Critics Consensus

Murder on the Orient Express Mostly Stays on Track

Plus, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Thelma are Certified Fresh.

by | November 9, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a man with a spectacular mustache on the trail of a killer (Murder on the Orient Express, starring Kenneth Branagh and Penelope Cruz) and dads who are home again (Daddy’s Home 2, starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell). What are the critics saying?


Murder On The Orient Express (2017) 60%


Strangers on a train, trapped in an avalanche, with murder afoot and the world’s greatest detective on the case: in a career full of classic mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express ranks among author Agatha Christie’s most brilliantly conceived stories. Naturally, it’s already been adapted more than once, including a 1974 big-screen version directed by Sidney Lumet and boasting some of the most famous actors of its day — an all-star ensemble spirit recaptured in the Kenneth Branagh version pulling into theaters this weekend. The award-winning director also leads the cast as renowned detective Hercule Poirot, whose dreams of a leisurely ride on the titular train are dashed when a passenger (Johnny Depp) approaches him for help, and is subsequently found stabbed to death by one of his fellow travelers — a group that includes characters played by Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, and Daisy Ridley, just to name a few. With all the talent assembled, it’d be a surprise if Branagh’s Orient was less than entertaining, so the good news is that critics say this retelling makes solid use of its source material and its sterling cast. The bad news? While it has its moments, it hardly feels essential — and for anyone who already knows the story, Christie’s twists will have lost their ability to surprise. Don’t be afraid to buy a ticket for this voyage, in other words, but you might want to temper your expectations, especially if you already know whodunit.

Daddy's Home 2 (2017) 21%


‘Tis the season… for holiday-themed sequels adding an older generation of actors to play the parents of the original stars! Ho, ho, ho. One week after A Bad Moms Christmas sought to double down on the laughs by introducing the bad moms’ moms, here comes Daddy’s Home 2, the second chapter in the comedic saga of mild-mannered suburban Brad (Will Ferrell) who’s learning how to coexist with his stepkids’ father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg). After spending the first film largely at odds, the two have struck up a friendship — which is put to the test in the sequel, thanks to Christmas visits from Ferrell’s PDA-dispensing pops (John Lithgow) and Wahlberg’s uncouth old man (Mel Gibson), not to mention interference from the biological father (John Cena) of Dusty’s stepchild. It’s the stuff holiday nightmares are made of — or big laughs, if the cast and the screenwriters play their cards right. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you which is which yet with Daddy’s Home 2, because reviews are still embargoed. While we wait to determine this sequel’s critical fate, how about a round of Guess the Tomatometer?

What’s New on TV

Damnation: Season 1 (2017) 64%

Damnation‘s complex character driven mystery is intriguing, though it occasionally feels like homework.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Destination Unknown (2017) , a documentary offering firsthand accounts of the Holocaust from a dozen survivors, is at 100 percent.
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) , starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in a drama about a grieving mother’s furious quest to obtain justice for her murdered daughter, is Certified Fresh at 95 percent.
  • Thelma (2017) , about a young woman (Eili Harboe) whose budding attraction for a fellow student dovetails with a sudden physical transformation, is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
  • Mayhem (2017) , an action thriller about a fired employee (Steven Yeun) who discovers he’s trapped in the office with former co-workers who’ve been infected with a deadly virus, is at 86 percent.
  • Intent to Destroy (2017) , a documentary about the Armenian genocide, is at 86 percent.
  • Santa & Andrés (2017) , about the unlikely bond that develops between a political dissident and the guard assigned to monitor his activities, is at 80 percent.
  • Thumper (2017) , about a drug dealer whose hold over his network of teenage workers is threatened by the arrival of a mysterious girl, is at 80 percent.
  • Bitch (2017) , about a wife and mother (Marianna Palka) who’s driven to a canine-inspired breakdown by her family’s bad behavior, is at 59 percent.
  • The Price (2017) ,  a drama depicting the fallout from a Nigerian-American banker’s (Aml Ameen) desperate efforts to succeed on Wall Street, is at 57 percent.
  • Hello Again (2017) , a theatrical adaptation of the off-Broadway musical, is at 33 percent.

