Side Effects (2013)
The intricacy of the plot coupled with Steven Soderbergh's headstrong, solid presentation makes this psychological thriller a sweeping and often intense experience. With depression and the medical/pharmaceutical professions' handling of it as its basis, Side Effects spins a roller-coaster tale of facade, deceit and mental illness which alternates quite smoothly between serious, social criticism and tightly spun mystery. Soderberg's ambitiousness ensures that every character and institution is balanced, and both the medical and legal aspects of the story is well-lit, but despite all this, the film retains a cold and cynical point of view to both the world it depicts and its characters. Jude Law, who plays the psychiatrist, tries his best to be sympathetic and well-doing, but turns ever more vindictive as the film goes on. We really can't blame him, but he's not exactly admirable either. And in her difficult part as Emily Taylor, Rooney Mara ultimately shares more traits with Jane March's work in Color of Night than with Edward Norton's in Primal Fear.