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The Good Nurse: release date, reviews, trailer and everything we know about the Jessica Chastain movie

Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain in The Good Nurse
Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain in The Good Nurse (Image credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix)

Netflix has been home to some of the biggest true crime titles recently and the streamer has another one on its hands with The Good Nurse. While the likes of Girl in the Picture and I Just Killed My Dad are documentaries/docuseries, The Good Nurse is a narrative movie but based on the true story of Charles Cullen.

With two Oscar-winners headlining its cast, The Good Nurse is sure to draw eyeballs as one of 2022’s new movies (and part of Netflix’s massive slate of fall 2022 movies (opens in new tab)). Here is everything we know about The Good Nurse.

When is the Good Nurse release date?

The Good Nurse releases in select movie theaters on October 19, then debuts on Netflix a week later on October 26.

The theatrical release for The Good Nurse ensures that the movie is eligible for this year’s Oscars.

What is The Good Nurse plot? 

As mentioned, The Good Nurse is based on the real-life killings of Charles Cullen. Here is the official description from Netflix:

"Suspicious that her colleague is responsible for a series of mysterious patient deaths, a nurse risks her own life to uncover the truth."

The screenplay was written by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and adapted from the book, The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder (opens in new tab), by Charles Graeber.

Who is in The Good Nurse cast?

Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne star in The Good Nurse, playing Amy Loughren and Charles Cullen, respectively.

Chastain is coming off her Oscar win for Best Actress in The Eyes of Tammy Faye in 2021, but of course is also known for roles like Zero Dark Thirty, The Help, Molly’s Game and Interstellar. She has already had one movie in 2022, the spy-action movie The 355, and is going to appear in Armageddon Time as well before the year is over.

Redmayne is also an Oscar winner, taking home the Best Actor trophy for The Theory of Everything. The British star has also been leading the Fantastic Beasts franchise and appeared in movies like The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Danish Girl and Les Miserables.

Other members of The Good Nurse cast include Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, Fear the Walking Dead), Noah Emmerich (The Americans, The Truman Show) and Nnamdi Asomugha, a former NFL star who has made the switch to acting, having appeared in movies like Hello, My Name Is Doris, Crown Heights and Sylvie’s Love.

The Good Nurse trailer

The trailer for The Good Nurse is here. Redmayne looks quite creepy as Cullen while Chastain looks on her usual game as Loughren trying to figure out exactly what her co-worker has done. Watch the trailer below.

The Good Nurse reviews — what the critics are saying

The first slate of The Good Nurse reviews are starting to come in with strong praise for the true-crime thriller. Here are some of the early reviews for The Good Nurse:

John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab): "A gripping but refreshingly unmanipulative true-crime tragedy"

Tomris Laffly, Variety (opens in new tab): "The Good Nurse ultimately makes a sophisticated impression as a moving, deeply political human interest story."

Pete Hammond, Deadline (opens in new tab): "The Good Nurse turns out to be one of the best pictures of 2022 with two of the strongest performances you will see all year."

Who is The Good Nurse director?

Tobias Lindholm is the director of The Good Nurse. From Denmark, Lindholm has worked as both a writer and director throughout his career. His writing credits include writing the Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Vinterberg collaborations The Hunt and Another Round, as well as two of his own directorial efforts — A Hijacking and A War. He also directed two episodes of the first season of Netflix’s Mindhunter

What happened to Charles Cullen?

SPOILER ALERT if you want to find out more about Charles Cullen from The Good Nurse.

Charles Cullen worked as a nurse at various hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As the movie depicts, Cullen was ultimately brought to justice by his co-worker, Amy Loughren, who followed unusual details from Cullen’s work to reveal that he was actually responsible for deliberately killing patients.

Cullen was convicted of killing 29 patients in 2006 but has officially confessed to killing as many as 40 (opens in new tab). However, it is thought that he could have murdered as many as 400 patients, which would make him the most prolific serial killer in recorded history.

To avoid the death penalty, Cullen entered into a plea agreement. A judge in New Jersey ruled that he serve 11 consecutive life sentences (opens in new tab), while another six life sentences were added to his sentence by a Pennsylvania judge. Cullen is not eligible for parole until at least 2388.

The Good Nurse poster

(Image credit: Netflix)

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.