“The Good Nurse”- Movie Review

Story posted October 31, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Isabel Sweet

“The Good Nurse,” released October 26, 2022, is based on the real-life murders of Charles Cullen. It’s rated R and is about two hours long. This film was directed by Tobias Lindholm, an award-winning, Danish screenwriter and director. Cullen was played by Eddie Redmayne with Jessica Chastain as his counterpart playing Amy Loughren.

Cullen had worked at nine different hospitals within 16 years, which caused suspicion to arise. The plot of the movie, however, revolves around one hospital, Somerset Hospital. There he meets nurse Amy Loughren whom he befriends. The story develops from there, showing their relationship and everything that went down.

The film begins in 1996 when a patient dies for an unknown reason. It then jumps to 2003 when Cullen is transferring to Somerset Hospital. He seems like a great nurse and even helps Loughren out with her problems (medical and personal).

When a patient, Anna Martinez, dies from suspicious circumstances, the hospital begins an investigation which brings in detectives. The hospital keeps information from said detectives, and Loughren ends up being their only source of information.

As they find more from previous hospitals, they uncover the secrets of Cullen’s past. Loughren lures him to the cops, and Cullen’s case is settled.

The subplot of the movie focuses on Loughren’s life at home. Her struggles as a single mother and raising her daughters. She even gets Cullen involved in her kids’ lives. Luckily, she didn’t let that relationship grow too much.

As for the production, this film’s actors were fantastic. Redmayne was able to accurately portray a mentally unstable character. His realistic transition from a sweet person to an insane one came through. In the interrogation scene, he looked unhealthy, from the way he covered his face to the rocking back and forth to repeating things like “I can’t.”

Another actor’s emotions who stood out was Chastain. When realizing Cullen was a murderer, Chastain’s facial expressions said it all. She was confused, in denial, and she just couldn’t understand how her friend could have killed their patients. Additionally, as time progressed, you could physically see her spiraling. Her hair got messier, her smile was never genuine, and her face began to look drained.

Lastly, Alix Lefler, who played Loughren’s daughter, Alex, did a spectacular job. Towards the beginning, Alex expressed concern about not having anything good like her friends and blamed her mom. When Loughren and Alex had a heart-to-heart, Alex’s response was asking to watch TV. A nine-year-old child is not going to fully comprehend that big information, so this was a typical response.

One other aspect of the film that stood out was the accuracy of the story. When researching this case, the only main discrepancy to the actual events was how Cullen stayed home with Loughren’s girls. The film probably added this to bring more pathos into the plot. If the audience saw how close the family was to Cullen, they’d more strongly relate to Loughren’s character, allowing for a good v. evil trope.

The actors were well cast, and the scenes were intense without showing anything too vulgar. It's been said that Cullen took the lives of over 400 people.

Rating: 4/5

Isabel Sweet is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email ips5219@psu.edu.