murder on the orient express movie review – ‎Murder On The Orient Express (2017) Directed By Kenneth Branagh

There are, or course, many people that he investigates that appear to have both a motive and an opportunity for the crime. Joining him are Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp as Ratchett, Willem Dafoe as Hardman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Mrs.

murder on the orient express (1974 film) music – Watch Murder On The Orient Express Online

murder on the orient express movieBased on the time-honored novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express boasts an incredible ensemble cast including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs). When Agatha Christie maneuvered a large crowd of potential perps into a confined space, she was not just plot-thickening, but finding a way to explore human character in all its rainbow of delusion, rationalization and displaced guilt. For Branagh, it’s little more than a golden opportunity to make us “ooh” and “aah” over a clutch of majorly attired big Hollywood guns from Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi to Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe and Penelope Cruz, plus a strategic sprinkling of young ‘uns and a weak stab at diverse casting.

That night, Poirot (who now has the room to himself due to MacQueen getting bumped into another) looks forward to a good night’s sleep but finds it in short supply; first there is a noise seeming to come from the compartment next to his (Ratchett’s), but when the Conductor who goes by the name of Pierre Michel enquires as to it a voice responds that everything is fine. Poirot is also woken up by a bell and a knock, and during the disturbances, he spots a figure in a red kimono running down the hallway. Meanwhile, there is an avalanche which stops the train in its tracks, leaving everyone stranded on the line. Poirot is thrown from his bed, where he spies Marquez picking up spilled photos.

Given the commercial success of the 1974 film, director Kenneth Branagh faced an understandable question when he sought to readapt Murder on the Orient Express for 2017: what would his interpretation bring to contemporary audiences? Branagh, who also stars as Hercule Poirot, has stated in numerous interviews that he wanted to remain faithful to the narrative while also delving more deeply into characters’ emotional struggles, including Poirot himself. The result is a darker, more brooding adaptation that makes a few concessions to modern blockbuster conventions.



Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie’s most famous novels. In it, we find the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot on a steam engine traveling from Syria to London. Everything’s fine and dandy, until the train is caught in a snowdrift and one of the passengers is murdered. Cut off from the police, the little Belgian detective is pressed to take the case. He must collect evidence and interrogate the passengers in order to decide who among the strangers on the train would have been driven to murder.

Sidney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation was the first to bring Christie’s beloved classic to the screen. Starring Albert Finney as Poirot, and with Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, and Jean-Pierre Cassel, the film was a box-office smash, and even Christie loved it. Her only quibble was with Finney’s mustache, which she maintained was too small for Poirot’s crowning glory.

This movie is an odd choice for Branagh; Christie’s straightforward, no-nonsense prose is in many ways the antithesis of the Bard. It has, however, been decades since Branagh has tackled Shakespeare for the screen. In the interim, he has moved to other properties, most recently making a live-action version of Cinderella after providing entries into the Thor and Jack Ryan franchises. Murder on the Orient Express reunites him with three actors from the Branagh troupe”: Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, and Gerard Horan.

Poirot is reluctantly on the case by virtue of being on The Orient Express. The case in question, is the brutal stabbing death of a passenger, Ratchett ( Johnny Depp ). Now, a thousand pardons; the book is so old and such an institution that the line between spoilers and common knowledge feels a tad gray. In light of this, we’ll give only the film’s broader functions, its key players, and other minor notes on why this movie is mostly worthwhile.

Murder On The Orient Express is a 2017 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel. It’s a murder mystery set on a train and is directed by Kenneth Branagh. The cast of the film is extensive and includes Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tom Bateman, to name a few. It’s a simple enough story with a good twist at the end. I got multiple requests to write up this film, although I’m not sure why. I’m going to guess that the verbal explanation at the end didn’t paint how exactly the characters were related for some viewers. So I thought I’d whip up a diagram for this one as that would be more straightforward. Here’s Murder On The Orient Express’ ending explained, spoilers ahead.

Which brings me to you, Lucy Bevan, the casting director. Did you, blindfolded, toss a stack of notable actors’ headshots into the air and pick 15 off the floor at random? Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and their cohorts are undeniably accomplished performers. But thrown together, they are like oil and water — and this sedate movie is surely not shaking them up. The best is Dench, of course, but we have not gathered here to state the obvious.

So Poirot is told, and so we’re encouraged to believe in this, the newest adaptation of one of Agatha Christie’s most famous tales. Sure, Ratchett is technically the “victim” of this murder plot. But we quickly learn that Ratchett—for most of his long, dark life—left a trail of victims in his wake. And as the movie goes on, it works overtime to suggest that perhaps this wasn’t so much a vile murder as it was a form of justice. When our panel of suspects is lined up in homage to da Vinci’s The Last Supper, it’s done with intent: Our eyes are drawn to the character sitting in Jesus’ spot—a martyr ultimately willing to sacrifice everything so that others might live.

