Review Round Up: Murder on the Orient Express

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars as Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery is brought to the big screen with an all star cast. Here, Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

Empire: *** “The mystery that Branagh has to solve as director (and leading man) is how to recount a murder story from 1934 in a manner that appeals to a contemporary audience, many of whom have such a deep knowledge of the genre. As with most mystery tales, the answer lies in the details, which are always on show, and Branagh proves as meticulous as the man he plays on screen.”

The Guardian: **** “It’s classic Branagh: sweeping landscapes, thundering score, capital-A Acting”

Radio Times: **** “this is a gloriously sumptuous visual feast, with cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos serving up a real chocolate box of a movie unencumbered by too many soft centres.”

Variety: “As if to inject a bit of extra excitement into the whole affair, the movie manifests two weapons — a gun and a dagger — which serve to create a frisson of jeopardy while seriously undermining the solution to Christie’s intricate puzzle.”

Den of Geek: *** “But you do get a solid, well-made, enjoyable murder mystery caper, with a welcome old fashioned tinge to it too. Worth a ticket.”

The Telegraph: *** ” This Orient Express clatters handsomely along, but I left the cinema wishing it had had the nerve to jump the rails.”

The Metro: **** “With a slight touch of humour that keeps the film light, it’s biggest strength is the most important – that the mystery at the centre of the story is so clever that it will leave you constantly on the back foot.”

The Express: **** “Murder On The Orient Express contains one of Christie’s cleverest plots and Branagh transforms it into lavish, razzle-dazzle escapism.”

Time Out: *** “If it’s all a little too crowded with characters, Branagh’s pacy direction keeps the story zipping along to a conclusion that’s tense even if you remember whodunnit.”

The Times: ** “Kenneth Branagh’s reboot of Agatha Christie’s classic is bafflingly erratic.”

The Mirror: *** “It’s questionable whether this will gain traction with a young audience who expect louder and flashier cinematic fireworks, or with an older audience who have possibly witnessed each of the previous three adaptations.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Haris Zambarloukos’ cinematography is fine and functional, but the nature of the project rather severely restricts the visual opportunities.”

The Wrap: “Unfortunately, Agatha Christie’s source material — famously adapted to the big screen in 1974, and again for television in 2001 — is an ensemble piece, not a star vehicle, which is perhaps why Branagh’s choices feel so misguided, reducing this murder mystery to a one-man show for the character whose journey is by far the least interesting.”

The Daily Mail: **** “At other times, however, the combination of the widescreen, high-resolution format and swooping camerawork somehow inadvertently reveals the artifice – the model-making, the visual effects – that lies beneath. We’re always entertained by this film but we never quite forget that it’s not real.”

Irish Times: ** “But key clues have been removed. Vital pointers have been taken down. The result is a broken mechanism whose wheezes and clanks offer only hints of Lumet’s delightful film.”

Digital Spy: *** “Everything is lavish and luxurious in Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s celebrated mystery.”


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