Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: November 10, 2017
6.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 326 Ratings
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DefinitelyMaybDec 1, 2017
Wow what an amazing piece of turd that Kenneth Branagh has managed to make again. Although I've haven't read the Murder On the Orient Express,but have read other Poirot stories and had followed David Suchet's excellent portrayal, thisWow what an amazing piece of turd that Kenneth Branagh has managed to make again. Although I've haven't read the Murder On the Orient Express,but have read other Poirot stories and had followed David Suchet's excellent portrayal, this adaptation is a complete disaster of a film that is only serviceable at best. Whilst the production design is good and had some fun moments at the beginning, this is a 'detective story' (and I use the term loosely here) that thinks its doing detective work, but is in fact too busy trying to be a social justice lecture instead. It manages within it's short running time to artificially shoehorn a random chase scene,a bizarre ill-conceived interracial subplot which I'm pretty sure wouldn't be in the original, definitely race-baiting that works throughout the film, an underexplained and underdeveloped backstory that is vital to the plot (I am bewildered why Branagh doesn't do this at the start of the film) and perhaps the worst denouement that has been ever put on screen. The problem with this adaptation isn't because it doesn't add anything new or that its technically wrong, its because it manages to butchers the entire story with some really atrocious filmmaking. 1) Arguably the most egregious problem with this adaptation is that Branagh manages to completely rush the detective work and underdevelop a large majority of the characters. He completely side-steps most of the detective work that should be expected of this film by hardly introducing to a majority of the characters where by the end of the film I hardly knew what their names were because they hardly appeared on screen on at interacted with one another. Some characters are completely forgotten but magically reappear when needed to advance the plot. Although Branagh decides to make Poirot as the central element of the film, this is a complete misstep due to the fact we never understand any of the characters alibis or in fact how they interact. It feels so rushed and lacked any care that by the end where one character is also stabbed, this is quickly forgotten by the next scene and never mentioned again until the end. It is utterly bizzare and the worst kind of sin to commit in a detective film where details and continuity matter. What I suspect is that a lot of scenes were cut from this film and that the filmmakers decided to focus on this bizzare thesis the films try to make out throughout which is that there are grey areas to life?

2) The pacing is all over the place. Whilst the beginning is enjoyable as a Hollywood specatcle. It hurts the film the most because we spend nearly 40 minutes before the actual crime is committed. As a result, the film by the middle is rushed to the death. There are odd cuts of time throughout the film where you never quite know how he is progressing with the case. This is so bad by the end that they decide to immediately cut to the denouement without even giving clues to who could have done it. By the middle and the end, these scenes are fired at the audience so fast that its intention is probably to distract the fact they forgot to build any of these scenes up naturally. A random action scene is cut in the middle of this to create tension maybe? But yet the film never feel tense or anythng remotely dangerous as other poirot stories. Branagh manages to stuff up what makes Poirot books great but forgetting that a lot of other adaprtation lets the characters talk to each other and only show clues to who could've done it. This film does it at the beginning but quickly forgets about this exercise which in turn makes it a mess of a script. 3) Bad creative decisions. By now you have probably heard of the overshot camera shots which does happen a couple of times. Yes they are distracting and are unnceessary given it be much better if we could see the character's reaction. I think Branagh intention thorughout his shots is to show how cramp and tense the situation they are in but this is completely undercut throughout the film by exterior shots that are CGI heavy meaning all that tension never simmer away. Perhaps another awful thing is that the tale never feels real because all the other passengers and cooks are never again shown despite the fact the train is super long. 4) Not enough character work. For a detective film, you would think the film will spend the majority of its time trying to develope a motive and interaction between our suspects. However Branagh decides he is above this sheet and decides not to do any of it. The film litereally diverts from this with a crude montage of the characters that should be given most screen time but bypass them all together. Judi Dench, William Dafoe, Penelope Cruz & Michelle Piffer are all victims of this bizzare choice meaning we never really understand what is happening.

In conclusion, this is by far one of the worst detective film and adaptaion put on screen. ITs a shame because I want to see more of this genre but this fails bad.
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2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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2
rosanneramajNov 21, 2017
This a classic example of a thriller and mystery movie combined. The film is a bit hard to follow. This sums up my review of the film in one word:"Baffled"
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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2
avid_readerNov 22, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I suspect if you have not read the book, you may like this movie better. There's no doubt that there's much to commend, with a fine (albeit wasted) cast and impressive cinematography. As well as being a massive Christie fan and having read the book more times than I can remember, I also saw the original (and excellent) 1974 movie, so this movie had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, it didn't really deliver.
