Murder on the Orient Express | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG-13 · 114 minutes · 2017

Crime drama, Mystery
Here’s the biggest mystery of director and star Kenneth Branagh’s lavish period mounting of the 1934 Agatha Christie novel: Why? No attempt has been made to update the tale to bring in modern relevance, which is a mixed blessing; there isn’t a lot of room to do so, but it also leaves the film feeling like nothing more than a pretty box of random trinkets, lovely to look at yet all-but-meaningless. Christie’s fiction was never strong on character, and that failing is only amplified here. As the suspects in a murder on the moving high-speed luxury train The Orient Express, en route from Istabul to Calais, the impressive cast—Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, etc.—is underutilized, mostly left to pose in gorgeous 1930s costumes. And Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot struggles to get past the ghost of David Suchet, so recently beloved in the role in the long-running TV series; a fabulous moustache isn’t enough. Without engaging characters, we’re left with Poirot’s puzzle-solving, which here leaps from clue to conclusion with nary any detectiving in between. It’s all a sad cinematic derailment.


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Director: Kenneth Branagh
Producer: Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Kenneth Branagh, Judy Hofflund, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, Matthew Jenkins, James Prichard and Hilary Strong
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Daisy Ridley, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, Tom Bateman and Miranda Raison

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