Agatha Christie’s Poirot Murder on the Orient Express (2010) – 8/10 period murder mystery drama TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Stewart Harcourt
Eileen Atkins: Princess Dragomiroff
Hugh Bonneville: Edward Masterman
Jessica Chastain: Mary Debenham
Marie-Josée Croze: Greta Ohlsson
Serge Hazanavicius: Xavier Bouc
Toby Jones: Samuel Ratchett / Cassetti
Susanne Lothar: Hildegarde Schmidt
Joseph Mawle: Antonio Foscarelli
Denis Menochet: Pierre Michel
David Morrissey: John Arbuthnot
Elena Satine: Countess Andrenyi
Brian J. Smith: Hector MacQueen
Stanley Weber: Count Andrenyi
Samuel West: Dr Constantine
Barbara Hershey: Caroline Hubbard / Linda Arden
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Philip Martin

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

A miserable Poirot is called to London and boards the Orient Express. On the second night, one of the passengers is found brutally stabbed to death and Poirot is implored to investigate before the authorities arrive.

8/10

This is a surprisingly gripping, if humourless, adaptation which successfully provokes thought about the nature of justice and who has the right to execute it. Most surprisingly, it stops Poirot from delivering the traditional summation (Princess Dragamoff takes over and does it) which rather undermines the triumph of intellect required to close these stories on a high. Instead, the story ends with a cold miserable Poirot clearly feeling like he’s been backed into a corner where he had to choose the least wrong answer. It’s not the joyous revelation of the book or previous adaptations, but it is definitely interesting and a worthwhile tinkering for this screen outing of the classic Christie.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains strong violence, graphic blade violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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One thought on “Agatha Christie’s Poirot Murder on the Orient Express (2010) – 8/10 period murder mystery drama TV review

  1. I was not that impressed by this adaptation of Christie’s 1934 novel.

    Using the stoned Turkish woman as an example of the rights and wrongs of vigilante justice was a major mistake. All the screenwriter did was transform Poirot into a hypocrite.

    There is no way Cassetti would have been a member of the Mafia. The Mafia in the 1930s did not engage in kidnappings of wealthy or famous personages or their children. Criminals like Alvin Karpis or John Dillinger would have committed such crimes. And the screenplay made a mistake in identifying Cassetti as a member of the Chicago mob. And there is no way the Chicago mob would have had New York judges, lawyers, etc. in their back pockets . . . not without arousing the ire of the New York mobsters.

    Whoever wrote this screenplay did a poor job.

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