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Side Effects [2013] [R] - 7.6.6



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Shortly after her husband (Channing Tatum) is released from prison for insider trader activities, a woman (Rooney Mara) begins taking a new medication to help her deal with severe depression. When one night she commits murder but has no memory of doing so, she is remanded to a mental hospital for observation by a psychiatrist (Jude Law). Also with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Nathanson, Vinessa Shaw and Polly Draper. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. [1:46]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A husband and his wife have sex: we see her thrusting on top of him (her bare breasts, shoulders and abdomen are visible) and hear them both moaning until climax and she moves off (her bare breasts and abdomen are seen and her genitals are blurred) and they lie on the bed.
 A husband is shown thrusting on top of his wife. We hear panting and moaning and see a husband lying on top of his wife in bed (we see his bare shoulders and back) and she kisses him as he moves off her. A husband and his wife kiss, he pulls the buttons open on her shirt (no nudity is visible) and they are interrupted by a boy who had a bad dream. A husband and his wife are shown sleeping in each other's arms fully clothed. A husband and his wife kiss and hug in several scenes.
 A woman talks about another woman's marriage deteriorating and that she "liked girls" as we see the woman speaking lying back on a sofa and touching her bare thigh suggestively while the other woman watches and moves to join her on the sofa; the first woman places the second woman's hand on her bare thigh and they kiss (sex is implied). Two women kiss passionately while one unbuttons the other's blouse (we see her bra and cleavage) and asks her if she remembers their first time (using graphic language).
 After having had sex with her husband, a wife stands nude in her kitchen (we see her bare back and the side of her bare breast) and the husband is shown bare-chested while sitting on a bed. Women wear low-cut evening gowns that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders and backs to the waist. A husband and his wife lie in bed together; she is shown wearing a low-cut nightgown that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders and he is wearing a T-shirt. A woman wears a skirt that reveals her legs to mid-thigh. A woman dresses and we see her bra.
 A wife confronts her husband (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) about photographs that she received in the mail of him and another woman and the implication is that he is having an affair with the other woman; we see some of the photos and the woman is shown wearing a bra and panties (bare abdomen, cleavage and bare legs are seen) while lying on a bed.
 A wife confronts her husband about a document that she reads and questions him about having "oral sex in her car" with another woman (he denies it and says it was a fantasy on the woman's part). A woman tells her psychiatrist that she and her husband "had sex." A man and a woman talk while sitting on a sofa and he touches her hand to comfort her.
 We hear that a woman miscarried.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman stabs a man in the stomach twice and once in the back (we hear a crunch as the blade enters); the man falls to the floor and we see blood on his hands and on the stab wound with the blade sticking out of his back.
 We see blood puddles, smears of blood and bloody foot prints on the floor of an apartment. We see a woman's feet stained from blood. A woman is shown with an IV in her hand.
 A woman speeds her car into a cement wall; we hear the crash and see her with a bruised face in the hospital. A woman walks toward the edge of a subway platform as a train speeds toward her; a police officer grabs her shoulder and pulls her back before she is struck.
 A man's face, with blue tinged lips, is shown being zipped into a body bag. A woman sees her reflection in a mirror and half of her face appears distorted; she rushes out of a party and cries. We see people grieving at a funeral.
 A woman is shown strapped onto a table with a ring around her head, a mouth guard in her mouth and she is given an electroshock treatment; we see the woman convulse during the shock as another woman watches and a man talks about the treatment damaging memory.
 A woman attacks another woman in hospital and is held by security guards while a nurse injects her with a calming medication. A woman strikes a man on the back of the head with her briefcase. A wife slaps her husband in the face and walks out after showing him photographs that she received in the mail (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A woman slaps another woman in the face. A woman runs out of a building and is chased by police; she tries to get into a taxi and is grabbed by officers and taken away while she struggles and screams.
 Three people argue and yell at each other in an office. A husband and his wife argue in a few scenes. Two men argue and yell at each other. A woman threatens a man with professional collapse. A woman screams into a pillow and cries that her husband is bleeding and she thinks he's dead.
 A man, bound at the wrists, is shown in an interrogation room yelling and resisting a police officer. A man is shown being arrested and taken away by FBI. A woman is shown being arrested and handcuffed by police.
 While talking to a psychiatrist a man says that he saw the "ghost of his father" driving a taxicab. A psychiatrist asks a woman, "Did you try to hurt yourself?" A woman says, "They took our house away." We hear that a woman miscarried. A woman talks about depression feeling like a "poisonous fog bank." A woman is referred to as being "a victim of her medical treatment." A woman tells a man, "I killed the wrong person." A man talks to his psychiatrist about having a disagreement with his wife. A man talks about a woman being "very sad every day." a woman talks about taking a medication for depression after discovering a lump in her breast. A man is shown in jail and he talks about his release and "reintegrating."
 We hear a woman vomiting in a restroom stall and another woman enters the restroom and hears her; she tells her that a medication made her vomit too (we don't see vomit). A woman is shown in a restroom stall putting her fingers in her mouth and making herself vomit (we hear her gag).

PROFANITY 6 - About 14 F-words, 5 scatological terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (crazy, arrogant, paranoid schizophrenic), 1 religious profanity, 3 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - We see prescription medication vials in several scenes and a woman takes prescription medication in a few scenes, a woman is shown with an IV in her hand and she is injected with a liquid, a woman is injected with a calming medication after attacking another woman in a hospital, a psychiatrist puts medication on a table and tells a woman to take them (she refuses), a woman talks about taking a medication for depression after discovering a lump in her breast, a psychiatrist talks about the effects of Thorazine as he writes a prescription for a woman, a man asks a psychiatrist to give him a prescription for a medication to help him focus, and a woman takes a "beta blocker." People are shown drinking wine and liquor at a party, a man drinks a beer, a woman drinks wine in a couple of scenes, people drink alcohol at a party, and a woman talks about mixing drinks as a bartender.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Insider trading, psychiatry, grief, suicide, depression, miscarriages, anti-depression medication, murder, hopelessness, lies, ethics, dreams, sleep walking, clinical trials, consciousness, intent, instinct, blackmail, stress.

MESSAGE - Treating patients with depression can be unpredictable.

Special Keywords: S7 - V6 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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