Tobias Lindholm, perhaps best known as the writer of Another Round and The Hunt, has returned with a turgid and morose slog of a movie. Despite being billed as a thriller, The Good Nurse has sacrificed most of its tension to a promotional strategy that gives away the entire plot. What remains is largely squandered by sluggish pacing – it doesn’t really get stressful until an hour in. Buried somewhere within the glacial 2-hour runtime is a tense, pacy 90-minute thrill-ride.

It may be based on a true story, but The Good Nurse’s plot was also a Holby City storyline in 2003. In the absence of originality, it relies on the star wattage of its leads to drag you in. It’s a novelty to see Eddie Redmayne cast (just about) against type, but his performance is rather bland. Jessica Chastain doesn’t meet her own high bar and – make no mistake – this is not one of her fun movies.

A welcome change of perspective peps up the second act somewhat, with Emmerich and Asomugha appearing as a determined detective duo. The investigative bent and long list of hospitals Cullen has worked at recalls Spotlight (specifically the shuffling of abusive priests), but The Good Nurse only suffers from this comparison. Netflix would have you believe this is a damning indictment of the USA’s broken healthcare system. A medic without health insurance is certainly a striking juxtaposition, but the commentary remains disappointingly toothless.

The suspense finally amps up in the last half hour, with Chastain’s Amy turning out to be some sort of serial killer whisperer. Unfortunately though, there’s little exploration of her psychology.

Lindholm opts for serviceable grey-hued drama and controlled performances rather than embracing the potential for sensationalised melodrama. Yet he fails to elevate The Good Nurse beyond its soapy central scenario.



CAST: Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain, Noah Emmerich, Nnamdi Asomugha

DIRECTOR: Tobias Lindholm

WRITERS: Charles Graeber, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

SYNOPSIS: An infamous caregiver is implicated in the deaths of hundreds of hospital patients.