Movie tip: "Side Effects"

This Steven Soderbergh-directed noir was more thrilling for what I thought it was going to be than for what it actually was. It starts off promisingly in its first half, with a wife (Rooney Mara) sinking into depression even as she's welcoming her husband (Channing Tatum) back from prison, where he served four years for insider trading. She starts taking an antidepressant but struggles with side effects - and then a murder happens. I expected twists and turns, but they didn't end up being as interesting or believable (even in a pulp-fiction-world way) as I had hoped. Questions volleyed around my mind when the movie ended: Wait, those characters didn't even need to do that, did they? And didn't the way that character act not track from this scene to that scene? Catherine Zeta-Jones isn't convincing as a buttoned-up psychiatrist who used to treat Mara, but Jude Law gives a rich, multi-layered performance as her current doc.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

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