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.