Directed by: Tobias Lindholm
Distributed by: Netflix
Written by Jeff Sparks
The first half of 2022 was rather weak for Netflix, but in the latter half of the year so far their releases have been of much higher quality with titles like “Blonde,” “The Stranger,” the “All Quiet On The Western Front” remake, and now “The Good Nurse” which stars Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich, and Kim Dickens. In this true story, Chastain plays Amy, a nurse who suspects that her friend and co-worker (Redmayne) is responsible for the mysterious deaths of patients at their hospital. As much as I like her, Chastain is an actress I’ve always struggled to support because her career choices are constantly up and down. It’s puzzling to me how someone can go from an all-time great project like “The Tree of Life” to generic flicks like “Ava” and “The 355.” Nonetheless, she gets back on track in this film, which I think is one of the better direct-to-streaming films of the year.
Similar to Netflix’s “The Stranger,” “The Good Nurse” is a dark and moody thriller that doesn’t worry about entertaining the viewer, but rather engages them in a gloomy portrayal of a familiar tale. Unlike many movies about serial killers, this one does not portray the killer in a glamorous way. It does however show how he could come off as likable to his unsuspecting co-workers which I find to be a necessary approach because it shows how someone could get away with doing this for so long. The grainy, dimly lit cinematography and ominous score really hammer home the depravity of the crimes depicted on screen. Another terrific decision is the way that the film depicts how large businesses will cover up crimes so as not to disrupt their cash flow. Kim Dickens plays an executive of the hospital who stalls the police investigation while she finds a way to sweep the crimes under the rug. Not very often do you see the faults of huge businesses and corporations shown in mainstream films so it’s nice to see the reality of the situation portrayed in this film.
Chastain and Redmayne work very well together, and Kim Dickens shines in her limited screen time. Chastain in particular goes the extra mile. The desperation and hopelessness she shows in some of the death scenes show the heartbreaking level of despair that these nurses feel as they struggle to save the lives of their patients. The script and structure of the film aren’t anything unique, but the concentrated tone and committed performances make “The Good Nurse” one of the better films from Netflix in 2022.
“The Good Nurse” Trailer