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MOVIE REVIEW

Death on the Nile

also known as “Alerta roja,” “Án Mạng Trên Sông Nile,” “Assassinio sul Nilo,” “Döden på Nilen,” “Døden på Nilen,” “Halál a Níluson,” “Kuolema Niilillä,” “Mirtis ant Nilo,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for violence, some bloody images, and sexual material.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Very Offensive (not recommended)
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Crime Murder Mystery Drama Adaptation
Length: 2 hr. 7 min.
Year of Release: 2022
USA Release: February 11, 2022 (wide release)
DVD: April 5, 2022
Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Companyclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company
Relevant Issues

What does it mean to be LASCIVIOUS? Answer

Greed

Jealousy

Revenge

Passions that are uncontrolled

LUST—What does the Bible say?

Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company

Sexual lust outside of marriage—Why does God strongly warn us about it?

Purity—Should I save sex for marriage?

About murder

About death

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Egypt in the Bible

Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company
Featuring Kenneth BranaghHercule Poirot
Gal GadotLinnet Ridgeway Doyle
Rose LeslieLouise Bourget
Armie HammerSimon Doyle
Emma MackeyJacqueline de Bellefort
Letitia WrightRosalie Otterbourne
Annette BeningEuphemia
Tom BatemanBouc
Jennifer SaundersMarie Van Schuyler
Sophie OkonedoSalome Otterbourne
Russell BrandLinus Windlesham
Adam GarciaSyd
See all »
Director Kenneth Branagh
Producer 20th Century Studios
Kinberg Genre
See all »
Distributor
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Trademark logo.
20th Century Studios
, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company

Detective Hercule Poirot has been invited to a wedding. Not just any wedding though, a wedding for the illustrious and wealthy Simon and Linnet Doyle. Poirot is attending a destination wedding in a small village in Egypt. The wedding reception and festivities, however, are aboard the luxurious boat, the S.S. Karnak, as it travels up the Nile River.

It’s all fun and games, including an amazing excursion of a Pharaoh’s tomb, until one uninvited guest, Jacqueline, Simon’s ex-girlfriend, suddenly appears on board to spoil the fun. Determined to win back Simon’s love, Simon and Jacqueline get into a heated argument onboard the Karnak, as Linnet retires to her room. Simon, once again, declares to Jacqueline, “I do not love you! Leave me be” before Jacqueline angrily fires a shot into his leg. Afterward the two of them are whisked away to different parts of the boat; Simon to tend to his injured leg and Jacqueline to a room where she can calm her nerves.

As the next morning approaches however, Linnet’s body is discovered in her and Simon’s bedroom on the boat, a bullet lodged in her temple. Simon is beyond devastated! Who would want to hurt Linnet? There are plenty of guests and suspects aboard the ship: Bouc, Poirot’s friend, Euphemia, Bouc’s mother, Linnet’s cousin, Andrew, the ship’s doctor, Dr. Windlesham, Marie Van Schuyler, the godmother, Mrs. Bowers, the nurse, Louise, the lady’s maid, Salmone, the singer, Rosalie, Salamone’s niece and business manager. Everyone is a suspect.

This is a case Poirot may never soon forget.

“Murder on the Orient Express,” the first book in the series by Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile is the second book of the series) is a fascinating read and the movie was no exception. When I reviewed Murder on the Orient Express many years ago, I recall what really piqued my interest was Christie’s ability to intertwine multiple characters, backstories and provide a coherent, yet fully developed and, honestly, pleasant mystery that I myself couldn’t figure out until the final scene (as a good mystery should).

“Death on the Nile” takes place shortly after “Murder on the Orient Express.” For those who did not view “Murder…” however, rest assured, you did not miss out on much and will still follow “Death on the Nile” very nicely. This is to the film’s credit, as there is such a large gap between when “Murder…” came out and “Death…” that, frankly, sometimes, while newcomers to a franchise appreciate a recap of previous events it does add time, and in this case it wouldn’t have been necessary considering the film is an appropriately 2hr 20 minutes in length (pacing wise, I didn’t find the film lag or find myself checking my watch). Additionally there are some strong performances all around. You can tell Kenneth Branaugh is having a lot of fun on screen as Poirot (his mannerisms, his overreactions and even his moments where he’s more reserved). Gal Gadot once again commands the screen in each of the scenes she is in (I’ll admit I am an admirer of many of her films).

