PLOT- Based on Agatha Christie's famous 1934 novel, Murder on the Orient Express follows detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) as he tries to solve the murder of Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp), who was stabbed in his sleeping compartment during a train journey. All of the passengers, who seem to be unconnected and from a variety of backgrounds, become suspects.
LIKE- As with many book lovers, I went through my Agatha Christie phase in junior high and read many of her works, including Murder on the Orient Express. I know I've seen the 1974 film adaptation with Sean Connery, but as I watched this latest iteration, I had forgotten most of the plot. I did remember the "whodunnit" about 2/3 into the film, but I liked that it was mostly a fresh experience for me.
Murder on the Orient Express has an all star cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Leslie Odom Jr, Daisy Ridley, and Josh Gad. I enjoyed watching each character individually, especially as we are meeting them for the first time. There are many comedic moments with their character quirks, especially as they are forced to interact in the confines of a train.
My husband thought the entire movie was over stylized, but I liked this aspect of it. It's an outlandish story, so I thought the high-style worked. He's in the industry and thought that the special effects looked low budget. I didn't notice.
DISLIKE- It's slow. Really slow. The run time is just under two hours, but it felt like it was much longer. However, I think the biggest issue is the story. I don't think it holds up. I saw six movies in the same week that I saw Murder on the Orient Express and each was leaps and bounds better with regard to story. We live in an era where its common to binge watch television series and the main reason we do it, is the stories and characters have become so sophisticated. Our sensibilities have shifted and when watching Murder on the Orient Express, I just thought that the story was silly. The resolution is ridiculous, so many coincidences. If you don't have a great story, you don't have a great movie. It doesn't matter if you have an all-star cast. My husband simply hated the movie and wanted to walk out. We stuck it through, but he felt that he had wasted his time. He also wanted me to make sure to mention, that there was a lot of heavy sighing going on by other theater patrons. There wasn't a positive vibe as we left the cinema.
RECOMMEND- No. Murder on the Orient Express isn't even worth a rental.