“SIDE EFFECTS” My rating: B (Opening wide on Feb. 8)
105 minutes | MPAA rating: R
For more than half its running time, Steven Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” keeps us guessing as to just what sort of movie it is.
It begins with a handsome young man, Martin (current “it” guy Channing Tatum), being released from prison.
So maybe it’s a gritty film about Martin trying to rebuild his life after years in stir?
But then we get to know his wife, Emily (the marvelous Rooney Mara, late of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), an emotionally fragile individual coming apart at the seams. No sooner is her husband back home than she attempts suicide by driving her car into a wall.
So maybe it’s a hard-hitting film about depression?
Emily and Martin visit a shrink, Dr. Banks (Jude Law), who puts her on a powerful new antidepressant (he’s also a paid consultant for the drug’s manufacturer). Then Emily begins having bizarre sleepwalking episodes and does something really horrible and criminal.
So maybe it’s a socially-conscious film about our prevalent drug culture and an industry that tries to peddle dangerous side effects-heavy pharmaceuticals as if they were soda pop?