When manic depressive Emily (Mara) starts displaying destructive side effects, her doctor (Law) and his experimental drugs are blamed.

Soderbergh can often ‘over-direct’, sacrificing story for style. Other than a soft, fuzzy focus (used to visualise Emily’s medicated state) though, Side Effects is restrained and shaped by its strong performances.

In particular, Rooney Mara is excellent, delivering a complex, ambiguous performance.

At first a sympathetic, fragile victim, as the story untangles, our perception changes. Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones further flesh out an eclectic but fantastic cast.

Sharp, finely-detailed and socially relevant, Side Effects is a top-notch thriller.

 

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