Watch The Good Nurse
- 2 hr 1 min
"The Good Nurse" is a gripping psychological thriller and crime drama that delves deep into the harrowing true story of one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of American healthcare. Directed by Tobias Lindholm and featuring powerhouse performances by Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain, the 2022 film is based on the book by Charles Graeber and weaves a chilling narrative around the grim realities that unfolded within a trusted institution where lives should have been saved, not lost.
Jessica Chastain portrays Amy Loughren, a dedicated, hard-working nurse and single mother who is struggling with a serious heart condition that she conceals to keep working to support her family. Her life at the hospital is a constant battle against fatigue, critical understaffing, and the challenge of maintaining compassionate care for her patients. The movie effectively portrays the harsh realities of the American healthcare system, where nurses like Amy are overextended and undervalued.
Eddie Redmayne steps into the skin of Charlie Cullen, the eponymous "good nurse," an approachable and seemingly empathetic new hire at the hospital where Amy works. His calm demeanor and helpful attitude quickly earn him the trust and friendship of his colleagues, including Amy. Cullen is portrayed as skillful and proficient, an experienced nurse who seems like a godsend in the high-pressure environment of an intensive care unit. Their growing friendship forms the nexus of the film, as Amy finds solace in Charlie's support during her difficult shifts.
As their professional relationship develops, patients inexplicably begin dying at an alarming rate. These mysterious deaths raise concerns, but the specter of such a horrific possibility—death at the hands of a trusted caregiver—lies beyond the imagination of the hospital staff. However, it is not long before inconsistencies and red flags surrounding Charlie begin to surface, initiating a disturbing trail for genuine concern.
The film excels in its slow-burn execution, gradually unraveling the facade of normalcy to reveal something far more sinister. It shows how Charlie's unsettling patterns begin to align with the inexplicable pattern of patient deaths, turning the initial suspicion into a harrowing revelation that puts Amy at the center of a moral and ethical crisis. As Amy begins to see through Charlie's veneer, she faces the critical choice between preserving her livelihood and pursuing the alarming truth that could jeopardize everything she holds dear.
Denise Pillott plays a supporting role in the film, solidifying a cast that effectively contributes to the building tension and suspense as the story unfolds. The elements of a procedural drama are present, with law enforcement becoming involved and the hospital administration wrestling with the implications of the emerging picture.
Lindholm's direction is masterful in capturing the drab and often cold ambiance of the hospital setting, juxtaposing it against the warmth of human connections and the stark fear that follows the initial discovery of the possible crimes. The storytelling is underpinned by a haunting score and poignant cinematography that contribute to an atmosphere laden with foreboding and unease.
One of the film's great strengths lies in its character development, particularly of Amy and Charlie, where the depth of their personalities and individual struggles make for a riveting and emotionally complex drama. Chastain's performance is masterful, drawing viewers into Amy's world, her vulnerability, her fierce maternal instincts, and her growing trepidation as her trust in her colleague begins to crumble. Redmayne complements this with a nuanced portrayal that swings from genuine friendliness to something genuinely ominous, leaving audiences hanging on every subtle shift in his expression or tone.
As Amy delves deeper into her investigation, the intensity heightens, and the audience is pulled into a disturbing exploration of the ease with which a malignant presence can hide in plain sight within such a critical profession. The story becomes not just a narrative about uncovering a killer but also an indictment of a system that, whether through indifference or administrative bungling, allows such crimes to persist.
"The Good Nurse" deftly balances the horrors of its true crime roots with a poignant look at the personal trials and moral dilemmas faced by those within the healthcare profession. It is a thought-provoking film that leaves a lasting impact, engendering both empathy and a sense of vigilant concern over the realities it portrays.
In summary, "The Good Nurse" is a sophisticated and heart-wrenching drama that examines the complexities and shadows within the healthcare industry, anchored by remarkable performances by its lead actors. It stands as not only a compelling piece of cinema but also a poignant narrative that pays respect to the real-life implications of trust, duty, and the harrowing betrayal at the hands of one deemed a caregiver.
The Good Nurse is a 2022 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 65.