It’s difficult to know how to review Murder on the Orient Express. Should it be judged against the 1970s film? Should it be held against the Agatha Christie novel it adapts? In the end, I decided to judge it on its on merits as a standalone film. To that standard, the picture is well-acted with a great ensemble. Kenneth Branagh does well as the lead, but in the direction and especially the screenplay the film is choppy and almost unbearably expository in its climax. It looks absolutely fantastic, but I doubt Murder is going to inspire a Christie renaissance or have a tremendous impact on the box office. It’s not awful, but it’s not anywhere near what it should be, and that won’t be enough to attract an audience not already in love with the source material.