'Death on the Nile' review

Kenneth Branagh, right, is a delight as Agatha Christie’s famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in “Death on the Nile,” with Armie Hammer and Gal Gadot as a newly married couple.

These days — let us hope, for not too much longer — a movie has to be something special to lure an audience into a theater; something you just can't wait to see, something that would be diminished if watched on a screen at home. Unfortunately, Kenneth Branagh's "Death on the Nile" is not one of those movies.

The movie is perfectly serviceable entertainment, albeit one that's been hit with more than its share of bad luck: multiple delays of its original December 2020 release date, due to the pandemic and to sexual assault allegations against star Armie Hammer (who's been neatly reduced to blink-and-you'll-miss-him status in the movie's trailer). But it's just a little flat; like a party — remember those? — full of interesting guests that nonetheless has more than its share of awkward pauses.

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