Death on the Nile Parent Guide
Although it only loosely follows the novel on which it's based, this is a thrill ride of a film with a tight story and an immersive sense of place.
Parent Movie Review
Linnet Doyle née Ridgeway (Gal Gadot) is one of the most envied women in England. Young, beautiful, and dazzlingly rich, she is also madly in love and has just married handsome Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) after a whirlwind courtship. Now enjoying a luxurious honeymoon in Egypt, their wedded bliss is threatened by one person – Jacqueline de Bellefort (Emma Mackey), Linnet’s erstwhile best friend and Simon’s former fiancée.
Jacqueline wins points for creativity in pursuit of vengeance. Rather than throwing public tantrums, she has chosen to patiently follow the new Mr. and Mrs. Doyle wherever they go. It’s simple but effective. Linnet is rattled and hopes that her pursuer will be left behind when she and Simon embark on the S.S. Karnak for a very expensive cruise down the Nile. What Linnet does not expect is that the ship will carry a killer…
Fortunately, it also carries Hercule Poirot.
Fans of Agatha Christie’s fiendish whodunits will be excited to see another adaptation by Kenneth Branagh, who is sitting in both the director’s chair and the lead role. Hardcore devotees may quibble with Branagh’s scripts and screenplays, but there is no denying that his films are cinematically far more sophisticated than earlier versions. Fans of the novels may also struggle to see Branagh in a role so perfectly embodied by David Suchet but this film does an outstanding job of exploring Poirot’s backstory, thereby giving greater emotional depth to the character.
Readers who expect see the novel brought to life on screen need to be warned: this is a very loose adaptation that involves significant changes to the story as they know it, including the identity of one of the murder victims. That could easily be a bridge too far for some audiences but on the bright side it makes the movie more suspenseful for those who have already read the book. (It certainly gave me a surprise I did not expect.)
I’m a long time Agatha Christie fan, having read every single one of her novels, but I’m not going to begrudge Branagh the liberties he has taken with the text. Death on the Nile is a thrill ride of a film. The sense of place is immersive, imbuing the story with the glamour of Egypt in the 1930s. The tension never lets up, and the web of hatred and dark motives all come together in a tight conclusion (although I have always said Agatha Christie cheats in the solution to this mystery).
If you’re considering watching Death on the Nile with teens, you can be assured that content is less graphic than for many other movies in the genre. There is plot-related violence, but it is not gory. There is also plenty of sexual innuendo, including lots of passionate kissing and dancing, involving fondling, groping, and very suggestive movements. The PG-13 rating is accurate and while this movie can be fun for teens it is too scary for children.
I was introduced to Agatha Christie’s work at the age of ten when my misguided father let me watch Murder on the Orient Express. I was terrified but also hooked. It is certainly possible that this lush, tense, dramatic film will be the beginning of more than one viewer’s life of crime – in a fictional sense, of course.Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman. Running time: 127 minutes. Theatrical release February 11, 2022. Updated May 31, 2022
Watch the trailer for Death on the Nile
Death on the Nile
Rating & Content Info
Why is Death on the Nile rated PG-13? Death on the Nile is rated PG-13 by the MPAA Violence, some bloody images, and sexual material.
Violence: There is sanitized wartime violence. A man dies in an explosion (no detail.) A man is seen with extensive bloody injuries on his face. Two characters are shot: one is injured and one dies. A body is seen, having been shot in the head. A person is fatally stabbed (off-screen) but the body is shown. There is a murder-suicide with a firearm. A boulder is pushed off a cliff with the intent to kill. Several characters point firearms at each other.
Sexual Content: There are frequent scenes of passionate kissing and sensual dancing, both involving fondling, groping, and very suggestive movements. Women wear dresses with very low cut necklines. There is mention of a couple’s very frequent sexual activity. There is an implied lesbian relationship.
Profanity: There are five swear words in the film, including three minor profanities, two terms of deity, and a single anatomical expression.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There are frequent scenes of social drinking. A character is inadvertently drugged when his drink is spiked.
Page last updated May 31, 2022
Death on the Nile Parents' Guide
What do you think of the solution to the mystery? Do you think Agatha Christie was fair or do you think she cheated? Do you think it was possible for a murder to take place in such a manner? What other things could have gone wrong to derail the murder plan?
What do you think of the suggestion that it’s okay to break the law if you’re doing so because you’re in love? Do you think love excuses poor or illegal behavior?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
If you enjoyed this movie, you definitely want to read the novel, Death on the Nile. Agatha Christie also set another book in Egypt – ancient Egypt this time. Called Death Comes as the End, it follows an intrepid young woman as a killer stalks her family compound.
Other books by the Queen of Mystery that are set amongst travelers include The Mystery of the Blue Train, Appointment with Death, And Then There Were None, Evil Under the Sun, Death in the Clouds, They Came to Baghdad, Destination Unknown, and A Caribbean Mystery.
Related home video titles:
If you appreciate Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of Hercule Poirot, you should also watch Murder on the Orient Express. There is also a 1974 adaptation with an all-star cast and a script that is very faithful to the novel. Its greatest weakness is Albert Finney who turns in a truly awful performance as Hercule Poirot.
Death on the Nile was also filmed in 1978 with Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot and Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Olivia Hussey, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, and David Niven in the cast.
If you enjoy country house murders set in the 1930s, you might have fun with Gosford Park. Created by Julian Fellowes, who later wrote Downton Abbey, this movie follows Christie’s pattern of multiple characters with multiple motives – and adds in a fair bit of swearing.
Also in the Christie style, but in a modern setting, Knives Out gives mystery fans some fun but with very uneven pacing.