Movie Review: Brain on Fire (2016)

Synopsis: A 21-year-old journalist begins to experience everything from numbness and seizures to hallucinations. When various medical tests come back negative, her doctors believe her issues are psychological and want to send her to a psychiatric hospital. Her divorced parents and boyfriend, however, aren't convinced and continue to fight for more tests.

Who's in it? The movie stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Jenny Slate, Thomas Mann, Carrie-Anne Moss, Richard Armitage and Tyler Perry.

Review: I came across this movie on Netflix a few days ago and, while it's not something I would normally find myself watching, I thought it would be a movie my wife would enjoy and I added it to my list. We ended up watching it last night and, after seeing the film, I have to admit it was considerably better than I would have expected it to be.

As I've said in the past, I'm a fan of mysteries. And, this film fit into that genre nicely. It didn't quite fit into the murder mystery genre I would normally enjoy but it was still entertaining enough to keep me interested from start to finish.

When I first started watching this film, I figured the doctors would simply write Susannah (Moretz) off as having a psychological issue. But, while that is the conclusion they ultimately come to, forcing her parents to fight them, that conclusion was based on various medical tests that kept coming up with no sign of a physical problem. And, to be fair, she seemed perfectly healthy until she started having the symptoms.

As a result of this, I found myself watching closely for clues. Did it have something to do with the bed bugs her co-worker (Slate) kept talking about? Was her messy apartment the result of her problem or the cause? Did she catch something from her new boyfriend (Mann)? Those were among dozens of questions I wound up having (including some more bizarre ones, such as a possible alien abduction?) and that kept me watching until the very end.

Final Opinion: This is an intriguing movie that is worth taking the time to watch at least once (especially since it is based off of a true story). I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

My Grade: A


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