Gradebook: Murder on the Orient Express


Josh Gad, left, and Johnny Depp star in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Gradebook: Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express: The Gradebook is the ratings of newly released films by the contributors and fans of  We Live Entertainment. If you are interested in participating, join the We Live Entertainment Fan Chat Page on Facebook and look for the weekly posts of new releases.

Tony Estrada: Murder on the Orient Express (6/10)

I think the real mystery is… why is this movie so disappointing? Kenneth Branagh does a really beautiful job directing the film as he does add a lot of really impressive shots, particularly the panning shots, which fascinated me more than the actual mystery. The entire cast delivers really solid performances with Kenneth Branagh giving a stand-out performance as Hercule Poirot. The unfortunate thing about this feature is that the script doesn’t do much with most of these characters, so it’s really difficult for me to get glued to this mystery. The mystery didn’t even compel me that much until we have reached the climax — and even the climax makes me wonder if the payoff was worth it. Murder on the Orient Express shows glimmers of what could’ve been a fascinating mystery, but instead, it turns into this mildly dull mystery that doesn’t do much justice to a lot of its characters.

Kevin Falk: Murder on the Orient Express (6/10)

This was one of my most anticipated films of the entire year. Between the star-studded cast and the gripping mystery, it set itself up to be one of the most promising films of the fall movie season. However, while it does include some great performances especially from Kenneth Branagh. It is not nearly as compelling or interesting as it should be. While the film does a great job at building the character of Hercule Poirot it forgets to concentrate on the other characters involved in the murder. The rest of these characters are so one-note and underdeveloped that I honestly couldn’t tell you a single character’s name. That’s how underused most of them are. Because of this lack of character development, the mystery itself loses intrigue and suspense as we don’t care what happens to most of them. The film also seems to care less about the mystery and more about how great Poirot is at solving it which on paper sounds fine but makes the film dull repetitively and to be honest left me quite bored.

Though the film did get a bit more interesting in its latter half the way, the film ends not only left me confused and frustrated but almost completely unsatisfied. Regarding cinematography, this is easily some of the year’s finest with some beautifully composed panning shots and a very well done setting. Overall the period piece and fun is present here. But the urgency and intrigue we have for the mystery are severely diminished by because of the severe lack of character development from most of its leads. I definitely would love to see Branagh portray this role again sometime as I’m highly aware there are many more stories to tell I’m hesitant since this film felt so short-handed if those stories will hold my interest more then this unfortunate misfire did.

Kenneth Branagh stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Mark Krawczyk: Murder on the Orient Express (7.5/10)

I enjoyed the film quite a bit. I had very little expectations on this movie. Given the cast, I knew the performances would be good, which they are, and I knew the cinematography would be great, and it was. In all honesty, the original was not that great of a film either. Many herald it as such, but I found this one to be just as good. This is not meant to be an n action-packed film. In fact, one of the only action sequences that comes later in the movie was one of the weaker points. When you have this many characters, you are not going to get a huge amount of depth in character with out adding another hour so some of the characters may seem a bit one-note but they are supposed to be. This will turn some people off to the movie. It did not bother me; it is not uncommon for mystery films with this large of a cast lack in this department. American audiences for sure will have an issue with this as it is very British in its humor and style. Younger audiences are not going to like it because it is slow and just not the type of story you see them going to and enjoying.
For me, I dug the film. It has its flaws, and it is a remake that was not asked for, but I was entertained throughout, and so was the audience. I might add that this was the first time in years where my wife and I were some of the youngest audience members which will help give you an idea of the demographic this film is geared towards. Now about my lawn.

Ashley Menzel: Murder on the Orient Express (6/10)

While Branagh creates a truly memorable performance with his interpretation of Hercule Poirot, the rest of the cast leaves much more to be desired. Beautiful set design, cinematography, and costume design can do little to put this film on the right track. It stops dead in its tracks shortly after leaving the station and leaves the audience numb and bored to death. By the end of it, I honestly didn’t care who the murderer was. I lost all interest and just wanted it to end. I believe the combination of the monotony of the tone of the film and the score is numbing and lulls the audience to sleep.

Average We Live Entertainment Gradebook Score for Murder on the Orient Express: 6.3/10

*Keep checking back as more We Live Entertainment fans see and review this film, we will be updating.


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