Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express is a visual feast, bursting with movie stars, glamour and production value. A perfectly decent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel with the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Branagh himself lighting up the big screen.
Branagh plays the lead, Hercule Poirot, a dandy Belgian detective with a gloriously overthe-top mustache who can only see the world as it should be.
Chance brings him aboard the Orient Express, which should have its own credit, where he meets an odd group of strangers – a sultry widow (Pfeiffer), a secretive governess (Daisy Ridley), the doctor whom she pretends to not know (Leslie Odom jr), a gangsterlike art dealer (Depp), his valet (Derek Jacobi) and his bookkeeper (Josh Gad), a princess (Dench) and her maid (Olivia Coleman), a religious zealot (Cruz), a volatile dancer (Sergei Polunin) and his sick wife (Lucy Boynton), a German professor (Willem Dafoe) and a count (Manuel GarciaRulfo). And then one of them dies – there’s at least a chance someone reading doesn’t yet know who – and everyone remaining becomes a suspect. – AP