether medical, governmental, or economic.
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
February 5, 2013
The emotional depths of the film's first half get bludgeoned by the simplistically lurid twists and turns, which hinge on some egregiously homophobic stereotypes that Soderbergh's clinical touch fails to complicate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
February 4, 2013
Steven Soderbergh's elegantly coiled puzzler spins a tale of clinical depression and psychiatric malpractice into an absorbing, cunningly unpredictable entertainment.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 4, 2013
Side Effects is a smooth, shapely suspense picture.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
February 3, 2013
In trying to merge this alarmist theme with an old-fashioned murder mystery, the filmmakers throw at least one plot-twist sucker-punch too many, leaving the viewer with an "Oh, come on" reaction to the entire film.
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
January 28, 2013
It is a bugf--k crazy yarn, more like what you'd expect out of Brian De Palma, but with that ineffable hum -- the Soderbergh snap -- the cool camera, exquisite framing, shallow focus and scenes that don't last a frame longer than they have to.
Full Review | Original Score: A-