Tense, chilling, and uncomfortable – those are three words that immediately come to mind when I think about my experience watching The Good Nurse. To make things even more intense, all these emotions become heightened threefold when you remember the movie is based on a true story. Led by remarkable performances from Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse is a true crime drama streaming on Netflix about serial killer Charles Cullen who horrifically murdered dozens of hospital patients by overdosing them with insulin. If you’re sensitive towards any of the topics mentioned, please know this may be a difficult watch.

Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse

Chastain is an absolute powerhouse as she strongly delivers in this highly emotional role. She is completely believable as Amy Loughren and is able to depict her as a strong-will, and undoubtedly good person. I found myself sympathizing with her numerous times throughout the film while also growing increasingly concerned and fearful for her wellbeing as she grew closer to Charles. Meanwhile, Redmayne managed to pull off a very creepy and purposefully emotionless performances as Charles Cullen. From the very opening sequence, there was very chilling vibe that I got just by looking at him, which can only mean he did a good job with the role.

Due to the very serious subject matter at hand, The Good Nurse rightfully feels very stressful to watch. I would even argue that at times, it can be quite hard to watch and stomach. And it’s not because there’s anything violent or graphic that happens on screen, but because of the moral violation we feel witnessing a nurse committing murders in a hospital. So if any of the topics mentioned or discussed bother you, please avoid this film. The atmosphere though, which is complimented nicely by the music, feels very heavy and dark. There’s no humour, no levity, no brightness, but that’s perfect because it makes the film feel all the more serious.

Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren in the Good Nurse

But mixed in with my feelings of anxiety and stress was also some anger. Seeing those scenes on screen and knowing that they happened to real people in real life was truly disturbing. How could this happen? And more importantly, how could the hospitals continue to let this happen despite their suspicions? While I can commend The Good Nurse for being able to evoke such emotions from me, the whole thing is just so heartbreaking to think about. The whole “based on a true story” aspect of the film makes it hard for me to disconnect the film with our own disappointing reality of how things turned out.

While The Good Nurse as a movie does deal with some over-dramatization of events and added unrealistic plot points, I don’t think anything was particularly too extreme as to distract from the main story. The movie more or less just follows Amy around as she struggles to overcome her fears and battle with the difficult situation at hand. I liked this decision to focus the movie on her because it gave the audience someone to relate to, but it also emphasized how scary it would be if we were in Amy’s shoes.

Eddie Redmayne as Charles Cullen in The Good Nurse

Overall, The Good Nurse isn’t the most eventful of movies, but the shocking true story behind it does make it impactful; it manages to keep you both engaged and disturbed by it all. Thanks to the amazing work of Chastain and Redmayne, they’re able to carry the movie past some of the more clearly dramatized “meant to be cinematic” scenes. In thinking about the movie as a whole, I’ve decided to give The Good Nurse a 7.5/10. It’s a perfectly good film with a tense plot that is able to bring out deeper feelings and emotions within you.