Directed by Rian Johnson, ‘Knives Out’ is a modern take on the classic ‘whodunit’ story centered around a family suspected of murdering their wealthy patriarch. The detective, played by Daniel Craig, has ruled everyone a suspect, and everyone has some type of motive. This movie is designed to reveal secrets as it goes, and before the screening even started, director Rian Johnson put a clip out asking us to do one thing — not spoil ‘whodunit’ — so that’s as far into the story I will go. What I can say is that Johnson once again takes the rules and breaks them in this hilarious and unique murder mystery that I loved watching!
Firstly, there is a star-studded cast, so let’s list them off: Ana De Armas, Tony Collette, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, and more! The cast dynamic is so rich and familiar and all of the back and forth within the family and their relationships seems so natural. Every character is elaborate in their appearance with fantastic costume design and their unique quirks; it’s like watching a Clue game but for the Bluths.
The standout performances for me came from Ana De Armas, who played Christopher Plummer’s in-home nurse. She’s an actress who is standing out in every film I watch her in, and she does her best work in this. She’s the lynchpin to the story and carries the weight of the film with grace and ease. The other Daniel Craig, who has a foghorn leghorn like accent that maybe seems too heavy handed for some, but to me I adored! I would put either up for the best performance in this movie no doubt.
Director Rian Johnson has a lot to say in this film’s subtext and presents everything very eloquently. The messages never seem overbearing or deviating from the story; however, they are statements to which the movie holds firm. I really respect Johnson not only from coming from the B.S. backlash he has received (and granted, dished out as well) from ‘The Last Jedi’. He has been able to move quickly into a truly entertaining film that is great for everyone watching.
The great thing about Rian Johnson films is how easily he can take a genre film like a murder mystery and not only keep it relevant but also mess with the fundamentals of it to elevate it to something unexpected. I really loved the structure of this film and how unique it is today.
If there was anything to mention or prepare you for going in is that yes, it’s political and depending on where you lean you may not enjoy some of the undertones subtle or unsubtle as they are in the movie. It would be an absolute shame to condemn such a great film based on your own political views so if you can leave that at the door and simply enjoy the mystery, you are going to have a blast!
Overall, ‘Knives Out’ is a blast! Again don’t spoil this movie for yourself, go in with knowing as little as possible and you, like myself, will have one of the best times in the theater of 2019.
I’m giving ‘Knives Out’ a 9/10