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Knives Out (2019) Trailer When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.

Photo by Claire Folger

When Murder On The Orient Express brought the classic murder mystery back to theaters in 2017, it didn’t exactly resurrect the form. But Knives Out may be an exception.

The brain-child of acclaimed director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper), Knives Out is a murder mystery for Trump times. And to avoid any spoilers, that’s all the further we’re going with that.

Murder mystery author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead shortly after a party for his 85th birthday attended by most members of his family.

What initially looks like a suicide takes a turn when renowned investigator Benoit Blanc (a delightfully droll Daniel Craig, sporting a Southern drawl) arrives on the scene to assist the police.

Anonymously hired, Blanc begins interviewing them all intently, uncovering reasons why almost everyone in the house that night could have had bad blood with the deceased.

That is, all except Thrombey’s trusted aide Marta (Ana de Armas), who seems to have exited the residence before the suicide/murder took place.

And what a family Thrombey had, with all of them basically mooching off him up until his death!

Daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) is accompanied by her philandering husband Richard (Don Johnson) and ne’er do well son Ransom (a sufficiently smarmy Chris Evans).

Then there’s son and manager Walt (Michael Shannon) who is there with his wife Donna (Riki Lindhome) and teen son Jacob (Jaeden Martell).

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Widowed daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) is in attendance along with her college-aged daughter Meg (Katherine Langford), whose college tuition is being handled by Thrombey.

And finally there’s Thrombey’s extremely elderly and not-exactly-lucid mother Greatnana Wanetta (K Callan), who may, or may not, have the key to the whole mystery.

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Johnson’s script is intricate, and pretty difficult to figure out, but when the mystery is eventually solved, it’s a thrill (and not quite as complicated as it initially seems).

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Unlike the fun adaptations of Agatha Christie stories from the 70s including Evil Under The Sun, Death On The Nile, and the original Murder On The Orient Express, which were all period pieces, Knives Out is totally of the times.

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It’s also an unexpected treat and hopefully a precursor to more fun excursions into the genre.

Knives Out Movies 2020

Knives Out is currently in wide release throughout Central Florida.