Movie Review: “The Good Nurse” is well acted but unsure of what it wants to be

You’re always going to get my attention with Jessica Chastain, an Academy Award winner who’s one of the best actors working today. Add another Oscar winner in Eddie Redmayne, and the new Netflix thriller “The Good Nurse” has no reason to be anything but intriguing.

But it turns out just being okay because it can’t decide what it wants to be.

Chastain stars as Amy, an ICU nurse with serious medical problems of her own, who meets Charlie, a seeming thoughtful colleague with a bloody but untraceable track record of dead bodies at every hospital he’s ever nursed at. After fatalities start occurring on Amy’s watch, she has to get involved in an investigation to determine who Charlie really is.

Chastain’s usual ace acting is fine here. She has no problem getting us to care about Amy and her young children. Its actually Redmayne who gets the MVP though. Charlie is a complicated character and its a playground for a gifted actor like this one. It’s also good to see fan favorite Noah Emmerich working here as one of the cops investigating the deaths. Director Tobias Lindholm gives us a good looking film and plenty of time with out stars.

The problem here is that “The Good Nurse” isn’t exactly a thriller but not filled out enough to be a great drama. It drifts between genres, trending towards suspense in one scene, but then floating towards being more psychological in the next. Its based on true events and that could be a reason it has troubles defining itself, and sells itself short in the process.

If you like Chastain and Redmayne, give it a look, otherwise it might be a little too long at 2 hours to not deliver what you’re looking for.

The Good Nurse
Grade: C+
Rated: R
Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes

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