Murder on the Orient Express

Critics Consensus

Murder, intrigue, and a star-studded cast make this stylish production of Murder on the Orient Express one of the best Agatha Christie adaptations to see the silver screen.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 20,788
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Movie Info

Like many of Agatha Christie's mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is predicated on an actual event, in this case the Lindbergh kidnapping. In the movie, everyone on board the Orient Express seems to have concluded that hateful financier Ratchett (Richard Widmark) was behind the abduction and murder of the infant daughter of a famed aviatrix. Thus, when Ratchett is himself found murdered, everyone is suspect. Normally, the police would handle the investigation, but the train has been stalled by a snowslide halfway between Istanbul and Paris. Thus, it's up to the insufferable but brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (an unrecognizable Albert Finney) to activate his "little grey cells" and determine who's guilty. Among the suspects are colorful characters played by Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Ingrid Bergman, whose performance won her a third Academy Award. (In her acceptance speech, Bergman apologized for her win, insisting that Day for Night's Valentina Cortese deserved the prize.) The first and best in a long line of contemporary Christie adaptations, the film scores on atmosphere, period detail, and richness of characterization. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Albert Finney
as Hercule Poirot
Lauren Bacall
as Mrs. Hubbard
Sean Connery
as Col. Arbuthnot
Vanessa Redgrave
as Mary Debenham
Jacqueline Bisset
as Countess Andrenyi
George Coulouris
as Dr. Constantine
Denis Quilley
as Antonio Foscarelli
John Gielgud
as Beddoes
Wendy Hiller
as Princess Dragomiroff
Rachel Roberts
as Hildegarde Schmidt
Michael York
as Count Andrenyi
Colin Blakely
as Cyrus Hardman
John Moffatt
as Chief Attendant
Jean-Pierre Cassel
as Pierre Michel
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News & Interviews for Murder on the Orient Express

Critic Reviews for Murder on the Orient Express

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (3)

  • The idea is that everything will be more interesting if Sean Connery or Ingrid Bergman, rather than the characters they play, is suspected of having committed the foul deed. The device does not work, despite the [actors'] occasionally droll efforts.

    Nov 8, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Agatha Christie's 1934 Hercule Poirot novel has been filmed for the first time in a bygone film style as it seems to be some treasure out of a time capsule.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • The formula can't fail: a first class journey on the '30s Orient Express, meticulous detail, a murder with all suspects aboard. In fact, the most suspect thing is the comfortable complacency of it all.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Chris Petit

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • [A] terrifically entertaining super-valentine to a kind of whodunit that may well be one of the last fixed points in our inflationary universe.

    May 9, 2005
  • Lumet overcomes his difficulties in great style, and we're never for a moment confused (except when we're supposed to be, which is most of the time).

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Lumet] uses the material only as a pretext for star turns, most of which turn much too heavily and much too slowly.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Murder on the Orient Express

  • Aug 07, 2017
    Christie's flaws as a writer are only magnified in the film adaptions of her work (In short, she cheats a lot) and this one is no exception. That being said, Finney's Poirot is delightful.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2017
    A little bit of a revenge fantasy dressed up with loads of star power. Unfortunately the story is lame and unbelievable. Still its good to see the stars out. Ingrid Bergman and Albert Finney actually take the trouble to bother to act.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2016
    Classic old fasioned whodunit based of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. The cast is superb and Lumets direction is unquestionable brilliant. That finale where the clues are put together keeps you glued to the screen with every new beat. This is a pinnacle in detective films and I wish every film had this brilliance, who get swept up in the story that you forget to find the clues yourself.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2014
    This is a film adaptation of one of many of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot stories, and it's one star studded affair. This particular caper follows Detective Poirot as he investigates the titular event: a wealthy man is found dead on the train, the Orient Express. There's a number of possible suspects, each with their own motives, and it's up to Poirot to figure out who is responsible. Albert Finney is Poirot, and some of the other major players include LAuren Bacall, Ingrid BErgman, Sean Connery, Jacqueline Bisset, Richard Widmark, Vanessa Redgrave, and many more. The film is a good bit of fun, and it has a nice look to it, with some decent shooting, and yeah, the central murder mystery is decently engaging too. I'll admit that things get a little slow, bogged down, and a tad bit boring in the middle, but if you happen to fall asleep, things get wrapped up and summarized before the big finish, so that's okay too. All in all, this is a fun, ensemble spectacle that you should give a watch.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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