I only have a few caveats this time around. First, the sexual and suggestive content in this film was too much and unnecessary. The violence has increased slightly as well (not much more than the first, when comparing the two side by side though). Also, I will state that, as the film progresses, it becomes more and more apparent who the murderer is (and if you think about it is apparent at early moments in the film), but this does not REALLY detract much from the film. It’s still fun to sit back and enjoy the ride (and even receive the occasional scare, like the audience member and I did).

Content of Concern

VIOLENCE: Moderately Heavy to Heavy. Soldiers are bombed and killed in a brief battle scene (not gruesome). A soldier is blown up on a bridge (the scene cuts away very quickly as the explosion occurs). A soldier receives a deep battle scar on his face. We see a crocodile snatch a gazelle and drag it into the water (not graphic). Another croc snaps up a bird. As mentioned earlier, Jacqueline shoots Simon in the leg. Two dead bodies are discovered (one in a bed, and one floating through a boat’s paddle wheel, both not very graphic, but both containing some blood). We witness some men briefly fighting and punching each other. Someone is shot and killed. Someone shoots a metal item and then shoots his gun in the air as a warning shot. In one scene, we see someone commit a murder-suicide.

SEXUAL/SUGGESTIVE CONTENT: There is an extensive scene at a bar at the beginning of the film where two characters are engaged in very sensuous, very suggestive dancing. A woman calls Simon “the engorged stallion” and reference to sex by “sitsy,” “standsy” and “horse.” A woman begins to unfasten a man’s pants. A female character mentions to another woman she and a guy have sex a lot. Even when a male and female character are married to each other, they are seen flirting with other couples. Linnet brags to Jacqueline how much sex she is having with Simon in order to make her jealous. A woman admits to having a “handful of husbands, each one a handful.” Characters caress each other, press their clothed crotches together and kiss. A character refers to having sex 3 times today.

There is a strong hint of 2 female characters being in a long term Lesbian relationship (not public).

Q & A

GAY—What’s wrong with being Gay? AnswerHomosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born Gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about Gays needs to change? AnswerIt may not be what you think.

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

We also hear some extremely cynical views on marriage and family. When one person states, “Not every love ends with dissolution and betrayal, she says, “No, the lucky ones die in childbirth.”

Q & A

About marriage in the Bible

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? AnswerSome people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

PROFANITY: G*d (2), “G*d-d*mn her,” d*mn (6), “Good G*d,” H*ll (3, one of them cut-off)

VULGARITY: Slang term “Where is my serpent?” (woman referring to male’s genitals), the word “fig,” “a**”

NUDITY: Some women wear cleavage bearing and back-bearing outfits.

ALCOHOL: Characters are seen drinking champagne, wine and other drinks at bars, on the ship and in other venues.

OCCULT: A character states “I have immortal longings in me.”

Issues

Characters throughout “Death on the Nile” have a rather distorted view on love. Poirot, for example (and this doesn’t spoil anything, I promise), in the past, suffered from a relationship that ended poorly when a woman ended things because of how he looked. Other characters in the film and book base their love and marriage on tangible, fallible and fleeting things like money, wealth, power and status.

God’s love for His sons and daughters is far stronger than we can possibly imagine; it is pure and unconditional. Scripture also tells us that since God loves us we need to live by His example and share that love in as many ways as possible. It may not always be easy (I speak from personal experience), but with God all things are possible.

Jesus stated the following:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” —John 13:14

John stated the following:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:7-8

“We love because he first loved us.” —1 John 4:19

Lastly, the apostle Paul described true love, the love we are supposed to live by, as follows:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Q & A

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it?

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action?

Sex, Love and RelationshipsLearn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

Closing Thoughts

Those who enjoyed “Murder on the Orient Express” like I did will once again hop on board (yes, pun intended) this take on Agatha Christie’s beloved classic. There are some strong performances, the mystery, truthfully is easier to follow this time around, and the whole “confined-setting scenario” from the first film gives a pleasant, yet welcomed feel. However, the story is more disturbing and sad than pleasant.

However, the sexual and suggestive content which did NOT appear in the first film, or even in the book, was a red flag this time around and is likely to be a stumbling block for some Christians. I think this film is for adults only and possibly some mature teens, but certainly not youngsters.

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Sex: Moderately Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderately Heavy
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Minor
  • Occult: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—I recommend viewing “Murder On The Orient Express” (2017) and or reading before once again booking passage on the next cinematic adaptation. Sir Kenneth Branagh once again stars as Hercule Poirot, and also directs this somewhat morally flawed version of Dame Agatha’s classic mystery. ALL ABOARD!

