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“Side Effects” Spoiler-free Review – Are the lasting effects worth the view?

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Have you ever watched a movie that caused you to smile every time you thought about it? A movie so good and shocking, that you found yourself staring at the screen in awe? By the end of this movie, I found myself being described with those exact words.

The story of “Side Effects” revolves around couple Emily Taylor played by Rooney Mara and her husband Martin Taylor played by Channing Tatum.

Photo Courtesy of thecollider.com
Photo Courtesy of thecollider.com

After recovering from a long-term situation that happened between the two, avoiding saying the “situation” due to spoilers, the couple is brought into a new situation as Emily’s problems with depression and anxiety reappear. I say reappear because Emily had problems with anxiety and depression before as the audience will learn through the introduction of her previous psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Seibert played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. This all results in the couple visiting a new psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks, played by Jude Law, for help.  The main story further begins as Banks prescribes a multitude of medicines to Emily to help her with her anxiety and depression, with one prescribed being an experimental medicine. However, little is known in the science community as to what side effects the experimental drug would lead to.

Photo Courtesy of thecollider.com
Photo Courtesy of thecollider.com

The unintended effects from this scenario lead to a rapidly moving downward spiral of intrigue, deception, and suspense. One last thing that must be pointed out, the cinematography used in this movie was gorgeous. It wasn’t a visual effects masterpiece like movies such as “Life of Pi” or “Prometheus,” but the way in which the movie was filmed almost simplistically and the clever use of close-up shots added to the intensity of scenes and the story itself. The way scenes would connect, and the overall feel that a viewer would get while watching it made it even more cohesive and visually stunning. The last time I felt this happy about a psychological genre based movie was for “Black Swan” which I loved. “Side Effects” was one great psychological journey that I enjoyed every step of the way. I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10 rating. I highly recommend it.


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