Knives Out is a modern twist on the ‘whodunit’ genre directed by Rian Johnson, starring Ana De Armas, Daniel Craig. Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Lakeith Stanfield, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Frank Oz, Katherine Langford and Don Johnson. If that cast doesn’t make you want to go and see Knives Out, the fact that it’s one of the best films of the past few years should.
Knives Out tells the story of the Thromby family, and the mystery surrounding the death of renowned mystery novelist Harlan Thromby, played by Christopher Plummer. It’s essentially a mental game of Cluedo as a movie, with no one in the house being counted out as a suspect, with Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc attempting to get to the bottom of it all. The thing is, he doesn’t know who hired him to solve the mystery in the first place.
Almost any of them could have done it, with only nurse Marta and Great Nana Thromby the only ones who were fully accounted for on the night.
Everything about Knives Out was great. The set design and attention to detail is incredible, with each shot of the house being full of charm and giving you a real sense that this house had been lived in.
With a cast that large and with that many iconic names it’s easy for some of the cast to get lost or buried, but Knives Out ensures that every member of the cast has their time to shine, and are all involved in the entangled web of a plot. Ana De Armas stands out as Marta, Harlan’s caregiver and nurse, as well as Daniel as Benoit and Chris Evans as Ransom. Every single cast member was perfect for their role. Jamie Lee Curtis is impeccable as Linda, and Toni Collette as lifestyle guru Joni is one of the funniest, but also most believable characters I’ve seen in a while. Frank Oz’s brief appearance as Harlan’s lawyer is hilarious.
Of course, there are many twists and turns throughout the story, with each of them completely changing the story, and them each being genuinely surprising. On my second watch through of the film it was a completely different experience, with everything being cleverly hinted at throughout, with each character’s motives and actions being clear as day second time around.
Perhaps even more impressive than the brilliant plot is just how funny Knives Out manages to be. Each and every cast member brings laughs to the table, and long-running jokes that intertwine between the different family members’ accounts of what went down during and after the Harlan’s big birthday party really do give some hilarious moments.
Knives Out is a perfect mystery movie, it balancing tension and comedy materfully, and Rian Johnson ensured that every shot in the movie was beautiful to look at, and every little detail was just right. A great film to watch with your family, and I’m going to watch it again and again.