Two Sharp Knives was an unusually well-done live TV show based on an obscure story by a major author, even though Bixby’s script omitted the philosophical tag that gave the piece its title: a (supposed) old proverb, “To a sharp knife comes a tough steak.”. View Profile SHARP-KNIVES FANS 36. Favorite Movies. Sort By: Most Recent Most Recent Date Added Title. Movie Swords and Movie Replicas. Movie Swords and officially licensed replicas for sale from some of Hollywood’s greatest films and television masterpieces. Swords Direct is pleased to present officially licensed movie swords, daggers and collectibles from movies such as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, 300, Conan, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and more. Knives Out had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 27 by Lionsgate Films. The film received critical acclaim, particularly for its screenplay, direction, and acting, and grossed $311.4 million worldwide against a $40 million budget.
Brian Russell: Hey Sam! So we both saw Knives Out and I think we both liked it! Rian Johnson’s new whodunit rolicks along, and painted a smile across my face from beginning to end. The star-studded cast and beautiful sets made me feel like I’d entered old Hollywood in the best possible way. Craft at it’s finest, this turned-on-its-head homage to Agatha Christie follows a delicious Daniel Craig as master-sleuth Beniot Blanc, twisting and turning through the hysterically complicated plot. A death has occurred under mysterious circumstances, and we are on the ride in search of motives, alibis, and the truth!
Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) has made millions writing best-selling mysteries, and spoiled his family rotten along the way. They all consider themselves self-made success stories, and yet all leech off him like parasites. When Harlan dies Blanc is tasked with investigating the suspicious circumstances of his alleged suicide. He enlists Harlan’s nurse and confidant Marta Cabrera (the luminous Ana de Armas) as his “Watson.” Marta has been closest to Harlan in his final years and knows all the families dirty little secrets, and Blanc needs all the help he can get.
The investigation pushes and pulls us hither and thither, and this gives our quirky ensemble cast many opportunities to shine. Among Johnson’s oh-so-fun accomplishments here is both leaning into type, and casting far against type. Plummer, Don Johnson and Jamie Lee Curtis all feel perfect and lean into exactly what we expect of them. Craig, Toni Collette, and Michael Shannon play the polar opposite of their usual type.
Sam Russell: Yes, every performance in this movie is incredible to watch on a moment to moment basis. I was trying to decide who was my favorite and I truly could not choose. I think the movie’s secret weapon is its ability to blend tones. It is both wildly silly and edge-of-your-seat tense all at once. This is true of the performances too. Craig as Blanc, who delivers his meticulously scripted dialogue with impressive grace, is basically Foghorn Leghorn-meets-Columbo. Much of the cast, especially Collette, is similarly absurd. But equally impressive are Ana de Armas as Marta and Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Elliot. These two are both grounding, naturalistic performances. Without them we would be lost in the chaos and unpleasantness of the Thrombey’s.
Marta is our protagonist, the mild mannered, good-hearted hero at the center of the mystery. Detective Elliot is the cop in charge of the investigation. It’s a more supporting role, but an important counterbalance to Blanc’s theatrics. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these two characters are people of color, outsiders to the Thrombey’s absurdly white, absurdly privileged existence. These two actors do the incredible and invisible work of playing real human beings amid this Clue board of lunatics.
BR: You are so right on all counts. One other performance worthy of note is Noah Segan as Trooper Wagner. As a Johnson regular all the way back to Brick, I have never really noticed him before, but his relatively small role shines here, giving us sublime moments of of comedy as he assists Blanc and Elliot with the investigation into the death of his hero.
SR: Yeah, I think it’s a testament to Johnson’s writing and direction that every single character shines, no matter how small the part.
