Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Daisey Ridley, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz (Rated M – 114 min).
Amazing suspense novel writer Agatha Christie is no stranger to screen adaptations. But this latest plot of intrigue concerning illogical death on a luxury train is by far one of the best ever made. Death on the Nile (1978) has always been a Christie personal favourite, however it now has solid competition.
Last seen in another outstanding film, Dunkirk, legendary Shakespearean auteur Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh directs an all-star cast including himself as the self-proclaimed greatest detective that ever lived, Hercule Poirot. Disrupting a lavish train journey, unfortunate wintery weather causes a derailment and a murder occurs. An array of passengers become suspects but of course, nothing is what it seems.
Johnny Depp is perfect as the sleazy villain of the story Ratchett, although not one player here can be faulted. My eyes never strayed from Penelope Cruz while obscure Willem Dafoe demands attention even when in the background, they all do.
Watch, listen closely to everything, take as many mental notes as you can. Part of the fun sitting in the cinema during this minor masterpiece is figuring out whodunnit. Soon to be seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, sleek Daisy Ridley as The Governess will alarm you so don’t settle in when she appears.
A supporting actor nomination could go to the impressive moustache Branagh sports, twirling it about prominently during the denouement gathering determining the culprit, just sensational. Sound, visual effects and costume design fantastic while a scintillating score composed by Patrick Doyle (Needful Things, Great Expectations) helps create an unmistakable slow burning atmosphere. Must see at all costs!
Shane A. Bassett