Steven Soderbergh’s sign off to cinema ensures that he remains an enigma, capable of greatness and equally capable of disappointing all through his filtered, distinct style. Side Effects is a slow building thriller, stronger in buildup than in its increasingly hokey and contrived revelations which raise more eyebrows than heartbeats. Jude Law is better than his usual self even if his character is all over the place by the end. The drama is built stylishly but its story of mental health and the pharmaceutical industry says little about either because of what is ultimately a sensationalist, unconvincing plot. It’s a film which is most compelling when its tricky to open up, but when it does opens, its content disappoint, unlike Contagion which didn’t really succeed in any dramatic aspect. Let’s just be most grateful that we got Magic Mike before he called it quits.
Side Effects is out now in the UK and US. Certificate 15 (UK). Running time 106 mins.
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Review by David Rank