‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) Movie Review

3 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

I won’t lie, I watched this movie because I didn’t have time to finish a book and write a review here for you all. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while so it was a good kick in the pants to finally rent it and watch. I figured that anything with Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh would be worth seeing.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

All of the characters. I remember getting many of them confused while listening to the audiobook. Being able to see a face to go with the name was beyond helpful and made the movie much more enjoyable.

The train. It was so beautiful! I’m contemplating a train trip in the next few years and I’ll be sadly disappointed if the train doesn’t look like that. My husband says I’m going to be sadly disappointed by Amtrak.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Dr. Constantine. I honestly forgot about him until reviewing the original book. His absence was very minor and not a bit loss for the film. I thought it was good to reduce the number of characters, even just a little.

Dr. Arbuthnot. Here’s how they got away with it so well. By making Arbuthnot a doctor, they were able to use his skills in that field and fill in anything missed. Sly. It was also interesting that they decided to add some racial diversity with the casting. I thought it was great to address racial tensions at the time of the story with him.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

I honestly can’t think of anything that was left out. It seems more was added to round out the run time of this movie. Granted, it’s been a while since I read it so I may have forgotten.

Things That Changed Too Much

Too much action. Chasing McQueen on the bridge and Mrs. Hubbard being stabbed were just a bit too much for me! The murder was gruesome enough for me and I didn’t need the added suspense. Maybe someone who didn’t know how it ended would feel differently, but I wasn’t a fan.

The ending. Spoilers in this one! But seriously, Poirot telling them to kill him so he won’t reveal his secret? Really, that was too much. As was Hubbard/Arden sacrificing her life. It was too dramatic for me. The book had a degree of calm to it despite the tragic situation that the movie seems to have tried to avoid at all costs.

Interestingly, I can also compare this movie to the BBC Poirot episode on the same book. I honestly liked the BBC version better. It was true to the book and didn’t deal with over-dramatics. I also liked the portrayal of Poirot better. Branagh’s version was a bit too comical and not a world-renown detective for me.

I’m buckling down with my reading with the sincere hopes of getting you a book review next week! I don’t want to be watching movies over and over to have something to talk about. Though, it is very relaxing. Reader, have you seen the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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12 Responses to “‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) Movie Review”

  1. Kelsey @ There's Something About KM July 3, 2018 at 11:31 AM #

    I enjoyed the sets/locations/train too – all were breathtaking! I am afraid you will be greatly disappointed by Amtrak. 😛

    I watched the 1974 film afterwards to compare the two, and in the case for the costumes and sets, the 2017 film wins, no contest. But for being a more direct interpretation of the book, I prefer the 1974 version. The opening scene of the most recent film is not in the book (which is not to say I didn’t like it), and I was actually left disappointed with Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Hercule Poirot – I didn’t feel the degree of whimsy and comical behavior I was expecting.

    I will mention that in the 1974 film, when the case is solved, the murder is shown in what seems like a very long scene – I didn’t mind the starkness but it definitely took me by surprise because, well, you know the nature of it (#nospoiler).

    Additionally, this remake reminds me of The Great Gatsby remake of 2013. The production value of both newer films are exquisite, but in both cases I prefer how the story was portrayed in the earlier films (the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby is the one to which I’m referring).

    Thank you for sharing your review – this is a classic (book form or movie form) that I hope never falls by the wayside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam July 3, 2018 at 11:46 AM #

      Glad to hear you had similar sentiments. I haven’t seen the 1947 version but I’m tempted now. Have you seen the BBC version? I’m wondering how that one falls in your preference list. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ichabod Temperance July 3, 2018 at 2:23 PM #

      I thought the 1974 Albert Finney version of Poirot was pretty grim until I saw The Suchet BBC version. He is in a pissy mood!

      I liked the 2017 version better… up until the end. That ruined it. I prefer the Albert Finney version, now.

      I like the fact that the BBC allows Suchet to portray him in a charming light.

      My favourite version of Poirot is when he is portrayed by Peter Ustinov. I highly suggest ‘Death on the Nile’ and, ‘Evil Under the Sun’. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. straightoffthepaigeorg July 3, 2018 at 11:57 AM #

    *Contains spoilers* I watched this film yesterday and 100% agree with everything you said. One thing that I also enjoyed that they changed a bit was the presence of Ratchett. He seemed to be more present in this version compared to the BBC version and it’s been a few years since I read the book but I feel like he also wasn’t alive long in the book before he was murdered.


    • Sam July 3, 2018 at 1:05 PM #

      I wonder how much of Ratchett’s presence was because they were paying Depp’s salary so they wanted to give him as much screen time as possible. I have the same recollection as you, he wasn’t around long. Happy reading!


  3. Sharon Taylor July 5, 2018 at 7:21 AM #

    As a Christie fanatic I didn’t care for this movie version. The 70’s version with Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Richard Widmark (creepy Ratchett) etc. was much better. Albert Finney did Poirot much like David Suchet does. Love Kenneth Branagh in Shakespeare, but not in this role.


    • Sam July 5, 2018 at 8:27 AM #

      Yes, it seemed an odd role for him. I think if Branagh as a Shakespearean actor so anytime I see him in anything else, it throws me for a loop. Having heard so many good things about the 70s version, I may need to check it out. Happy reading!


  4. Flavia Vinci August 14, 2018 at 5:31 PM #

    I would suggest to read the book anyway, it was awesome, much better than any other audio book or film


    • Sam August 14, 2018 at 8:19 PM #

      I listened to the audiobook with my husband and we enjoyed it very much. Happy reading!


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