BR: Regarding the “absurdly white,” in other hands the racial commentary could have been heavy-handed and hollow but here it slithers and slides, both hysterically funny and pointedly real. Each Thrombey literally prefaces the mention of Marta with her South American country of origin. The problem is no one has paid enough attention to actually know where she is from … your Brazillian Nurse, Dad’s nurse from Uraguay, The Peruvian nurse, etc. As Blanc probes and prods, the rich Thrombey’s start to fray at the seems, revealing their true colors and fully baked-in entitlement. Silly turns serious, and serious turns absurd, but without ever feeling preachy or giving up the pure glee experienced by the audience.
SR: Yeah, I went in expecting a standard mystery thriller, I had no idea it would have so much social commentary. I totally agree that it’s not too heavy handed. It avoids a clean political moral-of-the-story, and opts to skewer class rather than party. The Trump supporting members of the family come across as ignorant assholes, but so does Harlan’s grandaughter Meg (Katherine Langford), a perpetual liberal arts student. At first it seems Meg is Marta’s only sincere ally in the Thrombey family, but as soon as her stake of Harlan’s fortune is threatened she betrays Marta, slyly threatening to have her mother deported. Apparently greed, selfishness, and racism are non-partisan.
BR: So true … assholes exist all around! And this movie never sits still on politics or any topic. The shifiting tones set it up to do things totally wierd and unexpected one after the other. We actually get a comical car chase in the middle of the mayhem as Marta attempts to outrun the police in her 175 horsepower Huyundai. This is not your grandmothers Agatha Christie.
SR: Yes, it’s a pretty mundane car chase by action movie standards, but the slow-going Huyundai is used to raise the stakes. Every scene, and most are basically just people talking to each other, has all the excitement of a setpiece. This movie is impeccably, thoughtfully crafted in all departments, and is a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying experience.
SR: I give Knives Out 10 donut holes out of 10 donuts.
BR: And I give it 10 knives out of 10 sharp objects. Go see this movie!
Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is a wildly successful mystery writer and he’s dead. His housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him with a slit throat and the knife still in his hand. It looks like suicide, but there are some questions. After all, who really slits their own throat? A couple of cops (the wonderful pair of LaKeith Stanfield and Noah Segan) come to the Thrombey estate do a small investigation, just to make sure they’re not missing anything, and the film opens with their conversations with each of the Thrombey family members. Daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a successful businesswoman with a shit husband named Richard (Don Johnson) and an awful son named Ransom (Chris Evans). Son Walt (Michael Shannon) runs the publishing side, but he’s been fighting a lot with dear old dad. Daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) is deep into self-help but has been helping herself by ripping off the old man. Finally, there’s Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), the real heroine of “Knives Out” and Harlan’s most trusted confidante. Can she help solve the case?
The case may have just been closed if not for the arrival of the famous detective Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, who spins a southern drawl and oversized ego into something instantly memorable. Blanc was delivered a news story about the suicide and envelope of money. So someone thinks this is fishy. Why? And who? The question of who brought in Blanc drives the narrative as much as who killed Harlan. Johnson is constantly presenting viewers with the familiar, especially fans of the mystery movie—the single palatial setting, the family of monsters, the exaggerated detective—but then he subverts them every so slightly, and it feels fresh. So while Blanc feels like a Poirot riff, Johnson and Craig avoid turning it into a caricature of something we’ve seen before.
Sharp Knife Movie Quotes
Craig is delightful—I love the excitement in his voice when he figures things out late in the film—but some of the cast gets lost. It’s inevitable with one this big, but if you’re going to “Knives Out” for a specific actor or actress, be aware that it’s a large ensemble piece and your fave may get short shrift. Unless your favorite is Ana de Armas, who is really the heart of the movie, allowing Johnson to imbue “Knives Out” with some wonderful political commentary. The Thrombeys claim to love Marta, even if they can’t remember which South American country she comes from, and Don Johnson gets a few razor sharp scenes as the kind of guy who rants about immigration before quoting “Hamilton.” It’s not embedded in the entire piece as much as “Get Out,” but this “Out” is similar in the way it uses genre structure to say something about wealth and social inequality. And in terms of performance, the often-promising de Armas has never been handed a role this big, and she totally delivers.