“Knives Out” stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, and Christopher Plummer. Released on November 27, 2019, the film has a master detective solving a murder mystery.
The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson, who also directed films such as “Brick”, “Looper” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. There’s no doubt about the fact that everyone loves a good mystery, especially the ones that involve murder. After helming two science-fiction films, including the divisive chapter in the popular space-opera saga. writer/director Rian Johnson decided to take a break from the genre in favor of a modern take on the murder mystery genre, complete with an all-star cast. This is actually my first time seeing him write and direct something that’s not related to sci-fi since I only knew him from his involvement in “Looper” and “The Last Jedi”. I thought he did really well in handling that type of genre, so it would be interesting for me to see if his style can handle the mystery genre as well. I was able to catch an early screening of the film last weekend so that I don’t have to worry about running into spoilers because let’s face it, it’s always better to experience these types of films firsthand without knowing anything about them. The critics who saw it before the general audience have been loving it so far for the cast and its execution, so it looks like Johnson has another critical hit on his hands. Now that I got to experience the mystery for myself, is it as compelling and entertaining as the reviews suggested?
The story centers on a successful mystery novelist named Harlan Thrombey (Plummer), who invites his dysfunctional family to his mansion for his birthday. When he mysteriously dies the next morning, it is up to private detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) to solve the case and arrest the suspect responsible for Harlan’s death. This is exactly all that you need to know about the film’s plot because mystery films tend to be spoiler-heavy, and I don’t do spoilers in my reviews. The film is said to be influenced by several mystery classics such as “The Last of Sheila”, “Murder on the Orient Express”, and “Clue”, so if you’ve seen any of them, you’ll easily understand what you’re getting yourself into in “Knives Out”. Without giving too much away, it is a quirky and suitably-paced whodunit that offers a unique and modern take on the classic mystery genre, and I loved every minute of it. The story that was brought to the table did seem a bit risky at first, but thanks to Johnson’s stylistic vision and his ingenious screenplay, it paid off extremely well. This is honestly one of those types of experiences that you have to see for yourself with a clear mind because it offered plenty of effective twists that made the film much more engaging and, more importantly, highly entertaining. One of the biggest highlights for me has to be the brilliant cast, ranging from Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc to Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey. There was never a dull moment to be found when these talented actors were on screen together in terms of the witty humor and the performances. Chris Evans was, without a doubt, the best of the bunch as Harlan’s grandson, Hugh Drysdale. His character was a pretty big butthole, but he had the right mixture of charm and annoyance to make me not want to stab his eyes out. The film’s cinematography and editing were just as sharp as an ordinary knife, and its score by Nathan Johnson was flawless.
Overall, Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” is a mystery that’s worth investigating. It’s an amusing and extremely well-written whodunit that not only pays tribute to the genre, but also flips it around to great effect. Thanks to its fantastic cast, Rian Johnson’s script, Nathan Johnson’s score, and its cinematography, this is one of the most riveting and entertaining mystery films I have ever witnessed. The best part about that is that it’s an original project. I wish I could explain it even further, but again, it’s the type of film that you just have to see for yourself. I would gladly recommend this film to anyone who’s a fan of the mystery genre.