(director/writer: Tom George; screenwriter: Mark Chappell; cinematographer: Jamie Ramsay; editor: Peter Lambert/Gary Dollner; music: Daniel Pemberton; cast: Shirley Henderson (Agatha Christie), Adrien Brody (Leo Kopernick), Gregory Cox (Major Metcalf), David Oyelowo (Mervyn Cocker-Norris), Sam Rockwell (Stoppard), Saoirse Ronan (Constable Stalker), Sian Clifford (Edana Romney), Jacob Fortune Lloyd (Gio), Oliver Jackson (Trumpet), Shirley Henderson (Dame), Pearl Chanda (Sheila Sim), Charlie Cooper (Dennis Corrigan), Reece Shearsmith (John Woolf), Ruth Wilson (Petula Spencer), Harris Dickinson (young Richard Attenborough); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Damien Jones/Gina Carter; Searchlight Pictures; 2022)

“It’s trivial, but pleasant and breezy.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Tom George makes his feature film debut with this old fashioned Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. It’s smartly co-written by Mark Chappell. In the London West End theater district in 1953 a hit play is set to be made as a movie but is stalled when the filmmaker is murdered.

The seen it all, world-weary, Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and his partner the eager-beaver rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan, brilliantly funny) investigate, only to find themselves involved in an enigmatic whodunit that takes place within the London underground theater crowd.

The smart-aleck narration is delivered by Adrian Brody, as he introduces the characters and mocks the premise of a whodunit–telling us “seen one, seen them all.” Brody plays the renown but disgraced American film director Leo Kopernick.

We are alerted by the narrator that Agatha Christie herself (Shirley Henderson) is around, as her The Mousetrap has celebrated its 100th performance (with more to come) and Leo has been chosen to direct the film version. But he has creative differences with the screenwriter, Mervyn Cocker-Norris (David Oyelowo), as he insists on a murder in the first act.

But while filming Leo is murdered during a public brawl at a party.

Ronan is funny, George is competent and Rockwell is Rockwell. It’s trivial, but pleasant and breezy.