Side Effects (DVD)

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Side Effects (DVD)

Side Effects is a 2013 American psychological thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It stars Rooney Mara as a woman who is prescribed experimental drugs by psychiatrists (Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones) after her husband (Channing Tatum) is released from prison. Side Effects was released in the United States on February 8, 2013, by Open Road Films.


After her husband Martin completes a four-year prison sentence for insider trading, Bedford, New York socialite Emily Taylor drives into a wall in an apparent suicide attempt. Jonathan Banks, her assigned psychiatrist, prescribes a series of antidepressants, but none work. Jonathan contacts Emily s previous psychiatrist, Victoria Siebert, who suggests an experimental new drug, Ablixa. The drug seems to help Emily but gives her sleepwalking episodes as a side effect.

One night, Emily stabs Martin to death while sleepwalking. Jonathan fights for Emily s acquittal in court. She pleads not guilty by reason of insanity and is declared innocent on the condition that she stays in a psychiatric hospital until cleared by Jonathan. The publicity destroys Jonathan s reputation; his colleagues assume negligence on his part, and expel him from their practice, leaving him broke.

Jonathan discovers evidence that Emily is lying; she was not depressed and faked her suicide attempts. He also discovers that someone may have profited from Ablixa s fall in stock value. He interviews Emily after administering what he claims is a truth serum that will make her drowsy. Though the serum is actually saline water, she feigns drowsiness, confirming Jonathan s suspicion that she is deceiving him. When he confronts Victoria with his findings, she mails photographs to his wife Deirdre implying that he had an affair with Emily. Deirdre leaves him, taking her son with her.

Jonathan calls Victoria s bluff by telling her that Emily told him about their plot. He threatens Emily with electric shock treatment and tells her that Victoria is paying him to keep her incarcerated so that she can keep a bigger cut. Emily explains that she hated Martin for losing their opulent lifestyle and began plotting to kill him. She began seeing Victoria for counseling, and the women became lovers. Emily taught Victoria about the financial world, while Victoria taught Emily how to fake psychiatric disorders. They plotted to kill Martin and to use the negative Ablixa publicity to manipulate stock prices. Jonathan accepts Emily s offer to give him a cut of her money if he releases her from the ward.

Emily meets Victoria while wearing a wire. After Victoria mentions details of the plot, she is arrested for conspiracy to commit murder and securities fraud. Emily, due to double jeopardy, cannot be charged as criminally responsible for her part in Martin s murder.

As retaliation for Emily s part in the plot, Jonathan, who still oversees her case, prescribes her Thorazine and Depakote and describes their unpleasant side effects. She is sent back to the mental ward for refusing treatment, and Jonathan regains his family and reputation.


  • Jude Law as Dr. Jonathan Banks
  • Rooney Mara as Emily Taylor
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones as Dr. Victoria Siebert
  • Channing Tatum as Martin Taylor
  • Vinessa Shaw as Deirdre Banks
  • Ann Dowd as Mrs. Taylor
  • Polly Draper as Emily s boss
  • David Costabile as Carl Millbank
  • Mamie Gummer as Kayla Millbank


Side Effects, previously titled The Bitter Pill, was directed by Steven Soderbergh, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Gregory Jacobs, and Scott Z. Burns, who also worked on the screenplay. In January 2012, the film was reported to be produced by Annapurna Pictures. A few weeks later, Annapurna Pictures pulled out from the project, and Endgame Entertainment provided financing for the project instead. Originally, Blake Lively was cast for the lead role. However, it was later reported Rooney Mara would replace her. In March 2012, it was reported that Vinessa Shaw was in talks to join the film as the wife of Law s character.


Principal photography started on April 5, 2012, in New York City. The first pictures from the set were publicized on April 10, 2012.


The Side Effects score was composed and produced by Thomas Newman. The soundtrack was released on March 3, 2013, by Varèse Sarabande.


In January 2012, it was reported that The Bitter Pill would be released by Open Road Films. The title was later changed to Side Effects. In November 2012, the first trailer was released. The film was screened in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.

Side Effects opened nationwide on February 8, 2013. It finished number three at the box office with $9.3 million, behind fellow newcomer Identity Thief ($34.6 million) and Warm Bodies ($11.4 million). The film grossed $32.2 million in America and $31.2 million in other territories, for a total gross of $63.4 million.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 81%, based on 223 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site s consensus reads: A smart, clever thriller with plenty of disquieting twists, Side Effects is yet another assured effort from director Steven Soderbergh. On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 40 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews . Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of B on an A+ to F scale.

Peter Sobczynski gave the film two-and-a-half out of four stars. Kirk Honeycutt of Honey Cutts Hollywood called the film a post-modern Hitchcock-thriller and praised the story matter, which he dubbed incredible . Richard Corliss of Time gave the film a positive review, complimenting the director and screenwriter and noting its similarity to Spellbound, The Wrong Man, Vertigo, Marnie — as well as Brian De Palma s films Obsession, Dressed to Kill, Raising Cain, and Passion, stating More efficient than inspired, Soderbergh rarely succeeds on style alone, but when given a sharp script, like the one for Side Effects, he can make an excellent film. If this is his swan song, it s got a haunting melody .

