Murder On The Orient Express Review

Next to the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot is one of the most well known detectives in fiction from throughout history.

We've seen plenty of version of the character through various movies and television beyond the original novels and short stories, and now Kenneth Branagh has stepped in to star in and direct the latest version of Murder on the Orient Express.

Our movie starts out with the Belgian Hercule Poirot, played by Branagh, in Jerusalem as he helps to solve a mystery of who stole an item from a church. After solving this case, he boards a boat to Istanbul where he plans on taking a vacation and resting.

While waiting on the boat, we are also introduced to Mary Debenham, played by Daisy Ridley, and Dr. Arbuthnot, played by Leslie Odom Jr.

Poirot arrives in Istanbul and runs into an old friend, Bouc, played by Tom Bateman, who is the director of the Orient Express.

At this time, someone comes in and gives a note to Poirot requesting he come to London to solve a case, so Poirot asks Bouc to get him on board the Orient Express.

This basically sets everything into motion, with Poirot boarding the Orient Express and us being introduced to the rest of the people on the train.

This includes Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp), Princess Dragomiroff (Judi Dench), Pilar Estravados (Penelope Cruz), Carolina Hubbard (Michelle Pfieffer), Gerhard Hardman (Willem Dafoe), Hector McQueen (Josh Gad), Edward Henry Masterman (Derek Jacobi), Hildegarde Schmidt (Olivia Colman), Count Rudolph Andrenyi (Sergei Polunin), Countess Helena Andrenyi (Lucy Boynton), Biniamino Marquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Pierre Michel (Marwan Kenzari).

This is definitely a large cast of characters to work with, but the movie does a good job at giving most of the characters their time to shine.

So that we won't include too many spoilers, the basic plot is that the Orient Express gets snowed in after an avalanche due to a storm, with one of these characters getting murdered on the train during this time and Poirot has to work to solve it.

I will admit that the movie does feel a bit slow early on, but it definitely starts to pick up after the murder and when Poirot's investigation really gets going.

Poirot's focuses on most of the characters throughout the movie as he investigates each of them individually, while also trying to keep the passengers on the train calm.

Like any mystery, there are lots of twists and turns in this movie, with an ending I did not see coming.

I had no read the novel of Murder on the Orient Express or seen any past versions, so those who know what is coming may either appreciate it more or less.

I really did like the way the outcome was slowly weaved throughout the movie and how it paid off in the end, especially with the way Poirot handles it.

The snowy 1934 mountainside where the movie is set looks gorgeous, with the Orient Express itself really capturing that classic look. The standout part of the movie itself though was Kenneth Branagh' as Hercule Poirot.

He stepped right into the role that many have played before and played him expertly.

He was able to capture the obsessive compulsive nature of the character, as well as his unique mannerisms. The rest of the cast is also really enjoyable, with each playing their roles very well.

Murder on the Orient Express is a very enjoyable mystery movie that has an all-star cast throughout.

It may be a little slow at the start, but it is well worth sticking with for Branagh's performance and the investigation that comes after the murder in the movie.

If you really enjoy a good mystery movie, definitely check out Murder on the Orient Express.

Verdict: 4/5 Stars

20th Century Fox