Tag Cloud

crime police drama Marathons screen actors guild IFC Films A&E discovery spinoff VICE series Classic Film TNT Hallmark 45 Western sequel batman Holiday Academy Awards Year in Review Captain marvel docudrama boxoffice Paramount golden globes Valentine's Day Podcast The Walking Dead Disney Plus Reality 21st Century Fox TCM casting Anna Paquin Song of Ice and Fire MSNBC YouTube Premium Box Office Stephen King cancelled TV series Election Mary poppins mockumentary Turner Classic Movies Shudder GIFs Lifetime Christmas movies Disney+ Disney Plus jamie lee curtis Schedule Marvel Studios Apple Writers Guild of America Spring TV Disney Channel streaming Universal Cosplay 2019 2015 Mindy Kaling Comedy Central natural history screenings WarnerMedia politics Turner Endgame green book harry potter Sneak Peek Toys LGBTQ christmas movies Emmy Nominations spy thriller MTV Tubi FX Rock festivals 2018 HBO cancelled TCA Rocky Amazon BBC America SDCC Pixar Set visit canceled Crunchyroll Pet Sematary Amazon Prime Video Spike supernatural Warner Bros. medical drama Columbia Pictures FXX Watching Series TV Lucasfilm renewed TV shows witnail revenge National Geographic halloween cancelled TV shows singing competition CMT Family directors true crime romantic comedy Calendar 2017 TCA Winter 2020 Quiz Bravo cults AMC Peacock El Rey LGBT OWN aliens science fiction disaster Film Festival miniseries foreign television Pop TIFF Photos Pride Month independent RT21 History romance toy story Tumblr Dark Horse Comics DGA hispanic crime thriller Certified Fresh BET ABC Family Reality Competition zombies talk show Logo mutant historical drama sag awards children's TV Sundance Now cars rotten movies we love CW Seed free movies CBS PaleyFest MCU canceled TV shows Food Network Star Wars Teen Cartoon Network Awards Tour Premiere Dates Elton John Sci-Fi blaxploitation ratings Super Bowl diversity biography USA Network TLC The CW zombie The Witch Freeform Disney streaming service GoT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TruTV Vudu GLAAD Comedy Grammys blockbuster Marvel Television Nominations dceu X-Men The Purge CBS All Access justice league Interview cops Amazon Prime YouTube Red Sundance Film The Arrangement Trophy Talk Chernobyl Rocketman APB Hallmark Christmas movies DirecTV WGN ABC TV renewals Spectrum Originals ESPN Ovation FOX Avengers Tarantino strong female leads Action spain game show IFC space breaking bad anthology Epix Summer Acorn TV Character Guide richard e. Grant tv talk book werewolf unscripted First Reviews based on movie Britbox nature binge Rom-Com technology Paramount Network DC streaming service TBS facebook elevated horror Creative Arts Emmys YA 007 Fox News Masterpiece San Diego Comic-Con award winner Sony Pictures DC Universe Christmas RT History crime drama Martial Arts kids Pirates Esquire teaser American Society of Cinematographers 24 frames Comics on TV Superheroes OneApp NBC Trivia hist Music Nat Geo Polls and Games Countdown Biopics Country Comic Book travel what to watch Fall TV adaptation BBC ITV Mudbound Binge Guide movies ghosts Lionsgate Drama 2020 psycho thriller Arrowverse Marvel dramedy cartoon Disney YouTube See It Skip It dc Thanksgiving composers indie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Star Trek theme song E3 Mary Poppins Returns PBS Tomatazos Brie Larson war CNN Best and Worst HBO Max stand-up comedy social media Television Academy Trailer cats Adult Swim transformers cooking 20th Century Fox finale E! robots SXSW dragons doctor who latino Kids & Family President Showtime comic spider-man Superheroe Netflix political drama TCA 2017 USA Mary Tyler Moore Walt Disney Pictures vampires Awards Mystery Emmys sports Shondaland Baby Yoda Musicals Black Mirror game of thrones cinemax Lifetime Winners Red Carpet Infographic Cannes joker Video Games Holidays Apple TV Plus zero dark thirty Extras Animation 71st Emmy Awards Syfy crossover Hulu sitcom Ghostbusters psychological thriller Discovery Channel adventure Women's History Month Sundance TV anime Starz Horror comics Oscars Heroines A24 Fantasy New York Comic Con NYCC TV Land First Look animated Musical 2016 reboot VH1 south america SundanceTV comiccon Opinion video Winter TV Crackle versus Nickelodeon period drama cancelled television Ellie Kemper slashers quibi name the review spanish language serial killer Apple TV+ DC Comics Netflix Christmas movies