The painterliness of this new Murder on the Orient Express connects to a principle animating its plot. All Poirot stories hold that the truth is beautiful. But in this story, truth is not the same as certainty. There was right, there was wrong, now there is you,” Poirot says. The stylized gorgeousness of this movie lends it the air of a Romantic painting, which in turn draws out a more complex, contemporary view of justice. Beauty is truth, Poirot tells us, but the truth is not always simple.

In the new version, Branagh throws clues around like confetti, and the cuts to the kidnapping case five years earlier are haphazardly thrown in too late in the film to achieve much impact. Instead of exposing the participants in the kidnapping plot, the flashbacks to this manipulative plot device are so clumsy and awkwardly pasted together that in the end, when Poirot lines up the entire cast to reveal the killer, you’ve already forgotten what each character is talking about. This unneeded retread cost 100 times what the Lumet film did, with less than half of the beauty, suspense and excitement—not to mention nary a shred of the glamour.

I really enjoyed this film. Is it in the top 10 best movies of the year? No, not for me. But I thought it was an interesting mystery, the cast is a match made in heaven, and Kenneth Branagh’s direction comes across as very smooth and calming.

Branagh directs himself as detective Poirot, his undercooked Christmas ham of a movie effectively wasting an entire galaxy of stars. Kenneth Branagh ‘s Murder on the Orient Express is cinematic comfort food. Now Kenneth Branagh makes the possessor of the celebrated “little gray cells” his own in the sleek ensemble whodunit “Murder on the Orient Express” (Fox). He also helms the project as director.

The movie begins in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall in the 1930s. Famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) attempts to work out who was behind the theft of a religious relic from a room where a priest, a rabbi and an imam were conducting a meeting under the supervision of the Chief of Police. Poirot (who is shown to be fussy, bordering on OCD about everything in his life being balanced, as displayed when he sends back two eggs he’d planned to eat because they were different sizes), works out from a single crack left on the wall that the culprit was actually the Chief of Police (As the religious figures, leading modest lives, had no reason to steal the relic and wore soft shoes unlike the chief) who tries to make a run for it but fails. With the culprit caught and the relic recovered, Poirot looks forward to his upcoming holiday and taking a break from detective work.

Johnny Depp in Murder on the Orient Express Credit: Nicola Dove ©2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. Canby, Vincent (25 November 1974). “Crack ‘Orient Express’ Clicks as Film” The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2016. According to an official Netflix Twitter account, Murder Mystery had the streaming service’s biggest opening weekend for a film when it came out this month, with more than 30.8 million accounts viewing it in three days.

A movie about how much of a royal pain in the ass it was to kill someone before civilians had easy access to AR-15s, Kenneth Branagh ‘s Murder on the Orient Express ” is an undercooked Christmas ham of a movie, the kind of flamboyant holiday feast that Hollywood doesn’t really serve anymore. Arrestingly sumptuous from the very first shot (and filmed in glorious 65mm), this cozy new riff on Agatha Christie ‘s classic mystery is such an old-fashioned yarn that it could have been made back in 1934 if not for all the terrible CGI snow and a late-career, post-disgrace Johnny Depp performance that reeks of 21st century fatigue. Indeed, it’s hard to overstate just how refreshing it feels to see a snug, gilded piece of studio entertainment that doesn’t involve any spandex. Or, more accurately, how refreshing it would have felt had Branagh understood why Christie’s story has stood the test of time.

While the entire cast delivers, Branagh is particularly outstanding as Hercule Poirot, who is, as he self-proclaims probably the greatest detective in the world.” So basically the French Sherlock Holmes. Like Sherlock (or at least the 21st-century Benedict Cumberbatch iteration), Poirot’s deductive greatness brings with it a form of Depression-era OCD; everything must be in order, and there is no grey, only black and white. When Poirot is aboard a train on which someone is murdered, naturally, he is going to be the one tasked to find the culprit, and the well-crafted script by Michael Green, who recently co-wrote Blade Runner 2049 and Logan, makes for some clever and enjoyable verbal sparring.

A captivating murder mystery read by the most talented Kenneth Branagh. KB’s aplomb through a chorus of international accents brings you right into the action, and Agatha Christie’s consummate ability to withhold the solution right until the end persuades you to abandon all civil responsibilities and keep listening.

The one drawback of the film is all the potential it leaves untapped. It doesn’t quite manage to add up to the considerable sum of its parts. With a fresh vision and daring approach, the movie might have taken flight into all-time great status. On the flipside, greater risk could have been mismanaged into a, well, train wreck.

Poirot’s mustache is different. As Hercule Poirot, Kenneth Branagh’s costume designer chose a mustache that is lush, huge and grey. It’s a far cry from the definitely dyed and carefully cultivated mustache that Christie describes in her novels, but it is, nonetheless, impressive.

