The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
A masterful double-bluff. What starts as a taut, topical drama about medicated America becomes a classic, twisted neo-noir that sees Soderbergh pushing aside on-the-nose themes in favour of sheer entertainment.
One moment, we're watching an enthralling exposé of the modern pharmaceutical industry; the next we're reeling from some well-timed mystery-thriller shocks. And Soderbergh, aided by a sharp script and superb cast, wrong-foots us all the way.
The feature evolves from an icy, haunting tale of depression and abandonment into a squalid, sordid, serpentine Alfred Hitchcock pastiche. That it can glide from these two poles with us barely realising is a testament to Soderbergh's talent.