Title – The Good Nurse (2022)
Director – Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking)
Cast – Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain, Noah Emmerich, Nnamdi Asomugha
Plot – The true story of Charlie Cullen (Redmayne), a nurse who was implicated in the murders of 100’s of patients under his care despite co-workers such as Amy Loughren (Chastain) believing he was an everyday caregiver.
“I think the universe hates me”
Review by Eddie on 19/12/2022
After a couple of surprising recent wins with their original feature film content, Netflix comes back to earth slightly with a more typically fine but far from memorable offering The Good Nurse.
A film based on the incredible and shocking true story that author Charles Graeber explored in his best selling book of the same name that centred around infamous nurse Charlie Cullen and his hand in 100’s of deaths in the American hospital system, director Tobias Lindholm found himself in charge of two Oscar winning performers who deliver typically solid acting turns in a film that never seems to push its narrative in a fashion that gets the best out of itself despite being always mildly engaging.
The very definition of a decent film that never does anything in a way that will linger long in the memory, something that can’t be said for Cullen’s horrific deeds, The Good Nurse is unable to find a central hook that grips us in Jessica Chastain’s single mother nurse Amy Loughren’s experience’s with Eddie Redmayne’s Charlie as both a colleague and friend as the films potentially white knuckle cat and mouse game gives way to a more pedestrian examination of a series of incidents that are anything but.
The films mid-tier playing out is certainly not the fault of either Chastain or Redmayne who are as good as they’ve been in years as Amy and Charlie respectively and when either of the two actors are given the spotlight by Lindholm they make the most of their opportunities but neither real life character feels truly alive here and their working relationship, friendship and their eventual cat and mouse game between one another never takes off the way in which you would’ve hoped with The Good Nurse failing to make the most of an opportunity to become of 2022’s most noteworthy dramas, one that may’ve had the stars aligned been a major awards player in the upcoming months.
For a film that documents an anything but pedestrian story, it’s a shame Lindholm’s telling of Cullen and Loughren’s feels like one with only a few brief moments breaking the mould of a film that feels content to just exist not so much make a mark, a police interview with Cullen where Redmayne is allowed to become something more than stoically present is one such moment that springs to mind after a viewing that feels more alive and powerful than most other components in the film, leaving The Good Nurse to be perfectly adequate but nothing more.
Final Say –
With a string of recent original film wins, The Good Nurse is a more typically mid-tier Netflix offering that misses a chance to be something special and while perfectly ok, fails to inspire much in the way of creating something we would remember in the days following a viewing.
3 hospital lawyers out of 5