Review: Murder on the Orient Express


Daniel Franchetti, Contributor

This is a review and summary of the movie Murder on the Orient Express directed by Kenneth Branagh which is based on the novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The first section will be review, and the second section a summary with spoilers. You have been warned. 

I have never seen the movie made in 1974 or read the book from 1934. The movie was shorter than most, running at an hour and a half. The score of the movie was appropriately timed, used, and executed excellently. One view said, “great cast hired for a mediocre movie.” The person next to me fell asleep twice. I liked the move though, with actors like Josh Gad and Johnny Depp. The scenes on and viewing the train were done well. The camera would pan around the train during exterior shots, and when the train was moving the set would sway. The movie was slow at times, but at others there was some action that made kept the audience more alert. Speaking of the audience, the majority of the viewers were in the above 60 category. However, there were more people at Murder on the Orient Express than at Thor Ragnarok when I saw it. I viewed both movies at about the same time after their release. Overall, I give the movie an 8/10. 



Here is a summary of the movie. For the last time there are spoilers so if you want to see the movie you should stop reading. I won’t reveal the murderer though. The movie is set in 1934. After solving a robbery in Jerusalem Hercule Poirot, a famous detective, heads to England to take a case. His friend offers him a seat on the Orient Express in Istanbul to relax before taking on a case. The ride is smooth at first, but passenger Samuel Ratchett asks him to be his bodyguard after receiving a death threat. Hercule refuses, but after an avalanche hits and derails the locomotive, the small group of passengers are assembled. However, Mr. Ratchett does not come. After entering his locked cabin, they find him dead. Hercule proceeds to interrogate the passengers while the train is derailed. He pieces together the evidence and finds that in the group of passengers is the murderer of Daisy Armstrong. Hercule accuses Hector MacQueen, Ratchett’s accountant, of the murder, but the murderer stabs another passenger as Hercule makes his accusation. Hercule Asks another passenger of the murder before being shot in the arm by Dr. Arbuthnot who claims to be the murderer. As workers rerail the locomotive Hercule fends of Dr. Arbuthnot, and assembles all the passengers in a nearby tunnel. He confronts all the passengers and presents his theories. After solving the case. He leaves the train to take on another case. As the train slowly departs the lonely station, Hercule leave in a car ready to take on a new case at the Nile.