The passenger that never arrives, Mr. Harris, is never explained in the film. In the book we learn that they didn’t want anyone else on the train so they booked the final birth under a fictional name to keep anyone else from getting on.


Murder on the Orient Express is not at attempt to blow your mind as a mystery. The film contains twists and turns that push even the greatest detective in the world” to his limits. If not a fan of playing sleuth, however, cinephiles can still enjoy the film’s gorgeous pictures and camera work while taking their best guess on who did it.

When Agatha Christie watched Sidney Lumet’s celebrated 1974 adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express she said that while she liked it, she felt that Hercule Poirot’s moustaches were not quite luxuriant enough. If she’d lived to see Ken Branagh’s adaptation she would have been delighted with the bristles; Poirot’s ‘tache lies atop his lip like a silvery feathered boa.

And when the scarred wannabe Scarface fails to rise the next morning thanks to an overabundance of stab wounds to his torso, none of the passengers appear heartbroken. A duke’s mixture of clues is scattered about, everyone could have done it and a providential avalanche stops the Express on its tracks. Poirot must set down his book and learn who took up the knife.

As for the film’s detective business, that’s done more verbally than visually: Haris Zambarloukos’s expansive camerawork is forever wheeling around the mountain landscape, but never really gets in close to fetishize objects (like a discarded pipe cleaner or an embroidered handkerchief) that, surely, Christie adaptations must. We don’t sense Poirot looking closely at things, or putting the pieces together; he just launches into breathless expositions, as if he had already read the novel before getting on the train and is simply bringing the other passengers up to scratch.

But Poirot also chases a suspect across the snowy trestle and fights off a knife-wielding attacker in an open baggage car, and these scenes both come across as concessions to Hollywood action-movie conventions rather than organic additions to the mystery. Poirot famously uses his brain to solve problems, and the first act of the film takes pains to reinforce this standard. So it’s strange and disappointing to see him momentarily become a man of action when, in every other respect, this interpretation of the detective seems to deepen his characterization in compelling ways.

Murder on the Orient Express is considered a classic of detective fiction, and with good reason. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s own wintry journey on the Orient Express, the mystery is a locked-room puzzle in which only one of the characters present could have committed the crime. The limited cast of suspects and the train’s isolation further focus the narrative on Poirot’s powers of deduction. Additionally, Christie provides the reader with all the information necessary to solve the crime. The short, fast-paced chapters each focus on one piece of evidence, and Poirot occasionally pauses to summarize all he’s learned so far. At times Christie is too heavy-handed with the clues—towards the end she practically bangs the reader over the head with suggestions—but it’s all in service of constructing a perfect fair-play mystery. And the solution is truly ingenious, one that highlights both Poirot’s intellectual abilities and his deep sense of humanity.

Perhaps the most welcome thing about Murder on the Orient Express is the big-budget foray into a genre that motion pictures have all-but-forgotten: the classic murder mystery. The film isn’t too long to wear out its welcome and there’s something impressive about being surrounded by such impeccable detail and so many familiar faces. Although the film will work considerably better for newcomers to the story, there’s enough here to appeal to veterans. And, although Branagh is no Suchet, he’s good enough for us to accept him, if for only two hours, as one of Agatha Christie’s two celebrated detectives.

When Agatha Christie maneuvered a large crowd of potential perps into a confined space, she was not just plot-thickening, but finding a way to explore human character in all its rainbow of delusion, rationalization and displaced guilt. For Branagh, it’s little more than a golden opportunity to make us “ooh” and “aah” over a clutch of majorly attired big Hollywood guns from Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi to Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe and Penelope Cruz, plus a strategic sprinkling of young ‘uns and a weak stab at diverse casting.

While the mystery of Orient Express remains timeless, other aspects of the novel date it firmly to the 1930s, for better and for worse. The train’s passengers hail from a variety of countries, and Christie falls back on stereotypes to deepen their characterization. An Italian man is overly talkative and dramatic, while a Russian princess and a Hungarian diplomatic couple are proud and standoffish. The American passengers are brash and loud, even speaking in dialect, while the British travelers are reserved, calm, and brainy. M. Bouc repeatedly emphasizes these stereotypes, insisting that only the Italian man was impetuous and violent enough to have stabbed Ratchett.

In 1930s Europe, legendary detective Hercule Poirot probes a murder that occurs aboard the Orient Express. As the thirteen passengers grow paranoid that the killer will strike again, Poirot realizes there’s more to the case than meets the eye.

There’s something about trains (and murder mysteries set on trains) that makes my heart beat faster, and Sidney Lumet’s Orient Express was the train to end all trains. It made the old Broadway Limited look like a sidecar. There is little left to say, except that the train in this Murder on the Orient Express looks like it never left the station.

By the way, Agatha Christie may have made up the plot of the murder mystery, but the Orient Express was not a creation of her imagination. Her book was set on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE) , a luxury line that still runs in a “tourist” version today, featuring restored vintage sleeping and dining cars.

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