FILM REVIEW | Murder on the Orient Express

There are few whodunnits as famous as Murder on the Orient Express.

The story is from the mind of Agatha Christie and features her star, mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot.

The 1934 novel has been adapted on screen and radio many times before, but many younger viewers will be coming into this latest retelling fresh.

The film is directed by celebrated British thespian Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter, among many, many other roles and directorial efforts), who delights in bringing the murder mystery to life.

The costume and production design is lush and inviting, perfectly evoking the period setting.

Branagh himself is wonderful as the Belgian gumshoe, sporting an intimidatingly large moustache and determination for the truth.

His skills are called upon when one of the passengers on the Orient Express is found dead after the train is temporarily stopped due to a mini-avalanche.

Poirot must determine who on the train is responsible for the man’s death.

The cast that Branagh has assembled is incredible – the audience will only wish they got to spend even more time with each of the suspects.

Murder most foul: Johnny Depp is just one of the many actors aboard the train in Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express remake. The film is rated M and in cinemas now.

Murder most foul: Johnny Depp is just one of the many actors aboard the train in Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express remake. The film is rated M and in cinemas now.

We have Daisy Ridley (Star Wars’ Rey) as The Governess, Leslie Odom Jr (Smash) as The Doctor, Penelope Cruz (Nine) as The Missionary, Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) as The Countess, Sergei Polunin (soon to be seen in Red Sparrow) as The Count, Derek Jacobi (Gladiator) as The Butler, Michelle Pfeiffer (mother!) as The Widow, Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz) as The Maid, Dame Judi Dench (Philomena) as The Princess, Willem Dafoe (John Wick) as The Professor, Josh Gad (Frozen’s Olaf) as The Assistant, Marwan Kenzari (The Promise) as The Conductor and Johnny Depp (Black Mass) as The Gangster.

Whether or not you know the outcome of Murder on the Orient Express, the new film is a delightful was to spend a couple of hours.

It is wonderful seeing so many talented actors crammed together in a tight space and marvelling at the brilliant work of the designers.

Be sure to keep an eye out at the start for a very brief cameo by Aussie actor/dancer/TV personality Adam Garcia (Coyote Ugly) as a photographer.