Release date: Friday, September 18
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, Jon Jon Briones, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone
Episodes: 8 (hourlong)
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Get ready for a different kind of American horror story when you watch Ratched on Netflix. The series tells the origin story of the iconic character, Nurse Mildred Ratched, from the classic film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
The psychological drama comes from co-creators Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky and stars one of Murphy's most frequent collaborators, Sarah Paulson, in the title role. Nurse Ratched is the primary antagonist in the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which starred Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher.
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In this prequel series set in 1947, the story begins with Mildred getting a nursing job at a leading psychiatric hospital, where new and unsettling experiments are done on the human mind. Mildred presents herself as the perfect, dedicated, caring nurse, but she's got a secret agenda that involves infiltrating the mental health care system. Her stylish, buttoned-up exterior hides a growing darkness within. True monsters are made, not born.
Here's everything you need to know about how to watch Ratched on Netflix.
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How to watch Ratched with a VPN
If you're away from home, in a country with geo-restrictions that won't let you watch Ratched, you don't need to miss out. It's pretty easy with the right VPN (virtual private network) to stream the movie from wherever you go.
Our pick for the best VPN is ExpressVPN. It meets the Netflix VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. You'll even get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year, or there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.
How to watch Ratched in the US
If you're in the U.S., you can watch Ratched on Netflix starting at 3:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.
Ratched is just one of many exclusive movies and TV shows offered on Netflix. The streaming service has a huge library of licensed content, but it's really earned its spot as the best streaming service with all of their buzzy original series, including The Haunting of Hill House, Mindhunter, Making a Murderer and more.
The Ratched trailer begins ominously, with Mildred recounting her difficult childhood and pondering "how different I would be" if someone had ever showed her mercy. Later, she stares at herself in the mirror and preens, "Looking good, Mildred." The trailer also flashes scenes of a gruesome medical procedure, Mildred seemingly knocking out Hunter Parrish and Cynthia Nixon asking "Aren't we playing God?"
The cast of Ratched is led by star Sarah Paulson, who plays the titular character, Mildred Ratched, a nurse at a mental asylum in Northern California.
She's joined by:
- Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson
- Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs
- Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Richard Hanover
- Charlie Carver as Huck Finnigan
- Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket
- Sharon Stone as Lenore Osgood
- Alice Englert as Dolly
- Amanda Plummer as Louise
- Corey Stoll as Charles Wainwright
- Sophie Okonedo as Charlotte Wells
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Governor George Milburn
- Harriet Sansom Harris as Ingrid
- Hunter Parrish as Father Andrews
- Rosanna Arquette as Annie
The reviews of Ratched are generally negative. Here's a sampling of what critics are saying:
The New York Times: "[Ratched] gets waylaid in spectacle and lurid melodrama. What starts as a psychological portrait becomes a Jackson Pollock spatter pattern of bloodletting and revenge tragedy. One plot flies east, another flies west; chaos and clutter claim much of the rest."
Entertainment Weekly: "I was all set to credit Ratched as a glossy misstep, another nice-to-look-at mediocrity from a creative coalition that needs some new ideas. And then I got to the finale, which is one of the worst hours of television I’ve ever seen, successfully stitching lame soap opera cliches and lame horror cliches into a veritable Frankenstein of dramatic lameness."
Hollywood Reporter: "Though it occasionally mistakes 'scary' for 'hard to watch,' Ratched displays a lot more narrative discipline. And yet the whole feels lesser than the sum of its parts."
Vanity Fair: "Paulson does her very best to connect the dots, but her Herculean effort to hold the narrative together with her bare hands cannot mask how little the writers seem to have considered Ratched as a character beyond a uniform and a haircut. "
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.