Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

“Murder on the Orient Express” is a 2017 mystery movie directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on the classic detective novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The movie features an ensemble cast that includes Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley.

The story follows world-renowned detective Hercule Poirot (played by Kenneth Branagh) as he boards the luxurious Orient Express train, en route from Istanbul to Calais. During the journey, one of the passengers, a wealthy American businessman named Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp), is found murdered in his cabin. With the train stranded due to a snowdrift, Poirot takes on the case and begins to investigate the murder with the help of Dr. Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley), among others.

As Poirot delves deeper into the case, he discovers that many of the passengers had a motive for committing the murder, and everyone on the train becomes a suspect. The detective must use his famous powers of deduction to unravel the mystery and identify the killer before they strike again.

The movie received mixed reviews from critics, but was generally praised for its stylish visuals, impressive ensemble cast, and faithful adaptation of Christie’s novel.

“Murder on the Orient Express” is a stylish and engaging mystery movie that will keep you guessing until the very end. Kenneth Branagh’s direction and performance as the fastidious detective Hercule Poirot are both excellent, capturing the character’s eccentricities and intelligence with charm and wit.

The ensemble cast is also impressive, with each actor bringing their own unique energy to their respective roles. Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Penélope Cruz all stand out in particular, delivering nuanced and compelling performances that add to the film’s sense of intrigue and drama.

Visually, the movie is stunning, with gorgeous cinematography and production design that bring the luxurious Orient Express train and its passengers to life. The film’s score, composed by Patrick Doyle, also deserves special mention, as it adds to the tension and drama of the story.

That being said, some viewers may find the pacing of the film to be slow, especially in the first act as the characters and their motivations are established. Additionally, while the movie stays mostly faithful to Agatha Christie’s original novel, some may take issue with certain changes made to the story and Hercule Poirot’s backstory.

Overall, “Murder on the Orient Express” is a well-crafted and enjoyable mystery movie that will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie and classic detective stories. While it may not be perfect, it offers a satisfying and entertaining whodunit that will keep you guessing until the very end.

You can read my review of the 2022 release of “Death on the Nile” here.

Pick up a copy of The Murder on the Orient Express here.


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