In the UK, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film a maximum five stars, calling it a gripping psychological thriller about big pharma and mental health that cruelly leaves you craving one last fix . He praised the lead performance from Rooney Mara as compelling who lays down the law with her presence. She demonstrates a potent Hitchcockian combination: an ability to be scared and scary at the same time, and Soderbergh s film manages to introduce its effects in some insidious, almost intravenous way . The A.V. Club s Scott Tobias called Mara superb as the glue that binds this fractured psychological puzzle, and commended Soderbergh s sophisticated direction: Side Effects screws around in its own thriller architecture, toying with feints of structure and clever bits of misdirection, and otherwise playing the audience like a fiddle. At this point in his career, Soderbergh pulls it off with the unpracticed ease of a maestro. Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph awarded Side Effects a maximum five stars and also acknowledged its debt to earlier psychological thrillers. He wrote: There s a lot of Alfred Hitchcock in what follows, but even more Henri-Georges Clouzot, with whose classic spine-tingler Les Diaboliques (1954) Soderbergh s film shares a poisonous tang . Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the film s performances, the script and direction, writing Soderbergh delivers ticking-bomb suspense laced with psychological acuity about a world where mood-altering meds are as disturbingly prevalent as social media .


Berlin International Film FestivalGolden Berlin BearSteven SoderberghNominated
International Online Cinema AwardsBest Original ScreenplayScott Z. BurnsNominated
Best ActressRooney MaraNominated
World Soundtrack Academy AwardFilm Composer of the YearThomas NewmanNominated



Amazon ASIN











1h 46min


Awards, 5 nominations


Steven Soderbergh


Scott Z. Burns


Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law

Produced by

Sasha Bardey, Scott Z. Burns, Elena de Leonardis, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Douglas Hansen, Gregory Jacobs, Linda Pianigiani, Michael Polaire, James D. Stern

Music by

Thomas Newman

Cinematography by

Steven Soderbergh

Film Editing by

Steven Soderbergh

Casting By

Carmen Cuba

Production Design by

Howard Cummings

Art Direction by

Miguel López-Castillo

Set Decoration by

Rena DeAngelo

Costume Design by

Susan Lyall

Makeup Department

Michelle Johnson, Nicki Ledermann, Tania Ribalow, Cassandra Saulter, Kerrie Smith, Craig Lindberg, Theresa Marra-Siliceo, R. Cory McCutcheon

Production Management

Julie Goldstein, David Kirchner, Gabrielle Mahon, Michael Polaire, Zoe Hartman

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Gregory Jacobs, Mari Martinez, Travis Rehwaldt, Jody Spilkoman, Scott Bowers

Art Department

Jill Alexander, Jonathan Arbes, Zach Baylin, John Bellotti Jr., Colin Brantley, Jon Carter, John J. Ciccimarro, Michael R. Clark, Patricia Colburn, Martin Connelly, Hannah Davis, Tom Devitt, Paul George Divone, Lauren Doner, Neil Driscoll Jr., Brad Einhorn, Carl Ferrara, Nick Ferrara, Joan Finley, Daniel Fisher, Anne Fleischman, Paul Fletcher, Steve Gallo, Sheyam Ghieth, Chris Grano, Bruce Jordan, Michael Kall, Dierdre Kane, Mike Koval, Peter Levitsky, Barbra Matis, Kathryn C. McGinnis, Mike Montgomery, Alyssa Motschwiller, Rebecca Perrenod, Fred Piesco, Kathi Prate, Charlie Price, Kurt Rimmel, Helen Ripple, Paul Robinson, Christopher Rovira, Pierre Rovira, Mattie Siegal, Bruce Swanson, Dick Tice, Thomas Vaughun, Holly Watson, Anna Weber, Kate Yatsko, Kalie Acheson, Michael Cory, Isaac Gabaeff, Michael A. Heath, Robert Ludemann, Michelle Mace, Dave McAllister, Jack White

Sound Department

Larry Blake, Matt Coby, Scott Curtis, Dawn Fintor, Aaron Glascock, Amanda Jacques, Alicia Stevenson, Billy Theriot, Dennis Towns, Alfredo Viteri, Patrick Christensen, Danny Ferraro, Dann Fink, Tyler Heath, Chris Navarro, Paul Tirone

Special Effects by

Conrad V. Brink Jr., Chris Cline, Gilbert H. Gertsen, Mike Maggi, William F. Reynolds, David Waine, Gunter Anderson

Visual Effects by

Thomas J. Smith, Ryan Andersen, Daniel A Flores, Bryan Godwin, Nat Jencks, Harimander Singh Khalsa, Beejal Lakhavani, Karen M. Nichols, Andrew Pellicer, Ryan J. Quinlan, John Riddle, Joseph A. Spano III, Shane Strickman, David Van Dyke


