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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 9, 2010
I really enjoyed all the earlier seasons of these David Suchet Poirot mysteries, but in this episode plus some other later ones I've seen, Poirot has had a personality change. He tends to be shrill and loud whereas in earlier episodes he was more often gentle and quiet. This goes along with the overall tone of the production. It seems as if it was decided that the Poirot mysteries had to be like every other show on TV in the last several years which is nerve screechingly dramatic and tense. I loved the more subtle cerebral tone of the older ones and I wish they hadn't changed it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
I have been an Agatha Christie/Hercule Poirot reader and lover for over 40 years. Orient Express is, of course, a classic--and agruably Christie's finest Poirot adventure. And though I find merit in most of the reviews, I would like to offer some counter-points.

Yes, Suchet's Poirot does seem to have lost some of his playfulness and charm as compared to the earlier seasons. However, I find Suchet's portrayal in this story to be very consistent with what and how an aging Poirot might actually be. By this point in his life, it follows logically that Poirot is undoubtedly fatigued--worn down by the years and the countless horrors he has witnessed in his amazing yet tragedy-filled life. Was he as much fun as the earlier portrayals of Poirot by Suchet in this series? Absolutely not. Was he real? I offer a resounding yes! I loved seeing him anguish over his decision at the end. I genuinely believed and felt he was wrestling with an intense moral dilemma: should he do what was legally right or what was morally appropriate? Poirot was a former policeman, remember. He had served the law all of his life and deeply believed in it--as Suchet so convincingly reminded us in this film. To abandon the law, then, was--for Poirot in this film--perhaps the most difficult thing he had ever been asked to do. Yet, deep down inside, he knew. He knew what he must do. And he followed his heart instead of his treasured grey cells--but not without paying a faith-shaking, heart-wrenching price (as subtly yet exquisitely conveyed by Suchet's face at the very end).

Was this version of Orient Express as true to the Christie version as, say, the Finney version? No. Were the characters strictly two-dimensional as Christie's usually were (out of necessity, since you never knew who was going to die and who did it)? No. Was this version real, dramatic, intense, riveting and deeply moving? ABSOLUTELY. I found myself genuinely caring about these characters, and the acting, directing and production values were simply extraordinary. At times, for instance, I actually found myself shivering right along with the Poirot! It may not have been vintage and classic Christie, true, but this version of Orient is and always will be (in my opinion) an excellent cinematic experience. Even if you have seen the other versions, see this one, too--but do not compare it. Just bundle up, brace yourself, and enjoy and savor it. It is, in a word, transcendent.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
I, too, was disappointed in the drastic changes to the storyline in this version. What was the matter with the way Christie wrote it? The characters were totally different, including unnecessary additions (the nun, Lord Boynton) and the plot was barely recognizable. The nervous downtrodden children of Mrs Boynton (Lady Boynton in this version) are portrayed very differently in this rendition and don't seem to fear her much at all. And they made her character some sort of financial mover and shaker, which contradicts her pathetic failure to dominate a larger sphere that is central to the original version. Finally, why could the story not have taken place in Petra as it did in the book? (I was looking forward to the scenery.) I thought Suchet's portrayal of Poirot was good, as always, and to be fair, perhaps if I did not know the book, I would have enjoyed this movie on its own terms.
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53 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2012
I don't know what Guy Andrews was thinking when he "adapted" this story. And if you're reading this review, let me say this. If you've read "Appointment with Death" and love it, as I do, then this "adaptation" will be appalling. First of all, the characters weren't just added and subtracted. They were systematically changed to fit some story Andrews apparently wanted to tell. If so, call it fan fiction, not an actual title by Christie. The addition of "Lord Boyton" was horrible. The nun was a complete travesty and the stupidity of the nanny cannot be stated louder. Perhaps if this had been billed as something else, I might have enjoyed it. But it wasn't. It was called and billed Agatha Christie's "Appointment With Death." I expected the tension between the eldest Boyton and his WIFE (who doesn't exist in this version). I expected the growing attachment between Jefferson Cope (Now changed to something entirely different and really LESLIE? REally?) I expected Ginnie and the doctor to eventually have THEIR romance as in Christie's book. Instead I was forced to the last scene. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.
Let me just say that this was a WASTE of my money and I wish I could get it back. And this is the very first time that David Sachet's version of Poirot has been a horrible disappointment.
The acting was good and I thought Sachet was his usual brilliant self. But even he was unable to overcome the horrific writing in this one. There WAS (surprisingly) some chemistry between the Raymond character and Dr. Sara King, but the King's character wasn't as well done (due IMHO to the awful writing). The invention of several plot devices served only to irritate me until the end where I was downright infuriated.
BBC, don't let Guy Adams adapt anymore for you. On the basis of this, I'm going to check the various adaptations of Christie works. Andrews's name will make me reject any purchase.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
It would take all of my little gray cells to express how much I love David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. I only wish that more of the seasons were available on Prime Streaming. My husband and I watch so that we can sharpen our own powers of observation and deduction. We purchased this season as a movie night treat.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
We love Poirot, and Suchet IS Poirot to us. His portrayal is pitch perfect. But these three productions are much darker than the other collections. The dramatizations are craftmanlike and interesting, but are willfully cynical. They diverge both from the novels on which they are based and from the spirit of the earlier dramatizations in the series in order to present a Poirot who is weary, haunted and unsure about his own moral compass.

