Is ‘The ABC Murders’ worth watching? Here’s what the reviews say about new Poirot

The BBC’s new adaptation of The ABC Murders is airing in the UK this week.

Based on crime writer Agatha Christie’s 1936 novel, the mini-series began last night on BBC One in the UK.

The three-part murder mystery introduces John Malkovich (Of Mice & MenIn the Line of Fire) as the latest TV incarnation of Hercule Poirot, taking over from the iconic David Suchet.

Watch the trailer:

The official synopsis reads: “It’s 1933 and a killer travels the length and breadth of Britain via the railway network. The killer uses the alias ABC, and strikes in a methodical pattern, leaving a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each of murder.

“As Poirot attempts to investigate he is thwarted on every front. If he is to match his most cunning nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his identity.”

We’ve rounded up a selection of reviews for The ABC Murders to help you decide if you’d like to watch it:


“John Malkovich’s suffering Poirot is magnificent. Scorned by the police and nursing a secret pain, the latent violence in Malkovich’s performance is as potent as ever.” ★★★★ – The Guardian


“This mystery was perfectly gloomy and atmospheric, rich in visual detail, and smartly scripted with a funny, insouciant unseen villain. What it lacked, though, was real suspense.” ★★★★ – iNews


“It is in the gift of great actors to make pre-eminent characters entirely their own. Which is certainly what John Malkovich did in The ABC Murders, taking on the role of Hercule Poirot, a character well-worn to the point of transparency, and transforming him utterly.” ★★★★ – The Telegraph


“This is warming up to be both a battle of intellects and a study of alienation. Bleak, chilly stuff, yes, but compelling.” – Den of Geek


“Malkovich is as much fun as you would expect and there are only a few moments where he catches the scenery between his jaws.” ★★★★ – The Independent


“A lot of attention has been put on John Malkovich’s accent and facial hair, but this was another enjoyable Christmas outing for Poirot.” ★★★★ – The Times


“A very contemporary and highly relevant take on a classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.” ★★★★ – The List


“This is a savage take-down of the safety-first formula adopted for decades by the Christie industry.” ★★★★★ – The Arts Desk


“This isn’t exactly a series full of festive cheer, but it’s immensely gripping and we can’t wait to see what happens next.” ★★★★ – Metro


The ABC Murders will air in the USA in 2019.

Poirot: The Complete Cases Collection DVD box set is available on Amazon.