Lionsgate's Knives Out-The Crazy, Fun Whodunit That We Deserve

Hell, any of them could've done it.

Knives Out is a 2019 mystery film directed by Rian Johnson, written by Ram Bergman and Rian Johnson, produced by MRC and T-Street, and distributed by Lionsgate. The film stars Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but did not win. This is the first film in the Knives Out franchise. It will be followed by Knives Out 2.

“I suspect foul play." -Benoit Blanc

Plot


Benoit Blanc is investigating the reported suicide of Harlan Thrombey, the patriarch of a large dysfunctional family. Blanc takes on Harlan's caretaker, Marta Cabrera, as an assistant in the investigation. As more secrets are revealed, Blanc looks deeper into Harlan's death, knowing that suicide was just a cover up for a murder...and everyone is a suspect.


Positive Aspects


The first thing that I have is the script and story. The movie is incredibly clever. Things that are said in the beginning of the film that are regarded as quips or jokes end up mattering in the end. Everything that is stated comes up later in the movie. The movie also keeps you guessing. There are tons of twists and turns throughout the film, and a lot of them are surprising. The movie is also very funny. The script is full of witty banter and dialogue between the family and Blanc and the other detectives.


The second thing is the characters. Every character, even the assistant cop that is barely in it, has some stereotype or has some prominence throughout the film. They are all quirky and weird, and you like some of them and you hate some of them. The beginning of the film introduces you to all of them, and you feel like you know every one of them personally. They are all developed greatly and they each have special moments where they do something important or they say something funny.


The performances are all memorable. Daniel Craig is a standout. He is very precise and really acts like a Sherlock Holmes-type detective. His accent is a little bit off, but it seems as though it is meant to be over the top, and it doesn't really distract you. Chris Evans is fantastic as the black sheep of the family. He has some really funny moments, and he has some outright vile moments. Ana de Armas gives it her all through most of the film. She does have some places where she is a little more bland, but for the most part, she is really good. Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer and Lakeith Stanfield are all great as the supporting cast. You remember every character, with the exception of one, but they are a phenomenal cast.


Negative Aspects


The biggest negative that I have is on Jaeden Martell's character. He has almost no lines, he's not memorable, and they wasted a good actor on a character who does nothing but sit in the background on his phone. In an ensemble of great characters, his sticks out like a sore thumb because of how wasted he was.


The second thing is on the first part of the film. The film begins with the detectives interviewing the family, and it does feel longer than necessary. When I saw it for the second time, though, it did seem a lot shorter.


The final thing is more of a nitpick, but the final reveal is a little bit obvious. I think that the explanation is actually really good, but the reveal doesn't really have any jolt of surprise that some of the other reveals had.


Final Score


Despite a wasted character and a slow start, this is an overall great whodunit and a great film.


I will give it a Sweet rating. Age range is 11+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"Knives Out"


Fun Factor: 9/10

Acting: 9/10

Story: 9.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Quality: 9/10


WHERE TO WATCH

Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent

Apple TV+: Available for rent


Directed by Rian Johnson


Released on November 27, 2019


Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements, disturbing themes and behavior, brief violence


2 hours and 10 minutes


Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc

Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera

Chris Evans as Ransom Drysdale

Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey

Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale

Toni Colette as Joni Thrombey

Michael Shannon as Walter Thrombey

Katherine Langford as Meg Thrombey

Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale

Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey

LaKeith Stanfield as Lieutenant Elliott