Let's start with Branagh's Poirot and that moustache. Ridiculous, but not in the way that Christie painted him. Viewers need look no further than Suchet's Poirot for how this character should look and be played. He is a ridiculous little egg-head of a man, fastidious to a point (he would never deliberately step in manure) and inordinately proud of his silly, jet-black moustache. Sadly, Branagh's Poirot is too tall, the moustache is over the top (even for Poirot) and is a man of action. The addition of a ridiculous and unnecessary love backstory was a major irritant, as was the time wasted on a whole sequence where Poirot solves another mystery at the beginning of the movie. Time that could have been better spent setting the scene for the Armstrong kidnapping or fleshing out other characters a bit more.
Another important point, of 12 stab wounds, 12 passengers and the idea of a jury passing judgment on a criminal (a major point in the book and the original movie) was thrown out the window, which was a pity. The whole point was that those 12 passengers (well, 11 + the conductor) sat in judgment on Cassett and executed him, as they saw it).
Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent, she did a great job with a fairly poorly written script and her Mrs Hubbard was most believable. Daisy Ridley was also wonderful as the cool and composed Mary Debenham - I did find the amount of screentime she received, over and above other characters, rather unbalanced though. As others have said, Judi Dench was completely wasted in this movie, as was the wonderful Olivia Coleman and others. A chase over an aqueduct structure at one point, a shooting scene and an additional stabbing added nothing to the story and seemed overindulgent to me. Some of the camera work was irritating - there were a lot of shots from above, less of these would have made this view more effective.
I didn't think the additions to the storyline really added much. Making Poirot a friend of the Armstrongs was another self-indulgence, in my opinion. The unfolding of the whole Armstrong backstory was heavy handed. See the 1974 movie for its treatment of this backstory - it was much better.
This story relies on the tension of the passengers in the Calais coach - the train has been stopped due to the snow, they cannot leave the train. Messing with that and having a story where passengers are getting on and off the train and walking around in the snow having conversations with Poirot and one another, just ruins that tension and is frankly, quite silly.
To sum up - this movie was a huge disappointment and did not deliver on all the hype that surrounded it. I will go home tonight and watch the original movie to make myself feel better.
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4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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1
DarthNihilusNov 14, 2017
Even star power couldn't help this film. Despite having an all-star ensemble cast (who can all act very well), this film was a massive dud. The marketing campaign was very, very good and the only reason that this film ended up on my radar inEven star power couldn't help this film. Despite having an all-star ensemble cast (who can all act very well), this film was a massive dud. The marketing campaign was very, very good and the only reason that this film ended up on my radar in the first place. I was bored to death in theater and even fell asleep a few times due to the uninteresting plot, horrible dialogue and lacking character development or depth of story. Just an all around bad movie. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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3
foxgroveNov 11, 2017
After a quirky and humorous first half an hour leading up to the murder the film begins to derail. The interrogations begin and the film, pretty much like the train itself, comes to a halt. Until this point, Kenneth Brannagh, the fine editingAfter a quirky and humorous first half an hour leading up to the murder the film begins to derail. The interrogations begin and the film, pretty much like the train itself, comes to a halt. Until this point, Kenneth Brannagh, the fine editing and the exemplary camera work have contributed to a promising start. Brannagh presents Poiret with much charm and charisma and is really the only cast member (Michelle Pfeiffer not withstanding)with anything of significance to do. Production values are as predictably as good as they should be, but are still somewhat behind those of the earlier 1974 version. And let's face it that was no masterpiece either. However, at least in that one the cast had a bit more to work with. A remake was certainly not out of the question, it's just a shame that the result should end up being an opportunity missed. Also at 2 hours the film feels as long as the train journey itself. Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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1
GinaKNov 13, 2017
