Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Film Club Review – Side Effects


My Review

Side Effects

Steven Soderberg’s Side Effects is a thriller which explores the use of mental health medication, and I couldn’t help but think that Soderberg is really out to make us paranoid: he tries to make us fear prescription drugs, germs, male strippers… Anyways, Side Effects turns out to be a pretty good exploration of the “drug culture” in the world of psychology as it studies anxiety-ridden Emily, her husband, and her doctor. And just when the drug dangers side of the movie are starting to become stale and repetitive, the movie shifts focus and becomes more of a thriller.

As the movie went on, I liked it more and more. Jude Law is good as the doctor and gives us someone to sympathize with. The rest of the cast is great as well, especially they guy who played the DA, Michael Nathanson, who stood out for me even though I don’t recognize him from anything else. The twists and turns of this movie were not predictable and were intriguing, and the cinematography wasn’t showy but still managed to be pleasing and interesting.

In my personal experience with his movies, I don’t know if Soderberg has ever made a great film, but he is great at making really solid films. Side Effects falls under that category of “solid” films, as a really great thriller. It is definitely worth a watch.

My Recommendation

Review by Bob Phelan

Bob is the host of the Redbox Report podcast which can be found here.

Life in a Day

I remember hearing about this documentary on youtube that is an accumulation of video clips from around the world, all from July 24, 2010 but quickly forgot until it was recommended to me. I thought it sounded interesting but was curious how well it would work as a film. I’m here to say pretty well actually. The editing is great as it takes the viewer down many roads (such as ‘whats in your pocket’, ‘what do you love’, etc.) creatively intertwining clips of various lengths to display life from all around the world in these aspects. From rich to poor and everywhere in between Life In A Day is never boring. At times frantically transitioning from clip to clip while throwing in longer looks at interesting submissions when necessary. At 90 minutes it started to lose its luster near the end, an ideal running time for me personally may have been 60-75 minutes, but that is to take nothing away from this ambitious and in the end successful film.


7 Responses to “Film Club Review – Side Effects”

  1. I didn’t like Side Effects as much as you did. It was technically proficient but in the end it didn’t do anything for me at all. Life in a Day however, is quite fascinating!

  2. This movie was crazy. But, it was “fun crazy” and that’s what I liked about it the most. Good review Ian.

  3. Yeah, it was solid, that’s a good way to describe it Ian. It stood out like a shining gem though in the middle of February or January or whenever it was released. LOL. Looked like an Oscar contender compared to all the other crap coming out back then!!

  4. I thought Side Effects was OK but I thought it became very messy towards the end. I thought both Law and Mara were very good in it though.

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