“Murder on the Orient Express” Review


Erin Coffee, Staff Reporter

An all-star cast bands together to bring one of Agatha Christie’s best-selling murder mysteries to the big screen.

Detective Hercule Poirot, played by director Kenneth Branagh, is tasked with discovering who among the train’s thirteen passengers is responsible for the death of one if its occupants.

With superb acting from most of the cast – notably Michelle Pfeiffer and Johnny Depp – and less-than-convincing portrayals by a few of the ensemble, audiences are initially left excited by the idea of discovering who could be the murderer out of the seemingly innocent group.

However, as the movie makes its way into the second half, there is no climactic scene to build the excitement for discovering the killer.

The director uses a lot of stunning scenery, intriguing camera angles and sharp color to try and make up for this, but the movie still feels as though it drags on through the middle.

Saturated by a lot of information procured in such a short time period left the viewers both as confused and frustrated as the detective. It is typical of a murder mystery to focus on a few primary suspects, but attempting to make each character seem equally as likely or unlikely to commit the crime caused the film to lack the right level of suspense. 

The characters maintain an aura of mystery that keeps the audience interested, though. Full of intriguing back stories and contrasting personalities, the talented actors bring these characters to life in a way that provides depth to the story.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the previous adaptation, then the plot twist at the end will likely come as a unique surprise to you. This movie becomes one whose details are interwoven into a puzzle that only begins to make sense as Poirot lays it out before you.        

“Murder on the Orient Express” is a decent and visually impressive attempt to bring Christie’s work to screen, but slow pacing and an uneventful plot line is where the movie falls short.