1 user 6 critic

Brain on Fire (2016)

A look at a young woman's rapid descent into insanity.



(screenplay), (memoir)
2,661 ( 763)


Credited cast:
Tom Cahalan
Rhona Nack
Dr. Samson
Dr. Najjar
Dr. Khan
MRI Technician
EEG Tech


A look at a young woman's rapid descent into insanity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief language and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 September 2016 (Canada)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charlize Theron was cast in a role but dropped out. She remained on as a producer. See more »

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User Reviews

Mesmerizing and such an important film
22 September 2016 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This was my TIFF experience this year so I got to experience the World Premier along with the cast in Toronto. The film is breath taking and not from an entertainment standpoint though in a way it is that too. This film tells an incredible true story about a terrifying experience and disease and it is told well with little dramatic flare I think. Some professional reviews from the premier were very harsh and I personally don't understand it.

I have always been a fan of Chloe Grace Moretz and her performance isn't perfect because there are times where she struggles to really pull off the realism but she is really good at demonstrating how great Suzanna's life was and how quickly it deteriorated and how much she struggled. She does her very best work showing Suzanna at her most extreme low point. She is believable and heart wrenching. I actually think with what I've seen this year, she deserves her first Oscar nomination for her performance. Tyler Perry was actually amazing as her boss. It's not a big role but honestly it was best supporting material in my opinion and I'm not a Tyler Perry fan. There was something genuinely moving about his performance. Her parents played by Richard Armitage (who apparently has a huge fan base?) and Carrie-Ann Moss do a solid job. Carrie Ann-Moss feels a bit out of place and Armitage really plays up the outbursts of emotion from a father where it is almost borderline campy unfortunately. Neither one of them are big home runs in my book but they do a good job and Moretz saves them both. Jenny Slate was really good in a small role as her best friend and Thomas Mann was also very good as her love interest Stephen. I also think Mann might have been miscast and yet he does a good job.

I get why some critics might be harsh against this. I don't think they picked the likely cast or the ones who were maybe shoe-ins but the cast they did pick do great. The director Gerard Barrett has done a great job here. He doesn't have a lot of experience but I think he did this film with great respect and thought behind it and truly wanted to not dramatize the film and tell the story and make people aware of the medical issues behind this. I though it was a moving and strong film with a great message, good performances, and an absolute must see! 8.5/10

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