G.A. Aguilar, Nikki Brower, Nicole Callender, Chris Cenatiempo, Blaise Corrigan, Josh Lakatos, Declan Mulvey, Christopher Place, Stephen A. Pope, Derrick Simmons, Victor Paguia, Thomas Place, Trampas Thompson

Camera and Electrical Department

Rob Agredo, Julian de la Pena, A.J. Del Cueto, Pedro Diez, Michael Fradianni, Bob Gambardella, Bob Izzo, Kevin Janicelli, William Jones, Meg Kettell, Scott Maher, Sean McCardell, John McEnerney, Steven Meizler, John Joseph Minardi, Kevin Murphy, Patrick B. O Brien, Rocco Palmieri, Benjamin Relf, Chris Silano, Mike Sime, Kevin Smyth, Troy Sola, Alexis van Kersen Li, Peter Walts, Barry Wetcher, Braden Belmonte, Christian May

Casting Department

Julia Ballou, Melanie Block, Allison Hall, Wittney Horton, Grant Wilfley, Jamie Jacobson, Bruce Winant

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Olivia Barrand, Merav Elbaz Belschner, Trenee Clayton, Sandi Figueroa, Pashelle L. Latino, Kristine McFall, Kristin Reynolds, Amy Ritchings, Gregg Simmons, Aisha Williams, Antoinette Scherer

Editorial Department

Corey Bayes, Philip Beckner, John Daro, Paul Lavoie, Joseph Malloch, Dan Muscarella, John Nicolard, David Rosenthal, Bill Schultz, Erin Sullivan

Location Management

Douglas Armitage, Alex Berard, Ryan Coleman, Samson Jacobson, Brian Ketcham, Hyo Park, Brittany Rostron, Julie Sage, Paul Singh, Robert T. Striem, Eric Wrolstad, Peter Gonzalez, Phillip Saxton

Music Department

Charles M. Barsamian, Bill Bernstein, Rick Cox, George Doering, Tara Finegan, Michael Fisher, Laura Katz, Ernest Lee, Larry Mah, Shinnosuke Miyazawa, Andy Ross, Steve Tavaglione, Thomas Vicari, Linus Lau, Thomas Newman, Mark Petrie

Script and Continuity Department

Eva Z. Cabrera, Carol A. Compton

Transportation Department

Joe Brennan, Richard R. Busardo, Carlos Covian, Rocco Curatolo, Jude Donnelly, Bruce Golden, Kevin Grzan, Tony Ingrassellino, Thomas Kearns, James Kelly, John Lalor, Anthony Lettich, Jeremy Olszewski, Nick Piccinich, Salvatore J. Rotundo, James Schmidt, Danny Yannatuono

Additional Crew

Elise Aliberti, Sasha Bardey, Karen Bove, Byron Caracundo, Sean Carroll, Rob Clifford, Mike Costello, Jacq Donegan, Jesse Ehman, Estefania Fernandez, Kyle Fitzgerald, Robbie Florian, Andy Gilbert, Shellie Gillespie, Heather Gothie, Kristy Maurer Grisham, Gus Gustafson, Tony Harmening, Michael Hidalgo, Sean Hogan, Michelle Israel, Ben Jackson, Lyndon Jones, Claire Kenny, Julie Kuehndorf, Steven Lafferty, Marion Machado, Jack Maloney, John Mara Jr., John A. McCormack, Hannah Mescon, Ken Meyer, Liz Modena, Matthew Monaco, Elaine Mongeon, Eleanor Nett, Nick Notte, Benjamin Orozco, Derek Pastures, Felix Puente, Dru Radovich, Shavit Rein, Deborah Ricketts, Felix Rivera, Danny Rosett, Howard Samuelsohn, Greg Schenz, Lucas Smith, Adam M. Stone, Cat Stone, Jen Vestuto, Brian Whitfield, Cindy Wilkinson Kirven, Maurier Winston, Paul Zoccolillo, Dustin Bewley, Sussan Cordero, Nicholas DeWitt, Dan Diaz, Pete Donohue, John Edmundson, Marissa Fiore, Christa Haley, Cort Hessler, Adam Levy, Timothy Martin, Carole McGorrian, Sara Neuffer, Sarah Perlin, Bill Richards, Chelsea Ryan, Logan Steinhardt, Lygia Day Szelwach, Mara Tuleutayeva, Ryan Tuller, Katie Watson


Matthew D Emic, Erica Ellis, Catherine London, Layla Stone


Crime, Drama, Mystery


Endgame Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Di Bonaventura Pictures




English, French





ImDb Rating Votes


Metacritic Rating


Short Description

Side Effects is a 2013 American psychological thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It stars Rooney Mara as a woman who is prescribed experimental drugs by psychiatrists (Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones) after her husband (Channing Tatum) is released from prison. Side Effects was released in the United States on February 8, 2013, by Open Road Films.

Box Office Budget

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Box Office Opening Weekend USA


Box Office Gross USA


Box Office Cumulative Worldwide Gross



Side effect,clinical trial,depression,psychiatrist,sleepwalking