For the last 20 years, the words “Bad” and “Good” in a title meant specific things. Plunk down $10 for a Bad Santa, a Bad Teacher, or a Bad Moms Christmas, and you get what you paid for: A Bad Moms Christmas. Meanwhile, on television, we had quite a few Goods, including a Good Wife, a Good Fight, and a Good Doctor.
The Good Nurse flies in the face of convention by doing the unthinkable: Lying in the title.
In Netflix’s upcoming thriller about an unequivocally bad nurse, The Good Nurse, Eddie Redmayne plays Charlie Cullen, the real-life medical professional who poisoned patients through medication tampering. But he was such a “good nurse” that he did this for roughly 20 years, potentially murdering 400 patients to become the most prolific serial killer in American history.
Maybe the title refers to Jessica Chastain, who plays Cullen’s friend Amy. The trailer for the movie, which presents a wraparound structure, reveals Amy as a snitch for the police, trying to capture Cullen.
The movie is based on a book with the same title by Charles Graeber. Amy Loughren was an informant who helped catch Cullen in the early 2000s. However, before she could, Cullen was hopping from job to job and victim to victim throughout the 1990s. Finally, he admitted to killing 40 but is believed to have more than 400 victims.
While the movie is about a bad nurse, it does star good actors. Chastain and Redmayne are both Oscar winners, but batting clean-up is Kim Dickens and Noah Emmerich. If The Americans have taught us anything, it’s that the last place anyone wants to be is on the other side of a conference table from Emmerich.
The Good Nurse hits Netflix on October 26.