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Murder on the Orient Express

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Malta, USA

2017

Rated PG-13 • 1h 54m

Director Kenneth Branagh

Starring Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench

Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery

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In this adaptation of the novel by the same name, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of an American tycoon aboard the Orient Express train. When the train is stopped by an avalanche, a race against time begins to find the murderer before they kill again.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Elsa Bauerdick Profile picture for Elsa Bauerdick

This is as much an adaptation of the Agatha Christie's classic as any other, though not anywhere close to as intriguing as it should be. Not necessarily a great work of art, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

Time Out London by Anna Smith

If it's all a little too crowded with characters, Branagh’s pacy direction keeps the story zip along to a conclusion that’s tense even if you remember whodunnit.
50

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

A handsomely furnished holiday movie that should have devoted more attention to its many ornaments and less to the tinsel at the top, this Murder on the Orient Express loses steam as soon as it leaves the station.
50

Variety by Peter Debruge

Though he succeeds in creating the most memorable incarnation of Poirot ever seen on-screen (upstaging even Johnny Depp’s competing cameo), the movie is a failure overall, juggling too many characters to keep straight, and botching the last act so badly that those who go in blind may well walk out not having understood its infamous twist ending.
60

The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

A shade more playfulness would have gone a long way. This Orient Express clatters handsomely along, but I left the cinema wishing it had had the nerve to jump the rails.
50

Screen International by Tim Grierson

Branagh, in his direction and especially in his performance, can’t help but overdo the cheeky artificiality, which keeps Murder feeling more like a well-designed exercise than a delectable thriller.
55

TheWrap by Todd Gilchrist

Ultimately, Murder on the Orient Express isn’t necessarily awful; it’s just inert, a prestige pic that’s too busy looking handsome and respectable to evoke any real intrigue or emotional involvement.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

Given the confined nature of the material as well as its period-specific aspects, this is a yarn that does not exactly invite radical reinterpretation. As such, its appeal is confined to the traditional niceties of being a clever tale well told, with colorful characters that are fun to watch being made to squirm by the inimitable Belgian detective.
60

Empire by Will Lawrence

An enjoyable journey with a stellar cast, though the baggage we carry as modern viewers sees this ride derailed before its denouement.

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