MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is Modern Cinematic Theatre

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is a retelling of one of the granddaddies of whodunnits. A masterpiece from the mind of Agatha Chirstie it’s a murder mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat guessing all the way to the clever reveal. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is out now from the fine folks at 20th Century Fox. It is rated M and runs for 114mins.


Murder on the Orient Express Quad Poster image
Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench and Daisy Ridley




What starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS tells the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, one person dead and everyone else a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.


Murder on the Orient Express Quad Poster image
Johnny Depp, Willem Defoe, Penelope Cruz and Marwan Kenzari



MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is more filmed theatre than cinema. 95% of the movie takes place on a train and is filmed in a studio. It is an actor’s movie with an incredibly vast and talented cast, all of whom could be the murderer. Every single person on the train has a part to play in developing the story and either leading or misleading the viewer. It is a marvel of character development directed in true Branagh style. It’s not as spectacularly romantic as his HAMLET opus but it captures the period, tone, and love for Christie’s marvellous story.

It’s a brightly lit film that has some truly marvellous cinematography and set pieces. I wold have loved to have been on that train!! It embraces the time and has such a style to it – a style and costumes I would have loved to have been present for in time. Branagh’s direction is pure theatrical, it is what he does best and it would be a theatre production I would pay big dollars to see, especially if the cast was this incredible. There must have been huge pay cuts to bring all this cast together!

Branagh’s direction and performance make a marvel of the egotistical control freak Hercule Poirot

Huge kudos to Michael Green’s screenplay, considering he adapted BLADE RUNNER 2049 and then this. That’s a huge accomplishment and film era shift. His writing and Branagh’s direction and performance make a marvel of the egotistical control freak Hercule Poirot. Perfectly set up in Cairo with the “eggs” scene and then regularly re-visited, the character or Poirot was wonderfully part annoying part genius. The simplicity of the eggs, the OCD over imperfections in people’s ties to his hilarity when reading Dickens make him a very interesting character. His ego bugged me – the line “I am probably the greatest detective in the world” still makes e cringe but alas that is the man. On top of this he does have the greatest moustache in the world so I will forgive the ego.


Murder on the Orient Express Quad Poster image
Olivia Colman, Josh Gad, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo and Leslie Odom Jr.



The cast is one of the greatest line-ups in history. I am really struggling to find a greater line-up this big. Just look at the posters in this article – it makes the mind boggle and my appreciation for acting legends buzz. Michelle Pfeiffer is a wonderful cinema goddess – everything she does is just sublime. Branagh of course embodies Poirot, he give possibly the best portrayal of the character in history and I am certain there will be a sequel. The movie does end with a telegram suggesting the location and story for the next tale. I would love to see a series of Branagh directed Christie stories. The next best actor in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is easily his moustache, it is the most glorious soup straining lip slug I have ever seen!

Dame Judi and Olivia Colman are a wonderful pairing although they don’t get enough screen time. Likewise Josh Gad, I love this man! Derek Jacobi is a marvel and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS shows Daisy Ridley is much more than a Jedi (Grey or not). I can’t list off all the cast but they are all brilliant in there parts, and this is not excluding Johnny Depp, possibly his best character in years. I would have liked more of his character onscreen.


Murder on the Orient Express Quad Poster image
Tom Bateman, Sergei Polunn, Derek Jacobi and Lucy Boynton



MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is a beautiful retelling of Agatha Christie’s masterpiece from Kenneth Branagh. I had completely forgotten the story and became completely wrapped up in the web of direction and misdirection and trying to work out whodunnit. This is a film to take your parents or grandparents to – they will absolutely love it. The cast is sublime and even if you hate every actor in this movie it is still worth it for the stellar performance from the greatest moustache in history.





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.