Movie Review Of Knives Out

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As the days of 2019 dwindle down to a precious few, we’re unlikely to see the year produce a more richly entertaining film than the splendid comic whodunit “Knives Out” (Lionsgate).

Though writer-director Rian Johnson’s ensemble homage to Agatha Christie — and the big-screen adaptations of her work — is strictly for grown-ups, it provides a brainy and satisfying movie.

Knives Out is a self-aware, stylised farce that has a great time - and pulls you along with it. Full Review Original Score: 4.5/5 Alex Bentley CultureMap.

The case at hand concerns the death, in the wake of a family party on the night of his 85th birthday, of famous and wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

The police officers assigned to investigate, Lt. Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield) and Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan), insist Harlan killed himself. But shrewd Southern detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who has been hired by an anonymous client, has other ideas.

Benoit, whose Francophone — presumably Cajun — background is a tip of the hat to Christie’s famous Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, seeks answers among the eccentric members of Harlan’s conflict-ridden clan. And, unsurprisingly, it turns out that virtually every one of them (played, among others, by Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson and Toni Collette) had a reason for wanting the old man dead.

As he tries to navigate his way through this morass of competing motives, Benoit enlist the help of Harlan’s caring and sensible Latina nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas). Marta makes an excellent witness and guide to events because she has an unusual medical condition: she cannot tell a lie without getting sick to her stomach. Yet even Marta’s role in the mystery is not what it initially appears.

  1. Anyone who doubts that 'Knives Out' is, and means to be, a commentary on the future of race dynamics in this country need only examine the movie’s intensely political concluding shot, in which.
  2. As a progressive mystery, Knives Out is a very fashionable movie with it's grand ensemble of fresh and familiar faces. With some very snarky and slick writing, these characters are albeit memorable, most notably Daniel Craig's Detective Blanc and Chris Evan's Ransome, however, the film fails to make full use of the ensemble to the greatest extent.
  3. A post shared by Knives Out (@knivesout) on Dec 13, 2019 at 12:47pm PST I’ll also add that Ana De Armas is bound for superstardom. That woman is incredibly talented and steals the movie, despite not having the same name recognition as other cast members.

Clever twists and turns, worthy of Christie herself, abundant humor and sly social commentary make Johnson’s movie a dandy treat. There is a hard edge to the proceedings, though, since so many of the figures on screen are grasping, entitled, selfish and perpetually quarrelsome.

Those qualities are, of course, being satirized. Yet at least some viewers may not care for the company of such ethically impoverished characters. There is also at least one important aspect of the story requiring mature discernment — another good reason, along with thematic and vocabulary considerations, to steer kids elsewhere.

Still, in the end, good triumphs over evil and Johnson handles this final development just as deftly as he treats the rest of his material. As a result, there’s a particular relish to the wrap-up. Call it the sweetly moral cherry atop the flavorful cinematic sundae that is “Knives Out.”

The film contains brief gory violence, a morally complex situation, drug use, sexual references, about a dozen profanities, a few milder oaths, a couple of rough terms, frequent crude and crass language and an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

— John Mulderig

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Writer-director Rian Johnson has only made a handful of films, from his high-school noir debut Brick to the most recent Star Wars epic. Now he’s applied his ingenuity to an old-fashioned whodunit. As a longtime Agatha Christie fan he’s called on deep knowledge of the genre to craft his own, original “perfect crime” movie and laced it with humor from the very start.

Movie Review Of Knives Out

Guardian Movie Review Knives Out

The tone is set by Johnson’s casting, beginning with Daniel Craig as a cocky private eye with an accent one character disparagingly compares to Foghorn Leghorn. Craig seems to be having the time of his life indulging in this role, aiding the mostly-clueless detectives on the case, and the feeling is infectious. Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, and Michael Shannon are the key family members whose shaky relationship with patriarch Christopher Plummer propels the story and they all have their moments… but but the costar who ties Craig for good-humored indulgence in a juicy role is Chris Evans, as one of Plummer’s wastrel grandsons.

The primary setting is a curio-filled mansion, decorated to a fare-thee-well by production designer David Crank and art director Jeremy Woodward. They too seem to have had fun following the “more is more” outlook of their director.

Movie Review Knives Out Ebert

Movie Review Of Knives Out

Review Of The Movie Knives Out

Knives Out is intended as mainstream entertainment but Johnson has woven a hot-button topic into the fabric of his script, involving Central American immigrant Ana de Armas as Plummer’s devoted caregiver. The conversations that arise give us one more reason to dislike the coddled offspring who are all suspects in this high-profile murder.

I find most movies too long and yearn for the days when Charlie Chan solved murder cases in less than 90 minutes. Johnson’s role models were the all-star exploits of Hercule Poirot which, like this one, weighed in at over two hours so I really can’t quibble. Despite a surfeit of detail and story rebounds, Knives Out is never, ever dull and offers the kind of classy entertainment we could use more of on the big screen. And I have a feeling we’ll see more of Daniel Craig’s colorful character down the road.