KNIVES OUT is a dark comedy mystery about a dysfunctional family trying to discover the truth about their wealthy father and his mysterious death. KNIVES OUT is funny and unpredictable, and ultimately extols doing the right thing, but it has lots of foul language, some lewd content and brief marijuana use. “Knives Out” comes out the day before Thanksgiving and previews the arguments that will be happening at dinner tables all over America. For de Armas, who has been around for a decade, this movie is a breakout, and for Daniel Craig, who is quite funny as the detective, “Knives Out” shows there will be lots of life after James Bond. Knives Out, a new murder mystery by Rian Johnson (director of Looper, Brick, and a rumored fourth Star Wars trilogy, God help us), is an example of the point being thrust in, not ostentatiously. TIFF 2019: Toronto International Film Festival news and movie reviews. Knives Out is a delightful Agatha Christie-style whodunnit made for 2019 America; 5 great movies from TIFF that flew under. ‘Knives Out’ movie review: A brilliant, modern whodunnit with laughs to spare By Kristen Kranz It’s hard to come up with the right words to describe Knives Out.
- Knives Out Movie Review Ebert
- Review Of The Movie Knives Out 2020
- Review Of The Movie Knives Out Trailer
- Knives Out Movie Cast
Wait! Don’t go. I totally get it, films like Knives Out are very, very sensitive to spoilers. And I promise, I won’t spill any beans in this review, alright? My name doesn’t rhyme anywhere close to Mark Holland or Tom Ruffalo, however you put it.
The reason any mainstream audience would get attracted to Knives Out, is, no doubt, the presence of Steve Rogers in the film, aka Chris Evans himself. The good news is, you get to see a lot of him in Knives Out, and the character which he played is befitting of him in the looks department. The bad news? It’s far from being Evan’s strongest performance. That honor goes to Ana de Armas, and Daniel Craig to some extent.
I’m not particularly averse to a ‘whodunit’ film like Knives Out. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I love the brain workout and mind games that thrive in such movies, and oddly, I saw joy in Daniel Craig’s unusual role as a mischievous, Sherlock Holmes’esque detective. With that said, Knives Out had always been on my radar since the trailer’s release.
One common pitfall of whodunit films has got to do with the plot, which, if done incorrectly, can lead to extended sessions of boredom and disconnect. “I don’t give a sh*t anymore! I’ll just wait for the finale to reveal who the murderer is!”. Sounds familiar? In which, I can reassuringly report that it’s not the case with Knives Out.
Apart from Star Wars, Rian Johnson is well known for single-handedly direct, write and produce strong performing films like Looper (2012) and Brick (2005). The one-man-army has done it again with Knives Out, and he had come out with this original story that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Of course, you don’t get that traditional whodunit plot that plays by utmost secrecy until the very final moment of the finale, when everything is spilled out. And of course, with that, the usual “based on best-selling crime novel” flair is missing.
But that doesn’t take away any of the suspense and fun of the film, as Knives Out plays by a unique plot that breathes some fresh air into the genre. It’s a story that shares a generous amount of truth to the audience as the clock ticks into the early hours of the film, and yet abide by that final piece of a puzzle that Johnson had planted into the plot as a dangling carrot. I prefer to call it a bait, because that is what motivates you to be continuously vested in the plot, but in some other way assures you that you already know the big picture, and persuades you to let your guard down.
There is a superficial lack of variety in the location where the events unfold, because, you guessed it, most of the scenes happen right within the Thrombey’s mansion. Still, I called it superficial because this, together with the absence of bold camera moves have been compensated by Johnson with extreme attention to the rich details of the mansion. Ironically, it never gets old seeing the antiquated mansion in action, because there is virtually a hidden treasure tucked within each scene. Besides, the maze-like layout of the mansion made me feel like a little kiddo who wants to explore that mansion even more.
All that expensive backdrop and the apprehending story requires an equally dedicated act to bring it all to life, in which, Johnson had struck a lottery with Ana de Armas, and perhaps a consolation with Daniel Craig. They said that the eyes are the window to your soul, which rings true for de Armas. Maybe that is why Johnson often rewarded Marta Cabrera with unusually close-up, shallow depth of field shots towards her face as compared to other characters. De Armas’ oftentimes moist (with just the right amount) eyes that were choked with worries, tell more story than many other things in the film.
I likened Craig’s casting to a consolation prize because while I enjoyed seeing him in Knives Out, I am still a little divided. His character, Benoit Blanc, speaks with an unusual slang which made him an even more peculiar character than what he seemed at first. It certainly needs some getting used to, especially if you’re used to his smooth, suave conversation manner in Bond films. Sure, it’s not the most natural of acts, and Blanc does not necessarily speak or act intelligently at times, but that also made the character raw and feels relatable. And made many, many scenes terrifically hilarious.
Perhaps, it’s the humor that has lightened up the mood in Knives Out and balanced it so well against its dark color tones. A story-line that starts with someone’s death is not particularly uplifting, so it’s nice for the audience to see some contrasting events. Like a group of obnoxious family members fighting with each other. Which, was the exact treatment that Johnson had given to the Thrombeys, and he really liked to cook them up into fully baked subjects of ridicule.
