The Good Nurse

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The good nurse is Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), a single mother working in the intensive care unit of a hospital. But the reason this feature exists is because of a bad nurse. The depiction is based on the real-life tale of Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), who worked at ten healthcare facilities from 1988 to 2003. A series of mysterious deaths followed him. It turns out he was a serial killer who would later plead guilty to 29 murders. However, some investigators believe that number to be in the hundreds.

This saga recounts the developments that eventually led to his capture. In retrospect, it’s bizarre that Charles and Amy started as good friends. In this dramatization, they meet in 2002 at Parkfield Memorial Hospital. Charles is an experienced RN hired to help Amy work the night shifts. She confides in him, and he gives her emotional support. Things get strange when an elderly patient named Ana Martinez (Judith Delgado) unexpectedly dies under questionable circumstances. Amy and Charles were attending to her. The health center’s administrative board contacts the state police. When detectives Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich) show up to investigate, hospital board risk manager Linda Garran (Kim Dickens) downplays the severity of the situation. Even Amy defends Charles …at first.

These true crime stories are often more shocking than fiction because they genuinely happened. That’s the part that shook me. It’s an unsettling portrait of a very disturbed man. Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne elevate the account with straightforward performances. Although what makes a monster like Charles Cullen tick remains an enigma. This is adapted from the 2014 book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber. There’s a lot more to this tragedy. If you crave details after watching this, there’s a documentary: Capturing the Killer Nurse (also on Netflix). It gives more information, particularly on a U.S. healthcare system that allowed these crimes to continue for so long. It likewise highlights that Amy was instrumental in getting the evidence needed to put this murderer behind bars. The undeniable fact in both movies: Amy Loughren is a hero.

11-15-22

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