Brain on Fire Netflix: Full Cast List, Soundtrack, Reviews and Real Story

Brain on Fire has been out for a couple of years but Netflix has finally released it under the Netflix Original banner. It’s a movie that’ll no doubt cause you to shed a few tears as it did us. Welcome to your Netflix watch guide for Brain on Fire.

Unfortunately, the movie hasn’t done well with critics as we’ll explore below. We’ll also give you everything you need to know before watching and after you finish watching including the cast list and soundtrack.

Before you watch

Basic Details

Runtime: 1:28
Director: Gerard Barret
Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, brief language and partial nudity


What’s the movie about?

The movie recounts a New York Post journalists battle with multiple illnesses in the hope of finding a diagnosis and potentially a cure. She’s stricken with seizures, psychosis and memory loss.


Is Brain on Fire based on a true story?

Yes. The series is based on a real journalist called Susannah Cahalan. As the end of the movie states, Susannah was the 217th person to be diagnosed with Anti-NMDA-Receptor Encephalitis and thousands have since been diagnosed.

The movie is based on her life but she also published a memoir which is what the film is of course based on. The book is called Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness.

We’ve included an interview where she appeared on British TV to speak about her illness.


Can you watch outside of Netflix?

Brain on Fire won’t be appearing on any other streaming channels but the movie is already available on DVD, Bluray and video on demand services.


Review Scores

If you wonder why it took so long for this movie to release, you probably now have the answer. The movie has been panned by critics.

Peter Debruge from Variety was perhaps the harshest saying: “It’s the sort of role for which the Razzies were invented, and what little audience it finds will almost certainly be heckling as they watch Moretz implode.”


After you Watch

Full Cast List

Despite the bad reviews, the movie still had a fantastic cast including a Netflix regular who appears in the Marvel Netflix series Iron Fist.

ActorPlaysKnown For
Chloë Grace MoretzSusannah CahalanLet Me In, Carrie, The 5th Wave
Thomas MannStephen GrywalskiProject X, Kong Skull Island
Richard ArmitageTom Cahalan”The Hobbit
Carrie-Anne MossRhona Nack”The Matrix, Iron Fist
Jenny SlateMargoZootropolis, Parks and Recreation
Tyler PerryRichard”Gone Girl, Diaries of A Mad Black Woman
Alex ZaharaAllenOpen Range

Soundtrack

As you’d expect from this movie, the soundtrack contains quite sombre tunes but it was mostly from the movies composer rather than a soundtrack.

In fact, the only song appeared in the credits.

  • Song for Kirsten Dunst – The Morgues

What did you think of Brain on Fire? We’d love to hear your thoughts down below.

Kasey Moore

Kasey Moore is the founder and editor-in-chief of What's on Netflix. Kasey launched the site in 2013 after growing frustration with finding content on Netflix. He has an in depth understanding of the release cycles for Netflix and has developed tools to make navigating Netflix easier. Resides in Norwich in the UK.