Movie Review - Knives Out: Out and out intriguing

An Agatha Christie like murder mystery shanghaied by a sterling and supremely able A-list cast, this film, a suicide/murder investigation in a palatial setting with every quirky family member having reason enough to be a suspect for the death of the patriarch, who died during his 85th birthday celebration, is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Movie Review - Knives Out: Out and out intriguing

Knives Out

Johnson Thomas

An Agatha Christie like murder mystery shanghaied by a sterling and supremely able A-list cast, this film, a suicide/murder investigation in a palatial setting with every quirky family member having reason enough to be a suspect for the death of the patriarch, who died during his 85th birthday celebration, is sure to bring a smile to your face. Rian Johnson’s (of Star Wars fame) direction is confident and sure-footed as he corals his cast into pulling off a slight-of- hand, so-to-speak, before getting to the big reveal.

Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), the wildly successful mystery writer is found by his housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) with a slit in his throat and the knife in his hands. It could be a possible suicide, but there are some questions. The cops (LaKeith Stanfield and Noah Segan) are called in and the investigation begins. Famous Detective Benoit Blanc (an egoistically flamboyant Daniel Craig) also comes in on the scene a little late, brought in by a news story about the suicide and envelope of money. Whodunit, why and who lured Blanc into the investigations are the questions that keep us glued to this intriguing narrative.

The film opens with the questioning of each family member. Daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), a successful businesswoman, her husband Richard (Don Johnson) and son Ransom (Chris Evans) awful enough to be suspects, Linda’s brother Walt (Michael Shannon), who runs the publishing business, but has not been seeing eye-to-eye with Harlan is yet another, Joni (Toni Collette) also has an insidious secret and Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s most trusted confidante is just as eager as the cops to solve the case.

The plotting is assured, the dialogues keep us glued, the tempo is happening and the mystery with equal amounts of spice is thoroughly intriguing. Johnson’s Knives Out is generic but it also has sharp commentary about the wealthy and their predilection for maintaining a social hierarchy. The ensemble cast is on the ball throughout but it’s de Armas, who delivers a career defining performance. This one is wonderfully intricate and goes about getting to the killer in a masterful roundabout way.

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