Movie Review: Side Effects

Ratings for reviews will appear above the fold, while the review itself will appear below the fold even though I will actively avoid any spoilers this time around.

Jean-Paul’s rating: 4/5 stars

Soooo, you want to be a psychiatrist?  Watch this movie and call me in the morning.  I knew next to nothing about this movie going into it and I suggest you do the same if you are going to see it.  It is worth it.

How can life get any better?  You start off as a bartender in the big city.  Now, suddenly you’re dating a really rich Wall Street banker and meeting all of his powerful friends.  Then you’re married to him and you no longer need to worry about working.  Then he’s arrested for insider trading.

How can life get any worse?  Your husband’s in jail.  You have lots of bills to pay.  You need to take a crappy job just to make ends meet.  How depressing.

How very depressing.

Welcome to the life of Emily.  The movie begins with Emily’s husband, Martin, being released from jail.  Emily and Martin’s mom are there to meet him.  Emily’s life without Martin has been difficult.  She has suffered bouts of depressing.  She was seeing a psychiatrist for her issues until the money dried up.  But now that Martin’s back, things are bound to get better.  Right?


Emily can’t quite cope with having Martin back in her life.  She’s getting worse.  She’s getting suicidal.  She needs help.  She finds Dr. Banks.  After trying various drugs, Dr. Banks finally prescribes Emily Ablixa.  Emily shows immediate improvements.  Then there are…side effects.

That’s all I’ll give away.  This is an excellent movie.  It explores the blurry line between doctor and patient and pharmaceutical companies and district attorneys.  It is scary because it is so realistic.  You can actually see this movie happening to someone.  Maybe even to you.

Throughout the movie, the music sets the mood.  Soundtracks often work together with movies to highlight the action.  In this movie, the action and the music are intertwined perfectly.

I hear that this is going to be Stephen Soderbergh’s last film.  Such a shame.  At least he’ll be going out at the top of his game.