That said: still better than just about anything else on offer, and the casting is character actor catnip.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2012
Who killed Hercule Poirot? It's difficult to believe that David Suchet enjoyed his performance in this production. I have read, and loved, all of Agatha Christie's books. Suchet's demeanor in "Murder on the Orient Express" would not even be appropriate in "Curtain", Christie's finale to the great detective. Poirot was a fighter and a thinker from the beginning to the end. This sad, sad interpretation was devoid of almost all of Poirot's endearing characteristics. I give Suchet credit for a good performance, but not that of Hercule Poirot, for certainly it was not he, the great detective. He dismissed flattery. He almost dismissed a challenge. He never smiled. He lost affability. In short, this was another person, another detective, an unworthy production; an unworthy performance. Buy the Albert Finney version. It, at least, has a spirited Hercule Poirot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
I'm a big fan of David Suchet and have heard how good the story of Appointment with Death is. Naturally I was excited to watch this episode. At that point, I haven't read the book yet. I've seen most of the shows in the series and they were good. However, as I watch further, the quality felt less and less like the predecessors. It felt weird the way Poirot had said in the end to do what the murderer least expects him to do: go back to the site. There appeared to be no reason why this is a smart or necessary move other than the fact that Lord Boynton was there. The ending with his revealing of the murderer was worse. I was left with a frown after watching, unlike the usual satisfaction after watching the previous episode.

Then I decided to give the book a try. The book was well written and is, like her other books, a page turner. As I read, the TV show and its plot were at the back of my mind. The more I read, the more divergence of the TV show from the book I noticed. From the characters and their relationships and the setting and the actual murder (how it was committed) and the reason for the murder to the murderer, everything was appallingly different. What the TV show did was to take one of the red herrings and turn it into the actual reason for the murder (topped with some fanciful concoctions). Everything was different. Other than the names of a few characters and the title, the TV show shared nothing in common with the book.

If you have not read the book, you will be disappointed by the show. If you have read the book, you will be disgusted by the show.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
I've watched David Suchet as Hericule Poirot from the beginning; and the later versions have a different flavor then those first broadcast on PBS. I wasn't disappointed; as Suchet's performances are sublime, simply the best. One does miss Miss Lemon, Hastings and Japp, but the more things change; the more Poirot stays the same. If you are a fan of the series, I don't believe you will be disappointed in the offerings of Series 11. The downloading was a snap; and it's a treat to be able to watch without the Internet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
Andrews takes good novels and turns them into trash. He radically changes settings, characters, even major plot lines for reasons completely unfathomable. His destruction of the Blue Train is staggering--changing a fairly straightforward mystery into a trashy hodgepodge of silly characters, while at the same time losing the really interesting points of the novel.

In this desecration of another Christie novel, he once again inserts crass rubbish into the deeply subtle character of the victim, which, in turn, destroys the point of the story. For unknown reasons he changes the entire plot line so that he can show flashy "digs" in "Syria" for no good purpose. The characters have taken on characteristics which make them almost unrecognizable from the novel, which is a typical Andrews style, again without any dramatic point in the story. Indeed, these changes tend to obfuscate the real point of the story and the subtlety of the plotting. For example, he gratuitously changes the really evil mind control of the mother of her children into physical abuse as young children. This takes the edge off of the story and tries to turn it into an obvious modern day revenge story.

I am aghast that the Christie Trust allows this person to perform these abominations on her stories.
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