The Good Nurse
"Why?" "Because they didn't stop me."
Based on the true story of Charlie Cullen and Amy Loughren, Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain star in "The Good Nurse." The first English-language feature film for director Tobias Lindholm, "The Good Nurse" introduces the world to Amy Loughren (Chastain), a compassionate nurse and single mother struggling with a life-threatening heart condition. Amy is stretched to her physical and emotional limits by the ICU's challenging and demanding night shifts circa 2003.
Help arrives in the form of Charlie (Redmayne), a presumably thoughtful and empathetic fellow nurse, and the two develop a solid and devoted friendship. After a series of mysterious patient deaths sets off an internal investigation and simultaneous police investigation that points to Charlie as the prime suspect, Amy is forced to risk her life and the safety of her children to uncover the truth.
Charlie is found to be a serial killer who believes he is the angel of death, although no motive seems to have been stated as to why he committed such heinous crimes. His weapon of choice was to inject insulin into the saline bags of many of his patients, amounting to possibly 400 deaths across multiple hospitals during his time as a nurse. "The Good Nurse" echoes Amy's journey of discovering the truth about Charlie and her struggle to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy at the highest levels of the American medical field.
"The Good Nurse" is a gripping thriller that costars Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich, and Kim Dickens. Similar to the stories of Christopher "Dr. Death" Duntsch in Texas, that killed and maimed his patients, Charlie Cullen was a serial killer who simply didn't care about what he was doing to the patients he swore to protect. Eddie Redmayne plays Charlie as unassuming, gentle, and calculating, even though Charlie's reputation as a lousy nurse precedes him. Jessica Chastain is pitch-perfect in her role as Amy, bringing humanity and bravery to a story that seems void of both.
The difficult journey "The Good Nurse" presents to its audience is the lack of responsibility taken by hospitals that looked the other way at Charlie Cullen's real actions. This resulted in him being hired by understaffed hospitals in need of help, only to find the rate of patients dying at those hospitals increasing after Charlie was brought on. Lindholm is careful in his execution of such a delicate story, culminating in true story elements that reflect the danger that Amy Loughren put herself in so that she could catch the conscience of a serial killer.
"The Good Nurse" may not be flush with compelling dialogue, and some of the plot seems unrealistic, although, after a bit of research, it's plain to see how much Lindholm depicts facts versus fiction. The heart of the film comes from the strong work of both Chastain and Redmayne, who seem to be at the top of their game with their attempts to tell a true story with compassion and care for the real victims of Cullen's killing spree.
Thank god for Amy Loughren, the good nurse.
Ticket Rating: 🎟🎟🎟🎟