| February 4, 2013

Provocative. Controversial.  Relevant.  Steven Soderbergh has made his mark in Hollywood as a director that takes on important issues, adding his own two-cents while keeping audiences entertained and interested.  “Erin Brokovich,” “Traffic,” and “Magic Mike” are all prime examples, and in “Side Effects” he’s taking on the pharmaceutical industry full force.

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"Side Effects" is a commentary on a presciption-drug dependent culture that blindly accepts whatever is reported by the media wrapped in a psychological murder mystery.

The plot?  After spending four years in prison for insider trading, ex-Wall Street hot-shot Martin (Channing Tatum) is trying to rehabilitate his way back into society. With his ever faithful wife, Emily (Rooney Mara) by his side, Martin hopes to get their lives back on the fast track. 

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But things take a nasty detour when Emily falls into a deep depression complete with suicidal tendencies. Her psychiatrist (Jude Law) prescribes a wild cocktail of prescription drugs.  Things quickly spiral out of control. Throw in a dead body, and you've got yourself a real thriller.

Beautifully shot, with an eerie accompanying score, we’re hooked right from the beginning.

However, after the fifteenth comment about the public’s general blind acceptance of the drug industry, I'd had enough.  I'd lost interest and stopped caring about these crooked characters.  There was no honorable protagonist for the audience to rally behind, no hero to root for.

The Date Nighter Says: 
Is it a good flick for a movie night?  No. Well, not unless you and your significant other are psychiatry interns, want to drool over insider buzz words and Woodcock Johnson test references (you mental health professionals will appreciate that).  It’s no “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” but definitely a solid flick and technically sound.  But if it’s between this and something a little more date friendly, let’s say “Identity Thief,” I’d pass this one up and wait for it to stream.