- “Knives Out” is a highly enjoyable murder mystery with a star cast.
- Performances from Daniel Craig and Chris Evans will keep you engaged and laughing throughout.
- The film’s subplot, which isn’t obvious from marketing, may turn off some viewers.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Knives Out” delivers a delightful, over-the-top whodunit that will keep most people guessing until its very end.
The Thrombey family is brought together after the mysterious death of the family’s patriarch, world famous crime novelist, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). As the police and detective are brought in to investigate, it’s quickly discovered that just about each member of the offbeat Thrombey clan has a motive for offing Harlan.
If you liked “Clue” – the quintessential murder mystery of the ’80s – you’ll be satisfied with “Knives Out” which is filled with an equally eccentric ensemble played by A-listers.
Why you should care: It stars a lot of people you’ll recognise and comes from the director of the last ‘Star Wars’ movie.
Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Lakeith Stanfeld, Toni Collette, and Frank Oz are just some of the actors who round out this very large ensemble.
The director of the divisive “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Rian Johnson, brings the script to screen. The Agatha Christie-inspired film is something Johnson wanted to make since his 2012 film “Looper,” but then “Star Wars” came around. Johnson said “The Last Jedi” fan backlash actually helped inspire a character in the film.
What’s hot: Daniel Craig and Chris Evans light up every scene and a smart script
Who knew Captain America was pretty funny? Though it takes a while for his character, Ransom, to get a good chunk of screen time, Evans is hilarious as the family’s spoiled playboy. The only one who outshines him is Craig as a colourful, and equally humorous, private eye who won’t rest until he gets to the truth of Harlan’s death.
From the moment he enters the film you know Craig’s character, Benoit Blanc, is going to be something special. as family members are interrogated one by one by, Blanc sits inconspicuously in the background. He doesn’t speak a word. He doesn’t introduce himself. He’s just mysteriously there. Every now and then he strikes a piano key to let people know of his existence until he’s finally called out and reveals himself to be a private detective. It’s bizarre. It’s funny. And that’s the tone of most of this quirky, doughnut-loving PI.
The entire ensemble is rather enjoyable as a bickering, spoiled family who are ready to sell each other down the river to ensure their inheritance no matter the price.
The film works overall because of a witty and self-aware script from Johnson that delivers unexpected twists and turns and genuine laughs that make fun of everything from the wealthy to influencers. A riveting score from Nathan Tyler Johnson helps tie it all together.
Whats not: A bit of a bait and switch in the story may not sit well with everyone.
Lionsgate is heavily marketing “Knives Out” as a simple murder mystery. What viewers may not expect, and may be a bit turned off by, is that the film serves as immigration commentary disguised as a whodunnit.
I won’t say more in that regard to preserve the film experience. But the surprise will either delight or make viewers groan. In that respect, some may find the film to be a bit overhyped.
Frankly, it would have been a tougher sell to get butts in seats if the marketing was more forthright in sharing the movie’s full scope. But it does offer one of the film’s smartest and most enjoyable running gags by showing how immigrants and those of different races are often lumped together.
The bottom-line: You’ll have a fun time with this for Daniel Craig’s performance alone.
It’s refreshing to see Craig and Evans out of their super spy and superhero personas, having, what appears to be, genuine fun in a film where they could let their guard down a bit and be a bit silly.
If you like a good murder mystery, you should leave most pleased as you watch this wealthy family tear themselves apart. If you’re really good at solving film twists, you may be a bit bummed by solving this one early. Even if you do outsmart Johnson’s script, it’s still an enjoyable ride to the finish. This is “Clue” for millennials.
“Knives Out” is in theatres Friday, November 27. You can watch a trailer for the movie below.
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