132 user 34 critic

Brain on Fire (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 22 June 2018 (USA)
1:49 | Trailer
A young, capable professional cannot explain her newly erratic behavior.


Gerard Barrett


Gerard Barrett (screenplay), Susannah Cahalan (memoir)
4,888 ( 43)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chloë Grace Moretz ... Susannah Cahalan
Thomas Mann ... Stephen Grywalski
Richard Armitage ... Tom Cahalan
Carrie-Anne Moss ... Rhona Nack
Jenny Slate ... Margo
Tyler Perry ... Richard
Alex Zahara ... Allen
Jenn MacLean-Angus ... Giselle (as Jean MacLean Angus)
Ken Tremblett ... Senator
Navid Negahban ... Dr. Najjar
Robert Moloney ... Dr. Ryan
Agam Darshi ... Dr. Khan
Janet Kidder ... Dr. Siskin
Vincent Gale ... Dr. Samson
Daniel Bacon ... Dr. Han


The film follows the harrowing experience of a writer struggling with a rare neurological disease from when she first suffers symptoms to the many attempts at diagnosing it and the eventual discovery of the real cause of her illness. Based on the book, 'Brain On Fire', the true story of Susannah Cahalan, a journalist for the New York Post. Written by Danny

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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Dakota Fanning was originally cast in the lead role. See more »


[first lines]
Susannah Cahalan: Have you ever been trapped? Lost in your own body, lost in your own mind, lost in time? So desperate to escape, to just... Get out.
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Song for Kirsten Dunst
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User Reviews

From someone who is bipolar & schizophrenic, this movie clearly deserves a 10
12 April 2018 | by myemail-61187See all my reviews

I wish there were more movies on the subject of mental illness, the way these incurable illnesses destroys your life, the lives of family, loved ones, and friends.

Unlike my life, this movie does have a happy ending. These illnesses are misunderstood, bring fear to many, and in most cases considered Taboo to discuss.

Chloe does an amazing performance at portraying the highs (manic) and lows (depressive) of Bipolar. The uncontrollable paranoia, voices and visions associated with schizophrenia. The feelings of being alone, the emptiness and worthlessness.

I was first diagnosed in 2010 and have lost my career, respect of my peers, my friends and even lost my 22 year old Son and 21 year old Daughter (they think I am 'crazy', they are ashamed of who I have become, and refuse to educate themselves on this terrible subject). They have now moved two states away and tell everyone that I died in an accident.

For those of us afflicted with mental illness... we did not do anything wrong or horrible to be this way. It's just the way we were born. Chemical imbalances in our brain... not from sin, drugs, drinking, or smoking

I implore all of you to watch this amazing story that will pull on your heart strings and create a very powerful compassion that you never knew existed.

One piece of advice before watching... for many of you, have your tissues ready... I cried my way through every minute.

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USA | Canada | Ireland



Release Date:

22 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brain on Fire See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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