SIDE EFFECTS

NOW AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

The trailer led me to think Steven Soderbergh’s “final” movie is an indictment of the pharmaceutical company, and an over-diagnosing culture. I won’t ruin much, but this suggestion was a red herring. Enough hints are written in, though, that the outcome becomes obvious, though it’s tough to track who is in cahoots with whom. Jude Law and Rooney Mara have an intriguing chemistry, in part because they aren’t asked to fall in love. Her uncertain moodiness, still showing remnants of Lisbeth Salander, balances with Law, excellent as a man compelled to restore order to a chaotic world. He’s lost some of his arrogance over the years; still charismatic with much more gravitas. Watching Catherine Zeta-Jones dressed up so plainly, her glamour pulled back in a tight bun, I wondered why no one writes her the parts Barbara Stanwyck once played. She has presence to spare. Occasionally implausible, Side Effects nonetheless feels like a B-list movie elevated by Soderbergh’s sharp, chilly direction.

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