Murder on the Orient Express

(2017)

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Title:
Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date:
3rd November 2017
Runtime:
114 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Kenneth Branagh
Writers:
Agatha Christie, Michael Green
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man's race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 58%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 62%
IMDb Rating 6.8

Casts

Asan N'Jie as Hotel Waiter
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot
Michael Rouse as British Police Chief Inspector
Paapa Essiedu as Young Policeman
Yassine Zeroual as Young Boy

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by duffjerroldorg 10th November, 2017

From The Vast Agatha Christie Collection

Why remake Murder On The Orient Express when there are so many titles from Agatha Christie's bibliography that have never been made. Specially this one, directed in 1974 by Sidney Lumet - a genius at having many great actors within a confined space, think 12 Angry Men - with a cast that was to die for. The 2017 Kenneth Brannagh couldn't survive the comparison and it doesn't. I missed the elegance and the wit. Albert Finney got an Oscar nomination for his Hercules Poirot here Kenneth Brannagh's mustache will get all the attention as well as Johnny Depp's incomprehensible performance. Then, of course, the score. The original Richard Rodney Bennett became a classic. So, I ask you, was this necessary?

Reviewed by tm-sheehan 8th November, 2017

Why did they bother?

Why did Kenneth Branagh want to make a third version of this classic Agatha Christie story knowing remakes of classic films rarely are successful? The previous two versions the film in 1974 with Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot and the 2010 television version with David Suchet are both superb. If you haven't seen either you probably may enjoy this as I don't criticise the acting or production . It's an interesting cast I enjoyed Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of Caroline Hubbard so classily played in the original by Lauren Bacall and Branagh gives a credible performance as Poirot. What I missed was the elegance of the original the original score by Richard Rodney Bennett is one of my all time favourite film scores ,used so evocatively in the original film it gave the Orient Express an identity motif forever etched in film history. The music score in this attempt is bland and the song at the end credits so saccharine sweet and forgettable I've forgotten it already. If you make a remake film that's so well known you can't help comparing the original cast and in 1974 we had Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall , Dame Wendy Huller , Richard Widmark, Sean Connery, John Gielgud , Rachel Roberts and Vanessa Redgrave to name a few , yet not one of the new cast including Dame Judy Dench eclipses any of the performances of the original film . The costumes and sets are very good in this version but again in 1974 even without blue screens and cgi effects the elegance and luxury of the original is not improved with this version. So to me the good performances and production of this movie were wasted on this expensive film and the tweaking of the story line was totally unnecessary and in one instance concerning the Caroline Hubbard role ridiculous. Without giving anything away or spoiling it for audiences who haven't seen the original, apart from recommending the 1974 version to this one I was horrified at the hint at the end of the movie that Kenneth Branagh may remake "Death on the Nile"I sincerely hope not. What next will we a have Kenneth Branagh remake of Gone With The Wind starting himself as Rhett Butler and Anne Hathaway as Scarlett?

