By The Book: Our Review of ‘Murder Mystery’ on Netflix

Posted in Movies, Netflix, What's Streaming? by - June 15, 2019
By The Book: Our Review of ‘Murder Mystery’ on Netflix

Nothing like a little homicide to rekindle some romance…

New to Netflix, Murder Mystery is an affable but forgettable little comedy that works as a decent little diversion but is something you’ll mostly forget about right after you’ve finished streaming it.

When a NYC cop (Adam Sandler) finally takes his wife (Jennifer Aniston) on a long promised European trip, a chance meeting on the flight gets them invited to an intimate family gathering on the Super Yacht of elderly billionaire Malcolm Quince (Terrance Stamp). When Quince is murdered, they become the prime suspects in a modern day whodunit.

Murder Mystery is ultimately a pleasant little cinematic diversion that survives on the oddly effective chemistry and charm between leads Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston but otherwise drizzles into nothingness as this attempt at a comedic Agatha Christie rip off is at best only mildly amusing.

Director Kyle Newacheck has a lot of TV experience under his belt and to be honest that might actually be the best place for him as this film really only works in short bursts.  It looks fine and has a decent flow to it, but it’s very perfunctory and is very obviously going through the motions.  The kindest thing that I can say about the direction of this film is that it’s competent enough not get noticed and that’s probably neither a good or bad thing from an overall perspective.

The script from writer James Vanderbilt is straight up by the numbers.  It’s effective enough to guide through the story it wants to tell but despite those moments that it’s occasionally making us smile, it’s also pretty predictable and kind of dull, with mediocre joke set ups and deliver that ends up being flat and ill-timed.

The only reason this movie is even remotely watchable is the chemistry between stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.  These two just shouldn’t work well together, but in reality they play off of each other kind of effortlessly which actually allows their natural movie star charm to come through and get us invested on this adventure they are on, no matter who ill conceived or rushed it may feel.

It almost plays like a spoof of the Mystery genre and I kind of wish that was a complement even though it really isn’t.  Sandler and Aniston both play it all pretty naturally with a charming and loving married couple bickering energy throughout, but the balance of the ensemble which includes the likes of Luke Evans, Gemma Arterton, David Walliams, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and Terrance Stamp just don’t have a hell of a lot to do here.

Part of me wishes I was more offended by Murder Mystery and its general banality, but it’s good enough to put on while cooking and/or doing the dishes because if you miss chunks of it, it really won’t matter all that much.

  • Release Date: 6/14/2019
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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