Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Movie Review: Murder on the Orient Express (2017 film)

I am a huge fan of murder mysteries and the early Twentieth Century, so when I saw the trailer for this film, I said to myself, "Self, you should go see that."

Murder on the Orient Express is a 2017 murder mystery film based on the novel of the same name by Agatha Christie staring Hercule Poirot. It is rated PG-13 for mild violence and suspense and is appropriate for tweens and up.

The Good

Kenneth Branagh. Kenneth Branagh brought Poirot to life. He captured the brilliance and superior brain power of the character without making him unlikable or superhuman. I could watch another dozen movies with him in them.

Michelle Pfeiffer. Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the greatest actresses to walk the face of this planet. I don't know why she isn't staring in more films. She gave such a strong and varied performance that sent chills down my back and made me feel for her.

Art Direction. This is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. From Istanbul to the steam locomotive, everything looked like a painting come to life. When I imagine the 30s or listen to old radio broadcasts or read pulp fiction from the early 20th Century, this is how I imagine it looks. The visuals alone make this movie worth watching.

Cinematography. This movie was beautifully shot with really well thought out camera angles, movements, and cuts. Watching this movie is like watching a master class in how to shoot a well-crafted film.

Music. The music did not feel old, yet it felt appropriate for the period. It was classic in that respect.

The Bad

Expected. If you've ever read the book or seen any of the earlier adaptions, you know who the killer is so there isn't the suspense or tension of most murder mysteries. Also, this film played out exactly how you expect it to, so that made it a little less interesting than it could have been.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I with there had been more character development. The film was filled with very talented actors and actresses that didn't have the opportunity to show how great they were. Those that did get sufficient screen time really shined.


Murder on the Orient Express was a beautifully shot film filled with some of the best acting I've seen in years. The film is so well directed, constructed, and shot that watching it is basically a course in how to masterfully craft a movie. The story is pretty straight forward with the revelation of whodunit not much of a surprise. I give this movie 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.


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