Reviewed by ecastrodesign 6th November, 2017

This Version Is A Train Wreck

If you have any affection for Sidney Lumet's 1974's stellar version of "Murder On the Orient Express", do not bother watching this new version, you will be very disappointed. Even the poster reflects an uninteresting tone, the font used is modern and lacks any sense of style. Kenneth Branagh is a great director and actor that has given us some memorable films, unfortunately "Murder On the Orient Express" isn't one of them. At last night's screening of "Murder On the Orient Express" I had to use the restroom after about 40 minutes. As I reentered the theater the person entering with me asked me "Do you think this movie will ever get started?" I said "I don't know; I guess we'll have to see." It caught fire way to late, in about the last 20 minutes. Indeed, the movie had a painfully slow start, with a completely overproduced prologue that seemed quite unnecessary. The introduction of the characters is messy and it becomes rather confusing as to who they are. The cast is full of great actors, but so few are able to "shine" in this production. Kenneth Branagh is an interesting Hercule Poirot, he seems to be trying way too hard, and for me somehow he never "owned it." The extremely grotesque mustache seemed to get in the way Michelle Pfeiffer, as Mrs. Hubbard is lackluster and quite flat, until the last 20 minutes where she does get a chance to shine, but by then it's too late, but it's not her fault. Derek Jacobi, one of our greatest actors is so misdirected in this version that he delivers an insipid performance. Penelope Cruz walks through a part that gained Ingrid Bergman an Oscar in the original, again not their fault. Interestingly enough, it is Johnny Depp who gives the best performance. He embodies his character with the right amount of vile corruptness, and sleaziness that brings life to the screen. He also has the most interesting costumes in the movie. Judi Dench is elegant and funny but her companion played by Olivia Coleman, who usually turns in stellar performances is totally uninteresting here, again not her fault. The production is indeed rich and elegant in its production design, and cinematography. The costumes however are fine, but lack a certain panache and glamour we have grown to admire in past Agatha Christie films, such as those designed by Tony Walton, and Anthony Powell. Alexandra Byrne is an extraordinary designer, but somehow it feels like the concept was to be subtle and "real". She needed to be bold and adventurous like her work on the "Elizabeth" films with Cate Blanchette. The musical score vacillates from very generic, to frantic and never finds the right tone, never providing a sense of mystery and suspense. Only when true vintage songs are incorporated does the atmosphere come alive. Kenneth Branagh is such a gifted filmmaker, it is sad to see this film fall short. He is in almost every frame, perhaps he would have crafted a better film if he was not in it. As the conductor of this train, he did not provide an elegant journey with wit and great character development for one of Agatha Christie's finest stories.

Reviewed by bob-the-movie-man 6th November, 2017

You'll never guess who dunnit…

There's a big problem with Kenneth Branagh's 2017 filming of the Hercule Poirot-based murder mystery…. and that's the 1974 Sidney Lumet classic featuring Albert Finney in the starring role. For that film was so memorable – at least, the "who" of the "whodunnit" (no spoilers here) was so memorable – that any remake is likely to be tarnished by that knowledge. If you go into this film blissfully unaware of the plot, you are a lucky man/woman. For this is a classic Agatha Christie yarn. The irascible, borderline OCD, but undeniably great Belgian detective, Poirot, is dragged around the world by grateful police forces to help solve unsolvable crimes. After solving a case in Jerusalem, Poirot is called back to the UK with his mode of transport being the famous Orient Express. Trapped in the mountains by an avalanche, a murder is committed and with multiple suspects and a plethora of clues it is up to Poirot to solve the case. Branagh enjoys himself enormously as Poirot, sporting the most distractingly magnificent facial hair since Daniel Day-Lewis in "The Gangs of New York". The moustache must have had its own trailer and make-up team! Above all, the film is glorious to look at, featuring a rich and exotic colour palette that is reminiscent of the early colour films of the 40's. Cinematography was by Haris Zambarloukos ("Mamma Mia" and who also collaborated with Branagh on "Thor) with lots of innovative "ceiling down" shots and artful point-of-view takes that might be annoying to some but which I consider as deserving of Oscar/BAFTA nominations. The pictures are accompanied by a lush score by Patrick Doyle (who also scored Branagh's "Thor"). Hats off also to the special effects crew, who made the alpine bridge scenes look decidedly more alpine than where they were actually filmed (on a specially made bridge in the Surrey Hills!). All these technical elements combine to make the film's early stages look and feel truly epic. And the cast… what a cast! Dame Judi Dench ("Victoria and Abdul"); Olivia Coleman ("The Lobster"); Johnny Depp ("Black Mass"); Daisy Ridley ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens"); Penelope Cruz ("Zoolander 2"); Josh Gad (Olaf!); Derek Jacobi ("I, Claudius"); Willem Dafoe ("The Great Wall") and Michelle Pfeiffer ("mother!"). A real case again of an "oh, it's you" film again at the cinema – when's the last time we saw that? It's also great to see young Lucy Boynton, so magnificent in last year's excellent "Sing Street", getting an A-list role as the twitchy and disturbed countess. With all these ingredients in the pot, it should be great, right? Unfortunately, in my view, no, not quite. The film's opening momentum is really not maintained by the screenplay by Michael Green ("Blade Runner 2049"; "Logan"). At heart, it's a fairly static and "stagey" piece at best, set as it is on the rather claustrophobic train (just three carriages… on the Orient Express… really?). But the tale is made even more static by the train's derailment in the snow. Branagh and Green try to sex up the action where they can, but there are lengthy passages of fairly repetitive dialogue. One encounter in particular between Branagh and Depp seems to last interminably: you wonder if the problem was that the director wasn't always looking on to yell "Cut"! All this leads to the "revelation" of the murderer as being a bit of an anticlimactic "thank heavens for that" rather than the gasping denouement it should have been. (Perhaps this would be different if you didn't know the twist). However, these reservations aside, it's an enjoyable night out at the flicks, although a bit of a disappointment from the level of expectation I had for it. I can't be too grumpy about it, given it's a return to good old-fashioned yarn-spinning at the cinema, with great visuals and an epic cast. And that has to be good news. For sure, Branagh does make for an amusing and engaging Poirot, even if his dialogue did need some 'tuning in' to. There was a suggestion at the end of the film that we might be seeing his return in "Death on the Nile" – the most lush and decorous of Peter Ustinov's outings – which I would certainly welcome. He will have to find another 10 A- list stars though to decorate the boat, which will be a challenge for casting! (For the full graphical review, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com, or check out One Mann's Movies on Facebook. Thanks.)

