(2017) (Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A legendary detective tries to solve a murder that's just occurred on a train where many people are potential suspects.
- It's 1934 and legendary detective Hercule Poirot (KENNETH BRANAGH) simply wants a little rest and relaxation in between cases and ends up booked on the Orient Express traveling from Istanbul to London. It's not long into the trip, however, that he's met by Edward Ratchett (JOHNNY DEPP), a small-time gangster turned novice art dealer who's traveling with his assistant, Hector MacQueen (JOSH GAD), and butler, Edward Henry Masterman (DEREK JACOBI).
It seems that Ratchett has sold some fake art to mob figures and has since been receiving ominous and threatening notes. Accordingly, he wants to hire Poirot to watch his back on the trip. The detective politely declines and retires to his quarters for the night. But when an avalanche ends up derailing the train overnight, Poirot discovers that Ratchett has been murdered.
With railway man Bouc (TOM BATEMAN) urging Poirot to solve the crime before they're freed from the snow -- and conductor Pierre Michel (MARWAN KENZARI) assuring him that no one came or went from the locked car overnight -- the detective reluctantly agrees to work the case. Beyond the possible suspects of Hector and Edward, there's also Mary Debenham (DAISY RIDLEY), a young governess who Poirot earlier overhead seemingly conspiring with Dr. Arbuthnot (LESLIE ODOM JR.) about some suspicious matter before boarding the train.
There's also Count Rudolph Andrenyi (SERGEI POLUNIN) who's traveling with Countess Elena Andrenyi (LUCY BOYNTON), with the Count having been earlier seen getting violent with admirers, thus making him a potential suspect. And some want to point fingers at passenger Biniamino Marquez (MANUEL GARCIA-RULFO) simply because of his ethnicity, while Austrian professor Gerhard Hardman (WILLEM DAFOE) has a well-defined racist attitude.
Less likely but still on the detective's radar is missionary Pilar Estravados (PENELOPE CRUZ), socialite Caroline Hubbard (MICHELLE PFEIFFER), and elderly Princess Dragomiroff (JUDI DENCH) and her younger assistant, Hildegarde Schmidt (OLIVIA COLMAN). Collecting various clues and observing how all of the potential subjects respond to his line of questioning, Poirot sets out to discern the identity of the culprit or culprits.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Older teens might if they're fans of anyone in the cast, but it seems unlikely any younger kids would show much interest.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For violence and thematic elements.
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