It’s extremely picturesque and beautiful, yet slowly fizzles with a disappointing reveal of who the murderer is.
- “We seek the truth from within, not without.” – Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh)
- “Sometimes the law of man is not enough.” – Pilar Estravados (Penelope Cruz)
- “poison of deep grief”, healing, peace
- Right vs. wrong and everything in between
- The period pieces and costumes of the 1930’s are beautiful.
- You don’t often see movies that take their time telling the story. Both the time period and the style of movie-making seemed old-fashioned. It was shot in 65 mm and really immerses you in the various environments. The sets are incredible.
- The all-star cast includes the talented Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Leslie Odom Jr., Daisy Ridley and Derek Jacobi. Kenneth Branagh was absolutely outstanding. You might wonder how old Judi Dench is…She was born in 1934, making her 82 years old.
- There was some humor, although the tone was a bit inconsistent, beginning with a very light feel and then remaining mostly dark for the rest of the film.
- There were some really great camera sequences. One scene was shot from above the characters as they talked. Another scene was shot from outside the train as it scanned the people walking down the hall through the windows. You really feel the movement of the train and feel like you're on one.
- There is a reference to a murder on the Nile, possibly a sneak peek into a sequel, but definitely a reference to another one of Agatha Christie's books called Agatha Christie's Poirot: Death on the Nile. Speaking of the author, Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express was her best-selling novel.
- The movie begins at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem with some gorgeous vistas and a funny sequence. One of these days, I'm going there.
- There are some beautiful vistas in Istanbul. One of these days, I’m going there too.
- Michelle Pfeiffer sings "Never Forget", which was co-written by director/actor Kenneth Branagh. Wow, he was really busy with this film.
- The photo of Katherine, Hercule Poirot's lost love, is actually Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh's real ex-wife.
Things I didn’t like:
- Some say it grinds to a halt, rather than get more intense. Yeah, it's true. The ending is anti-climatic.
- In the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, the star-studded ensemble had equal moments of importance; whereas this version doesn't have much character arc and kind of fizzles. A lot of movie critics are comparing it to the movie Clue which was able to develop characters much better.
- Daisy Ridley’s character is way too young for her character, who should be much older.
- Sergei Polunin is a famous ballet dancer in real life, but we don’t get to see him dance at all! Instead, we get to see him beat up some people.
- All of the actors were great, but felt underutilized. So much talent wasted.
- I heard a lady sitting near me say, “That mustache has to go!” Hercule Poirot’s double-decker mustache is ridiculous, but his mustache mask is even worse. Ha ha When the 1974 movie of Murder on the Orient Express Agatha Christie was still alive and she commented on how much she didn't like Albert Finney's mustache on his Hercule Poirot's character.
- “Romance never goes unpunished.” – Hercule Poirot
- “To a man with a hammer, everything is a nail.” – Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley’s character is actually quoting Mark Twain.)
- “There is right. There is wrong. There is nothing in between.” – Hercule Poirot (He learns about grey areas.)
- “Vice is where the devil finds his darlings.” – Pilar Estravados (Penelope Cruz)
- “Did we die?” – Hercule Poirot
Tips for parents:
- Young children may get bored, as it’s a “talking” movie that unfolds slowly.
- There are some subtitles when two people speak German.
- French is spoken, but there are no subtitles.