I was extremely disappointed with this film. It is not that Branaugh can’t direct. See his “Dead Again” for a film that is both interesting and original. His adaptations of Shakespeare are interesting too. So what went wrong here? As I wasI was extremely disappointed with this film. It is not that Branaugh can’t direct. See his “Dead Again” for a film that is both interesting and original. His adaptations of Shakespeare are interesting too. So what went wrong here? As I was sitting in the theater, bored to tears, I decided that the first problem was the script, which was incredibly bad. The second problem was an inconsistent style. Branaugh wanted to be “modern,” but he just ended up with an irritating and dull film. Too many of the male characters looked alike, which does not help in a film that has to juggle so many characters and make them distinct. So much acting talent wasted, including Judi Dench! If you want to see a great version of this Christie story, dig up Sidney Lumet’s stylish film where every actor gets to shine and the plot is always coherent, no matter how complicated. Lumet also understood the glamour of the Orient Express, and Albert Finney is fantastic as Poirot. Another interesting adaptation, although darker, is the British television version with David Suchet. I went to this Branaugh film with high expectations and was totally disappointed. Expand
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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1
PezGodNov 27, 2017
I have actually never written a review for a movie before, but I was compelled to do so after watching this atrocious film. There were actually no redeeming qualities for me at all and this has to be one of the worst movies I have ever hadI have actually never written a review for a movie before, but I was compelled to do so after watching this atrocious film. There were actually no redeeming qualities for me at all and this has to be one of the worst movies I have ever had the unfortunate opportunities see. How this movie ever made it to theaters is amazing. The dialog is horrible (the actors did their best, but the story is just garbage). The 'mystery' was so obvious that there was no point in even watching to the end (although we did.....I was with my girlfriend and I wanted to leave the movie, but I was worried she was into it...turns out she wanted to leave too but thought I was enjoying it as well). Don't waste your money, I can't believe this movie has as many positive reviews as it does... Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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0
MikefromAngusMar 19, 2018
boring , uninteresting, with awful CGI. One of the worst movies of 2017. I wondered why I never head about this movie when it was in theaters. Now I know why. its terrible!
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
EludiumQ36Mar 21, 2018
This is a throwback to "old Hollywood" featuring mostly B-caliber has-been celebs playing dress-up in period wear. The plot is mostly predictable due to its formulaic layout. The rather unusual murderer reveal violates all guidelines forThis is a throwback to "old Hollywood" featuring mostly B-caliber has-been celebs playing dress-up in period wear. The plot is mostly predictable due to its formulaic layout. The rather unusual murderer reveal violates all guidelines for plausibility so you could legitimately complain this film wasted your time. Finally, this film takes a stand on the question of "Is it a crime to murder a murderer?" It's a production of a rabidly liberal Hollywood so you know their answer to the question already. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
2morovianMar 18, 2018
The first film I've seen that convinced me the director was actually trying to make an unwatchable film. When someone who feels that they are "creative"...an actor/director who manages to produce something this bad, they really need to beThe first film I've seen that convinced me the director was actually trying to make an unwatchable film. When someone who feels that they are "creative"...an actor/director who manages to produce something this bad, they really need to be arrested and later invited to study plumbing. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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3
tylerkellrFeb 4, 2018
Full Disclosure: I actually watched this many months ago at an early test screening, so my views don't necessarily reflect the final film, which I have not seen. In short - I thought the movie was a real mess. None of the actors seem toFull Disclosure: I actually watched this many months ago at an early test screening, so my views don't necessarily reflect the final film, which I have not seen. In short - I thought the movie was a real mess. None of the actors seem to want to be there (Josh Gad and Daisy Ridley in particular seem to rush through their lines with a certain sort of lazy eagerness). The pacing ebbs and flows, sometimes moving too fast for the admittedly-slightly-unengaged viewer to process, and other parts drag on for far too long with little consequence. The whole thing feels like a somewhat ill-advised passion project for Kenneth Branagh - a shame given that I'm typically an avid fan of his work. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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2
ArgentumartisFeb 18, 2018
If anyone saw the original film made in 1974, I'm sure they would have been insulted by this version. The acting was simply terrible as were most camera angles. Johnny Depp made a terrible Ratchett and I am convinced he must have been drunkIf anyone saw the original film made in 1974, I'm sure they would have been insulted by this version. The acting was simply terrible as were most camera angles. Johnny Depp made a terrible Ratchett and I am convinced he must have been drunk in most scenes as he was slurring his words. In the original, no one left the train until the murder was solved by Albert Finney (Hercule Poirot). I beg the director, Kenneth Branagh, please, please, please don't make a sequel Death on the Nile, because you could never top the best Hercule Poirots that's ever been on screen, Peter Ustinov. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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