Knives Out (2019) Movie Review


Director: Rian Johnson

Writer: Rian Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Edi Patterson, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Christopher Plummer, LaKeith Stanfield

Plot: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Tagline – Everyone has a motive. No one has a clue.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Pure Fun

Story: Knives Out starts with the apparent suicide of Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) on his 85th birthday, the family Linda (Curtis), Walt (Shannon), Richard (Johnson), Joni (Collette) Meg (Langford), Jacob (Martell) and Ransom (Evans) were all in attendance along with Harlan’s nurse Marta (Armas).

Lieutenant Elliott (Stanfield) lets private investigator Benoit Blanc (Craig) look at the events of the night after he gets an anonymous request to investigate the death believing it was murder, with the whole family have cause to potentially murder.

Thoughts on Knives Out

Characters – Benoit Blanc is a private investigator that has a connection to the family and has been given an anonymous letter to investigate the death, he has his way which unlike the normal police will push the family for the truth, knowing most are lying when they talk to him. Marta Cabrera is the nurse to Harlan, she has the closest relationship to him, knowing most of the family secrets, while just working to make sure her family is secure. Harlan is the self-made millionaire author that has started to get disappointed by the behaviour of his own children. Linda is the eldest daughter who has her own real estate business that she is proud of her work, believing she has done better than the other siblings. Walt is the youngest son who runs the publication of the books, which has always seen him try to push his father into selling the rights to entertainment sources. Richard is the husband to Linda that has been caught by Harlan being forced into telling the truth or being exposed. Joni is the daughter in the law of the deceased son that is an influencer and has been getting an allowance since her husband’s death. Ransom is the black sheep of the family, son of Linda and Richard, he has always lived the life of luxury never having to work on anything himself. Meg is the daughter of Joni that is the closest of any of the younger family members to Marta, she has seen herself be put through school but Harlan. LT Elliott is leading the investigation to the death, he is happy to put it down as suicide, but will let Benoit lead his own investigate.

PerformancesThe performances here are a pure joy, Daniel Craig gives us a career best, Ana De Armas continues to rise up the Hollywood name list, proving herself with a sweet innocent figure, Chris Evans brings to light a character complete against the type we are used to seeing form him. Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson and Toni Collette are wonderful too showing they can become anybody like we know from them. Everybody in this film is wonderful to watch.

StoryThe story here follows a private investigator who decides to investigate an apparent suicide where he will dig up the family secrets to learn there might have been foul play. This story is a who-dun-it where everybody could be a suspect as nobody wants to tell the truth and everybody is hiding the truth too. There is a unique way of telling the story that will surprise you and turn the usual flow on its head, almost pointing out just how predictable certain TV shows involving a murder are. We do have plenty to unpack through the story, though there is a slight drag through the middle of the film.

Comedy/Crime/MysteryThe comedy comes from the colourful characters we get to meet and their actions, while the crime mystery mix together to keep us guessing to the complete truth of what happened, we get plenty of references to other crime stories too.

SettingsThe film is mostly set on the grounds of the death, we have the luxury mansion, when we stay in this location everything does feel like ‘Clue’ but whether we leave it does take a little bit away from the quirky style.

Scene of the Movie – Ambulance arrives.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We never learn where Marta is from, with the on running joke she is South American, each character claims she is from a different country.

Final Thoughts This is a quirky joyful comedy that leaves you guessing to the truth with performances that shine throughout the film.

Overall: Entertaining Mystery.

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