Reviewed by postmortem-books 5th November, 2017

Unnecessary remake.

I am loathe to put the boot in to any film but the barrage of publicity for this, plastered all over the BBC news and chat shows - Graham Norton and Andrew Marr interviewing the phalanx of "stars" in a suitable subservient way - has pushed this reviewer over the edge. It is a film that didn't need a remake since the original was perfectly acted and nuanced. Perhaps that is half the problem - I know the "solution" and therefore the denouement is no surprise- but there is something more deeply flawed with this movie. Firstly - that moustache. Ridiculous and in the end it becomes something that you stare at and wonder just why something so outrageously stupid would NOT get in the way of what words the actor is actually saying. You stop listening and just try and see where it is stuck on. Branagh stomps around the various scenes like Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (even down to walking along the top of the snow-covered carriage as if he was king of the castle) and then addresses the suspects in a scene that is reminiscent of The Last Supper painting. Everywhere he goes everyone knows him. Absolutely everyone. The opening scenes in Jerusalem are unnecessary and only serve to raise Branagh/Poirot into God like status where the population of the city are happy to take his word and trample a suspect policeman to death. No jury, no trial, lynch mob rules. All of which seems to bother the guardian of justice not one jot. Cut to the train - at last. We hear that the train is full and that Poirot will have to share a cabin for at least one night. As we discover that there are just 12 passengers on the whole train I wondered what happened to all the other empty berths on the other carriages. Let's just pass over that one. We are now introduced to the various characters. I don't know how much these stars got paid for this movie but boy, apart from Michelle Pfeiffer, they don't have too many words to say. The main action is sitting around looking suspiciously at each other. Depp is mostly unintelligible evidenced by his recent performance on the Graham Norton show where he found it difficult to string two words together. It is only Branagh who has the dialogue - and he works it as hard as he can into some kind of Shakespearean dialogue. Judi Dench plays the part Wendy Hiller took in the 1974 film. I know Dench is supposed to be the public's "favourite" but Hiller's sneering haughtiness will remain one of the highlights of the earlier film long after this one is forgotten. In the novel and the 1974 film the train gets stuck in a drift. Here it is struck by an avalanche and teeters on a wooden viaduct. Ain't CGI wonderful? The engine is derailed but never fear he comes a gang of ten workers who will dig away the snow and pull a 100 ton engine back on to the tracks - with their bare hands. Marvellous. And the music score? Possibly the most disappointing part of the whole film when one considers the classic Richard Rodney Bennett score for the 1974 film. Patrick Doyle's offering is just insipid and uninspired. The closing credits roll with some vapid pop song burbling away in the background. Well, if you've never seen the 1974 film and you don't know the ending you may enjoy this but perhaps you should locate that earlier film and wait for this to end up on the £3 shelf at Tesco. It would appear, to judge by the final quip by Poirot in the film that Branagh is planning to redo Death on the Nile. God help us.