Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 11/12/17
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucy Boynton, Tom Bateman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

"Romance never goes unpunished."

Once you get past Kenneth Branagh's ridiculous moustache, this becomes a delightful rendering of Agatha Christie's cherished masterpiece. While attempting to get some rest and relaxation aboard the luxurious Orient Express, master detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is pulled into a vexing mystery. One of the train's passengers has been murdered, and everyone is a suspect. Poirot must figure out who did it before the killer strikes again or has a chance to escape.

Like any good mystery, the film does an excellent job of keeping you guessing as new clues emerge and old pieces don't fit in the puzzle anymore. Even though the moustache is a constant irritant and distraction, Branagh gives a wonderful performance as the brilliant, eccentric, and uptight Poirot. Daisy Ridley is radiant as Mary, and Lucy Boynton does a remarkable job channeling Jean Harlow with her mesmerizing presence. The entire cast is fantastic, from Johnny Depp's grimy gangster to Michelle Pfeiffer's boozy widow. However, I think my favorite performance was from Josh Gad, who played Hector MacQueen, the gangster's assistant. Stellar work.

Shot on 65mm film, the movie looks gorgeous and the sets and locations are beautiful. The period costumes are fantastic and everyone looks great. The visual effects are mostly effective, but that's not the focus of the film. The dialog is delightful, and I want to see the film again just to catch what I missed the first time around. I can't say how it compares to the book or previous interpretations, but now I want to see the 1974 film version.