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The Good Nurse Movie Review: Brilliant depiction of the true crime story of Charles Cullen

Directed by Tobias Lindholm and written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, this movie does an amazing job of bringing to life such a horrific story of murders. With Eddie Redmayne playing Charles Cullens it will truly keep you involved until the end.

The Good Nurse Movie Review: Brilliant depiction of the true crime story of Charles Cullen
Photo credit: Netflix

The Good Nurse is based on a 2013 true crime book of the same name by Charles Graeber. However, the book is based on the real-life crime story of Charles Cullen who confessed to killing nearly 40 people while working as a nurse in several hospitals by putting harmful medications in IV bags. Although experts suspect the number of murders committed may have been as high as 400. 

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim dickens, and Noah Emmerich. 

The Good Nurse Movie Plot

The movie starts off with a scene in a hospital in Pennsylvania in 1999 where an emergency code conducts in light of a patient having some trouble. The doctors and the other hospital staff arrive only to find that they are too late in saving the patient. We see Charlie Cullens (played by Eddie Redmayne) standing in the back leaning against a wall and watching quietly giving off sinister vibes. 

Then the story jumps to a scene in a New Jersey hospital in 2003 where the nurse Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain) is working a night shift. She is overworked and exhausted but still at the service of patients. The scene shows an elderly man getting upset when he is not allowed to stay with his wife overnight but Amy breaking the hospital rule of no overnight guests lets him stay. 

The Good Nurse Movie Trailer

Amy Loughren is shown as a single mom with a heart condition who cannot afford healthcare, and a babysitter so she works night shifts to look after her kids during the day. While also receiving treatment from a private doctor which she also cannot afford. She needs surgery for a heart transplant and she is unable to receive the same from the hospital because she may get fired if they find out. 

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This is where Charles Cullens enters the scene as also a nurse on the night shift with supposedly excellent references according to Amy’s supervisor. The two quickly become friends professionally and personally, Charles upon meeting her kids devotes himself to helping her. 

When Cullens figures out a way to cancel an order but still receive the medicines which help Amy, one of Amy’s patients dies and her husband (from earlier) is heartbroken over the news. Two detectives are assigned the duty of looking after the patients (Nnamdi Asomugha and Noah Emmerich) but they end up suspecting who the culprit behind the murders might be. 

At first, Amy defends Charlie but as more and more patients are dying she finds out Charlie’s motives and ends up helping to get the proof against Charlie by putting herself at risk and bravely confronting him.

The Good Nurse Movie Review

The Good Nurse Movie Review: Brilliant depiction of the true crime story of Charles Cullen

The Movie is a good example of undervalued healthcare workers who cannot afford basic facilities like healthcare or insurance and neither do they get any help from the hospital itself. This is ironic considering they help save other lives for if they didn’t care for patients properly the patients may not get well at all. 

The story also shows how most hospitals are run by profit-seeking corporate people who prioritize protecting the reputation of the institution more than protecting the life and well-being of their patients. 

The real Charlie was fired from every hospital on minor offenses, he worked at nine hospitals in total which resulted in so many murders. Although, he had no answer when he was asked WHY he did all that in ‘60 minutes other than an unreliable claim of killing them out of pity to end their suffering. 

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The story focuses more on the friendship and empathy aspect of the two main characters Charles Cullens and his colleague Amy Loughren and less on the thrill of the investigation.

Also, the director plays true to every aspect of the story without adding any unnecessary perceptions or twists. This movie does an excellent job of portraying such a horrible story of killings while also showing the troubles of healthcare workers and the carelessness of hospitals which is usually taken for granted in society.  

British actor Eddie Redmayne does a remarkable job of portraying the sincerity and mundaneness of a criminal mind. And Jessica Chastain was also as splendid as the character which instantly gains the viewer’s empathy while also showing the braveness of the character with her expressions of fear and pain. 

The movie was released on 26th October 2022 on Netflix and is now available to stream for viewers.

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Written By

Kajal is an multi-media and communications graduate whose interests lie within the media industry and the best way for her to communicate is by writing about things she likes.

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