A Blast From the Past in a Modern Day Oeuvre
The fun in “Knives Out” is watching an ensemble of super-serious actors getting to misbehave. Like a cheerleader gone goth after a bad breakup, Craig is rebelling as an unhinged investigator.
Where Can I Watch Knives Out
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.
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
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. Parents need to know that Knives Out is a delightful all-star murder-mystery comedy that's reminiscent of Agatha Christie stories. Violence includes a murder victim with a slit throat and a trickle of blood, fighting (punching and slapping), arguing, and harsh dialogue.
‘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 Review Ebert
Rating: 4 stars.