“The Good Nurse”


Metacritic (7/10), Rotten Tomatoes (***+), Letterboxd (3.5/5), Imdb.com (7/10)

Telling a good true crime drama requires one or all of the following: a suspenseful presentation, especially if the outcome is predictable or established in the public record; compelling performances, particularly those that bring a human dimension to the story; and a clearly defined accounting of the motivations and/or back story underlying the narrative. When it comes to this fact-based tale about a serial killer nurse posing as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, director Tobias Lindholm manages to get two out of three right, and the one on which he’s unable to come through – motivation and back story – is not entirely his fault due to the facts of the case. However, on the other fronts, the picture succeeds solidly in chronicling an investigation conducted by one of the perpetrator’s professional colleagues and a pair of intrepid detectives, all of whom are stonewalled at almost every turn. The creepy atmosphere created here, backed by a fine ensemble cast led by Jessica Chastain, Noah Emmerich, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens and Golden Globe Award nominee Eddie Redmayne, combine to make for a generally compelling watch, despite the ever-lingering question of “Why?” hanging over the narrative. “The Good Nurse” may not be groundbreaking cinema, but it’s certainly an engaging watch from start to finish, one of the best offerings in this genre to come along in quite some time.