2013 Running time: 106 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Director Steven Soderbergh's swansong features a so-called wonderdrug and the grim side effects it has on a suicidal wife, her ex-jailbird insider trader hubbie and a sympathetic shrink. After driving her car into a wall, Rooney Mara's troubled wife is prescribed a new anti-depressant - Ablixa - by Jude Law's caring therapist. However, she begins suffering disturbing bursts of amnesia before a shocking murder is carried out. Directed, written and shot by Soderbergh it's a noirish descent into madness which shoots off into dark directions you would never expect.

Director

  • Steven Soderbergh

Cast

  • Rooney Mara

  • Jude Law

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones

  • Channing Tatum

  • Vinessa Shaw

Review

Despite a denouement that even Adrian Lyne (Indecent Proposal, Fatal Attraction) might have considered a little too erotically far-fetched, this (allegedly) final film from Steven Soderbergh presses all the buttons.

After a richly varied career which takes in strippers (Magic Mike), a porn star played by a porn star (The Girlfriend Experience), a glossy heist (Ocean's 11), corporate skulduggery (Erin Brockovich) and the war against drugs (Traffic), he signs off with a thriller...but one that wrong-foots at every step.

Things kick off with the jittery Emily Taylor (Mara) welcoming her husband Martin (Tatum) home to their downscaled New York apartment after four years in jail for insider trading.

She's obviously on the edge and - after driving her car into a car park wall in an apparent suicide attempt - is counselled by Jude Law's kindly psychiatrist Dr Jonathan Banks, who prescribes her the new anti-depressant Ablixa (which he also happens to be trialling for an exorbitant fee from the pharmaceuticals company).

The drug appears to be working...and then Emily's faltering recovery is stopped in its tracks by a shocking murder and the finger of blame is pointed fair and square at the much heralded wonder-drug... and the man who prescribed it.

So far, so formula. Then Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns hurtle off in another direction altogether as Banks's partners turn on him, his wife (Vinessa Shaw) walks out with their kid and we meet Emily's former shrink Dr Siebert (Zeta-Jones).

There's something funny going on and - if you can resist the urge to laugh with rather than at it - there's much to enjoy as what appears to be an anti-phamaceutical conspiracy thriller morphs into whodunnit and then something far racier.

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