'Knives Out' Review

(Lionsgate)

Synopsis

When a crime novelist dies just after his 85th birthday, an inquisitive detective arrives at his estate to investigate. He soon sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind the writer’s untimely demise.

Knives Out, the first film from director Rian Johnson following Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is without question the most fun movie of 2019. The ensemble cast, headlined by Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, is absolutely perfect for this film, bringing incredible humor and intrigue to a brilliant whodunit.

This film knocks pretty much everything out of the park. The story is awesome, and it has the perfect amount of twists and turns for its murder mystery genre. The movie is also hilarious, and despite it being centered on a murder, may be one of the funniest movies of the year. It’s lough-out-loud funny at parts, as the dysfunction of the Thrombey clan makes every gag, every twist and every turn that much funnier.

The cast is dynamite. Daniel Craig, who plays detective Benoit Blanc, is charming, witty and one of the few characters in the film you find yourself rooting for. Craig is brilliant in the role of the southern, slow-talking detective. His accent is spot on (it’s not the first time we’ve heard him with a great country accent, as he was also fantastic in Logan Lucky). He is charming to the point where you almost melt at every word he says, and he is the perfect detective for a whodunit like this.

The rest of the cast is also good. Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Riki Lindhome are all perfect for their roles. Each of them, apart from Plummer and Stanfield, plays a completely ridiculous member of the Thombrey family. Evans has the biggest role, and he plays the role of an unlikeable snob really well for someone trying to shake off the glow of being Captain America for so many years.

Stanfield is great as a detective, though less charming and charismatic than Craig. Plummer portrays the family patriarch, entirely in flashbacks to the night of his murder. He’s a moral compass for a completely immoral family, and he’s loving, heartwarming and hopeful.

While all those performances were brilliant in their own right, there is no one that steals the show in this movie more than de Armas. She is absolutely electric as Marta Cabrera, the nurse of Plummer’s Harlan Thombrey. De Armas completely owns this role. She’s lovable and loyal to Harlan, but also isn’t one to be messed with. As the movie goes along, so to does her confidence. She is an absolutely phenomenal protagonist, though not one that is completely innocent. Her development throughout the movie is breathtaking, and the performance delivered by de Armas is completely captivating.

This movie leaves you on the edge of your seat. Each time you think it is going one way, it pivots toward another. The ending, while not entirely unpredictable, is satisfying and a great wrap up for a really fun, enjoyable movie. If going to the movies for enjoyment and fun is your thing, this is the perfect movie. And from a more cinematic standpoint, it does almost everything right as well. It is shot beautifully, and is also incredibly paced.

Johnson delivers a near perfect movie with Knives Out. It’s funny, captivating, thrilling, fun and more.

Rating: 98/100

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