Knives Out Movie Review Ebert
Elsewhere in Knives Out, some carefully thought over, and tremendously metaphorical scenes can be observed. Those are the scenes which separate Rian Johnson from the average filmmakers, and are worth studying even long after Knives Out has lost its grossing ability. Here’s a little activity, without spoilers, for those who plan to watch Knives Out anytime soon. Spot the scene in the movie that’s befitting to this description: “As she was running away, she found herself passing a long, dark tunnel. There was a glaring light at the end of it, and she knew that it was her salvation. A monster appeared, halting her journey, and with each hammering strike, she was pushed back into the darkness, deeper, and deeper, away from the light.” It won’t be that hard.
Knives Out tied together Daniel Craig’s unusual portrayal, Ana de Armas’ believable performance, and Chris Evans stratospheric fame with an original story worthy of awards. Rian Johnson is more than capable to spice up this otherwise dark-natured film with satisfying amount of humor, and instill his own artistic twist towards the story and scenes. In the end, Knives Out, as its name may suggest, is relentlessly entertaining—The Film Addict
*Knives Out is now available on Prime Video
Disclaimer: When you use our affiliate link to look around, make a purchase, or initiate a cyber-attack, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchase(s) without costing you a cent more. In order to avoid getting penalized by our bossy program administrators, we need to serve you this affiliate policy, but we have tried to make this as small as possible to
blend in reduce carbon footprints. If you are reading this, you’re the best person ever
Like, or even love reviews like this? Consider subscribing. Unsubscribe anytime. Alternatively, you can follow our official Facebook page
A Blast From the Past in a Modern Day Oeuvre
Knives Out directed by Rian Johnson is a modern-day whodunit which gives us glimpses into the bygone era of classic mystery movies. It also serves as a character study of the multiple characters in the plot. Knives Out can best be described as a mixture of all elements of Agatha Christie novels and Alfred Hitchcock movies, but rest assured, this is one movie, a mystery-movie fan will not want to miss for anything!
The movie starts with a background of dogs barking, and then cuts on to a woman carrying breakfast to the master of the house (Harlan Thrombey, played by Christopher Plummer) only to find him lying on his sofa with his throat slit. It is shown that Harlan had organized his 85th birthday party the previous night, and his entire family had been invited along with the housekeeper Fran as well as Harlan’s nurse/caretaker/friend – Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), the chief protagonist of this ensemble movie.
Harlan’s family includes his eldest daughter Linda (the ever bankable Jamie Lee Curtis), her husband Richard, Joni – the widow of Harlan’s deceased son Neil, Jodi’s daughter Meg, Harlan’s youngest son Walter “Walt” Thrombey, Walter’s wife Donna and son Jacob, and Harlan’s grandson Hugh “Ransom” who is Linda and Richard’s son (a brilliant Chris Evans).
It turns out that an anonymous individual hires private investigator Benoit Blanc (a refreshing Daniel Craig) to investigate the death of Harlan Thrombey. During the course of the movie, we learn the secrets that each family member has kept from the rest. We are also shown the conversations Harlan has had with his children and grandson during the party. Director Rian Johnson takes us through the journey engaging us to join in the party and find out the real killer. The plot moves at a decent pace when secrets of each family member start popping out, and you are spoilt for choice as to your pick of the culprit, they provide a snaky group of suspects. One of the undertones of the movie is a gradually developing rapport between Benoit and Marta, which lingers between friendly and suspicion.
Johnson’s script does not give you any “oh my god” twists, but it definitely keeps you engrossed in the proceedings. At the bottom of the script is a classic Agatha Christie plot, with Harlan’s mansion as the center piece, the characters forming the puzzle, and Benoit as Johnson’s Poirot. Rian Johnson’s direction is subtle and intelligent which is enhanced by a distinctive gallery of characters, given weight by Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas.
Review Of The Movie Knives Out 2020
Craig delivers his dialogues in a unique fashion that is very unlike Craig, and is one of the highlights of the movie, and his performance is equally exhilarating. Michael Plummer brings the dead Harlan Thrombey to life with his presence. Jamie Lee Curtis, as always, does what she does best – give a strong performance. Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey makes each scene count with her take on the character. Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Katherine Langford are adequate in their parts. It’s very difficult to despise Chris Evans, but here he does manage to bring out that feeling with his short but impactful performance. Knives out, however, belongs mainly to 2 individuals – Ana de Armas and director Rian Johnson. Ms. Armas is brilliant in her portrayal of Marta Cabrera, and brings to the table a certain honesty in her acting which will linger in the minds of the audience for a long long time. Rian Johnson will catch most of the audience off guard by creating an extremely thrilling crime drama, that uses the collective skills of its excellent cast to great effect.
Review Of The Movie Knives Out Trailer
‘Knives Out’ makes a strong case as one of the best films of the year and a definitive murder mystery for the ages. If murder could be this fun, who wouldn’t be asking for more?
Knives Out Movie Cast
Rating: 4 stars.