starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum
screenplay by Scott Z. Burns
directed by Steven Soderbergh
by Angelo Muredda Whatever you may think of the distinctive yellow patina that creeps across his filmography, Steven Soderbergh is something of a chameleon artist, prone to the compulsive shape-shifting that's led some to mischaracterize commercial work like the Ocean's series as mere Hollywood capital to be cashed in on ambitious curios like Bubble. If anything, it's the Ocean's movies that most bear his signature in their attention to complex systems run amok and their indulgence of postmodern genre pastiche, which recur in projects as disparate as Haywire and Magic Mike. Both tendencies are in full force in psycho-thriller Side Effects, ostensibly the last of Soderbergh's theatrical releases and in many ways the most quintessentially Soderberghian despite its impersonal subject. It's an unusual swan song but perhaps the ideal one for a director who's always revealed himself in his formalist rigor, the conspicuous act of emptying out his idiosyncrasies into preexisting generic containers--in this case, half-a-dozen of them.