It seems “Death on the Nile” has officially hit theaters!
The film, based on the story by Agatha Christie, takes place in the “Murder on the Orient Express” film series.
Directed by Academy Award-nominated “Belfast” director Kenneth Branagh, the film tells the story of a Belgian sleuth whose Egyptian vacation on a luxury river streamer turns into a search for a cold-blooded murdered after a couple’s honeymoon is cut short.
Produced by “House of Gucci” creator Ridley Scott, Kenneth Branagh plays the lead of Hercule Poirot. The film also boasts an impressive cast of Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Tom Bateman, and Letitia Wright.
So what do critics think? Is it worth the price of admission?
‘Death On The Nile’ Ranks More Favorably With Audiences Than Critics
On Rotten Tomatoes, “Death on the Nile” boasted a critic rating of 64% from 147 reviews. The audience score faired a bit better: 77% from over fifty verified reviews.
The film seemed to polarize critics, who either loved the film or despised it.
Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com wrote, “This whodunit mostly becomes a who-cares.” Lemire rated the film two out of four stars.
Michael Clark of the Epoch Times wrote, “Delayed for over a year, DEATH ON THE NILE looks spectacular but suffers from an uninspired cast delivering thread-worn dialogue and a gauze-thin plot. Do yourself a huge favor and check out Branagh’s far superior BELFAST instead.” Clark gave the film two out of five stars.
Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “[Death on the Nile] has pizazz and period style in the same way today’s big-brand toothpastes have flavor — artificial ingredients give them a taste that’s discernible, but too generic to name.”
Linda and Al Lerner of Movies and Shakers wrote, “Kenneth Branagh has another love affair with Agatha Christie, an all-star cast, fabulous trappings, and stunning settings. This ship has sailed before, but this journey takes too long before the story shoves off.”
Linda Marric of The Jewish Chronicle wrote, “Death On The Nile often feels clunky, overinflated and very silly in parts. Granted there are some decent performances, mainly courtesy of Okonedo. Gadot and Mackey, but on the whole, the film simply fails to present a valid reason for its existence.” Marric gave the film two out of five stars.
Were There Any Critics That Liked ‘Death On The Nile’?
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Despite a plethora of harsh reviews, there were some critics who adored the film and its cast.
Peter Travers of ABC News wrote, “Even a lackluster script and dodgy computer effects cant screw up the retro bliss doled out by director and star Kenneth Branagh as he sets sail for Egypt with an all-star cast that keeps you guessing whodunit.”
Sean Collier of the Pittsburgh Magazine wrote, “The cast is game, the scenes are lush and the intrigue whenever it gets around to showing up is real.” Collier gave the film a score of 7 out of 10.
Chris Knight of the National Post wrote, “Branagh looks like he had great fun making this one, and some of that emotion will no doubt find its way to the viewer.” Knight gave the film a score of 3.5 out of 5.
Donald Clarke of the Irish Times wrote, “For all the problems here, Death on the Nile is more successful than Branaghs earlier Poirot adventure. The action is livelier. The humour is sharper. The cast seem more energized.” Clarke gave the film three out of four stars.
James Beradinelli of ReelReviews wrote, “Die-hard Christie purists may be disappointed by some of the changes but, on the whole, Death on the Nile is faithful enough to tell the story and different enough to work better with modern-day concerns about diversity than the original text.”
Rob Thomas of the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, wrote, “The last shot of Death on the Nile suggests a note of finality for Branaghs tenure as Poirot. But Christie wrote so many Poirot books and the series is hitting its stride. It would be a crime to stop at two.” Thomas rated the film three out of four stars.
So What’s The Conclusion?
It remains to be seen whether or not Kenneth Branagh plans to tackle yet another Agatha Christie adaption. In the meantime, with critics giving polarizing reviews, fans will just have to head to the theaters to decide for themselves if it’s worth a watch.
For fans looking to wet their feet with 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” it is available to stream on Hulu or for VOD purchase.