SIDE EFFECTS—directed by Steven Soderbergh/screenplay by Scott Z. Burns/Starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta Jones/rated R/ 1hr46 min
Bifocal Review by Ageless1der, Barbara Rich and The Other Guy
(B) Side Effects is less about pharmaceuticals and more about the entanglement of characters. It started out a little slow, but eventually picked up to a decent pace. Rooney Mara was unrecognizable at first. Her look was dramatically different from her other films, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, very soft and vulnerable. Having said that, her acting was riveting. Jude Law and Catherine Zeta Jones stepped out of their comfort zone and did a marvelous job. I won’t give away any of the story because the viewer will enjoy the film more by determining the outcome on their own. The twists and turns keep you guessing. I give this film two and a half binoculars.
(OG) I was so convinced that the woman I was seeing on the screen was NOT Rooney Mara, that I was 30 minutes into the film and couldn’t understand why Mara was given a star billing. Then, I closed my eyes and listened to the main character’s voice. I was amazed! What a great actor she is. She fit the character perfectly. There was a little too much attention given to the set-up of the plot for me to miss the fact that there were some tricks up the writer’s sleeves. I suspected the main “twist,” but was pleasantly surprised that there were several more plot turns to keep me intrigued. This was a very serviceable suspense thriller, in the tradition of Hitchcock. If you like a good old fashioned “who done it and will they get caught and punished” story, then you will not be disappointed, if you can get past a rather slow start. I think 2 and ½ binoculars is a fair assessment.