Here on the first class deck, the acting, cinematography, directing, music, and visuals are nothing less than perfect. Patrick Doyle’s lush score deserves to stand with Maurice Jarre’s haunting work on Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago for sheer brilliance. Like Alex North’s scores for Spartacus and Cleopatra, the music for Death On The Nile perfectly conveys the feeling of another world. The opening sequence is a masterpiece, and that is all I shall say. Of the star-studded supporting cast, Wonder Woman shines brightest. Even if you have read the novel, you can be certain that surprises still await the patient viewer. To that end, suspense is perfectly built up and maintained throughout.

Now, we come to the lower deck. There is violence, with some blood in certain sequences, mild profanity, one blasphemy, and sexual material including innuendo. For some reason, the screenwriter (who was NOT Sir Kenneth) chose to make two females lesbians. Dame Agatha never wrote such characters into her works, and it is incomprehensible why the writer felt it was. To his credit, though, the women never do more than exchange glances and hold hands. There are also very suggestive dance moves, which thankfully do not proceed beyond passionate posing with clothes on.

Beyond my concern with the two lesbian women, I staunchly recommend making your reservations aboard the S.S. Karnak for a memorable journey through Egypt. I also recommend “Murder On The Orient Express” (1973) and “Death On The Nile” (1978), which is more accurate in terms of casting and characters the way they were written by Dame Agatha. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
D, age 36 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Sexually Explicit, if you struggle with porn or lust do not watch this film. You will stumble! I just got home from viewing this movie. And I have to say the first scene in the bar with the very very dirty dancing! Yikes, the reviewer really minimizes these very very nasty dance moves simulating intercourse! Then of course, while running around the Egyptian Pharaoh statues they have more way over the top sexual explicit sexual imagery with clothes on, but super nasty, which is the reason I can NOT RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE! My husband reached over and covered my eyes. Thank you, Jesus!

I saw the first movie in this series, and it was very well made and made me open to seeing this one. I really don’t watch movies except for the 1940s and 1950s LOL. So again I didn’t do my investigating of this movie, and I had to witness the nasty stuff. And taking the Lord’s name in vain would have stopped me.

Positives; great acting and directing… but really not worth grieving the Holy Spirit. There also was misquotation of the Love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 by Annette Bening’s character who was bitter about her loveless life. So the picture of Christ has mangled her words against the attributes of our Love Jesus expressed in those verses.

The rating of this film will lead parents to think it appropriate for younger views NO WAY.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Sharon M Ulstad (USA)
Negative—This is my first time posting here because I felt really strong about my disappointment in this movie. I really enjoy murder mysteries (I’m a huge fan of the old Poirot series), Unfortunately, the PG-13 was not correct. My whole family (husband and 3 young adults) cringed and felt very uncomfortable in the opening dance scenes and the other scenes mimicking sexual acts. They intentionally made those scenes to be like porn with clothes so they can call it PG-13. No, it was unacceptable!!!!

Those scenes went totally too far and were unnecessary. They ruined an otherwise good whodunnit mystery.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality:
Kari, age 49 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…it’s a slow boat… a sort of sumptuous dinner-theater redux studded with stray bits of caricature, camp, and many CG pyramids. …socio-politically, it's firmly in a Hollywood writers’ room circa 2022…
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
…this entire project is powered by the same eccentric confidence that allows Branagh to play Hercule Poirot like a neutered Pepé le Pew. …The film’s laughs run about as deep as its anti-capitalist commentary…
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
…An aggressively misguided, strangely dour affair that starts off bad and only gets worse. …
Josh Spiegel, SlashFilm
…The script is as arid as the desert… A “Death on the Nile” that never lets us forget its quality and attention to detail, but forgets to be much in the way of fun. …oversexed jitterbugging to birth-of-rock blues that wouldn’t exist for a decade, sexy sirens and femme fatales and murders most foul… [2/4]
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…Another brutally murdered whodunit… Branagh’s warped vision of these films as putrid, depressing slogs makes “Death on the Nile” interminable… [1½/4]
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
…stale and two-dimensional whodunnit… [2/5]
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…founders on the shoals of seriousness… Like Poirot’s mustache, the movie as a whole is a waxworks. …
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
…an empty bauble of a movie… opulent but empty take on Agatha Christie’s 1937 classic… [2/5]
Wendy Ide, The Guardian (UK)
…Christie’s story, one of her finest, is hard to screw up, even when Branagh and his returning screenwriter, Michael Green, seem bent on proving otherwise. Their movie is an often fussy, hectic confusion of old-timey pleasures and 21st century sensibilities, a mash-up that makes for some especially incongruous visual choices. …
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
…Michael Green’s screenplay often feels weirdly detached, like we missed some crucial early scenes that tell us why we should care about these people. …
Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times