SIDE EFFECTS was directed by Steven Soderbergh, best known for such movies as ERIN BROCKOVICH, OUT OF SIGHT, TRAFFIC, and most recently, MAGIC MIKE.
This latest film (which he says is the last movie he'll ever make) is a polished, well acted psychological thriller about a depressed young woman who gets the latest anti-depressant from her new psychiatrist.
But, of course, its side effects turn out to be a big problem. I thought I knew where this movie was going, but it surprised me more than once.
Rooney Mara is Emily, a young wife in obvious distress. Jude law plays her psychiatrist.
The situation is this: Emily's husband, Martin, played by Channing Tatum, has just gotten home from prison where he's spent the last four years, after being convicted of insider trading.
Four years earlier, she and Martin were living the high life, and Martin assures her now that "I can get us back to where we were."
But to do that he wants to move them to a southern state, a prospect that terrifies Emily.
So her shrink gives her the new drug called Ablixa which seems to help with her increased anxiety and depression, But its side effects include sleep walking. One night she turns on music and starts preparing food in the middle of the night. Emily is completely unresponsive when he tries to get through to her: Can you hear me? What are you doing? he pleads.
This bad situation turns worse when someone is murdered and Emily is implicated.
"Somebody else did it and made it look like me," she wails.
What's really going on isn't clear, but Emily's former shrink, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, tries to console her current psychiatrist. "We can follow them around and take things out of their hands that they might use to hurt themselves," she tells Law's character. "We see them for an hour a day, maybe a couple of hours a week."
To tell you much more about the story could spoil the movie for you. So let me just say that SIDE EFFECTS is a highly engaging thriller with a terrific performance from its talented lead actress.