“Knives Out” Review: A Brilliant Whodunnit

Writer-Director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is an immediate classic.

After writing and directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, many were curious how Rian Johnson would follow up his divisive take on the Star Wars saga. The result is a classic murder mystery starring Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Christopher Plummer. With a cast that big and that impressive, it was guaranteed that the film had to have some merit to it, and boy does this film deliver.

The central mystery behind the film is the murder of the family patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Plummer), a rich mystery writer, with his own publishing company through which he releases his books. When Harlan dies the night of his 85th birthday party, his death is initially ruled as a suicide. But things become more complicated when Private Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) is hired to investigate the death, without any knowledge of who hired him. Blanc works with Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (de Armas), who throws up any time she attempts to lie, to discover what truly happened the night of Harlan’s murder.

Daniel Craig - Knives Out
Image via Lionsgate

The film brings about phenomenal performances from every single cast member. Each one of them delivers the type of performance you’d expect to be nominated for numerous awards, no matter the screen time. Johnson also does a great job of making sure that we get an even amount of time with nearly every single cast member, so that we not only see them shine, but can truly understand each of these characters fully. Their performances and the intricacies of their individual characters help make this an entertaining ride that is worth more than the desire for answers.

In terms of the mystery at hand, there’s little to say without giving away some major plot points, but this is a film that will take you by surprise no matter what. It gives you everything you need to know, and makes you feel safe, before pulling the rug out from under you repeatedly. Johnson has truly crafted one of the most ingenious mysteries I have seen in recent years, and what may be one of the greatest mystery films of all time. His characters are colorful and brilliant, the plot and pacing of the film are exemplary, every single aspect of this film is wonderful and fun.

This is the type of film we don’t get as often. In an age of reboots and superhero films versus the arthouse pictures that win awards, this is an award worthy fun time at the theatre. It’s the type of film you’ll want to watch over and over again, and that you will fall in love with within the first few scenes. Rian Johnson and the cast and crew truly delivered a perfect film with Knives Out, and it’s one that will likely become a favorite of anyone who loves film in any way shape or form.

Rating: A+

Knives Out is currently playing in theaters, get tickets here!

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Knives Out Poster
Image via Lionsgate
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 5 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow 
@alex5348 on Twitter)



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