Movie Review: Knives Out

John Sabato, Writer

The Whodunit angle in entertainment has been around for decades, giving fans character-driven stories that focus on one thing and one thing only: Who did it? It’s been years since a good murder mystery movie made its way onto the scene, and thankfully Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” succeeds in almost every way possible. Giving viewers a nail-biter of a mystery that you may think you figured out but is so much more than it seems. The star-studded cast led by Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, and Daniel Craig can’t help but elevate the movie to a higher level with the fantastic and clever writing they’re provided with. Shockingly this movie is side-splitting at times; I didn’t expect this much comedy from a murder mystery thriller.

“Knives Out” is centered around the suspicious “suicide” of the father of the Thrombey family: Harlon, the wildly successful murder mystery novel writer, who, even in death, can tell a great mystery. Everything is turned upside down when detective Benoit Blanc shows up, claiming to be mysteriously hired via an envelope with a newspaper clipping and a wad of cash. As the mystery ensues, Benoit carefully begins to interrogate those closest to Harlon, eliminating no suspects in the process. Everyone had a motive but which of them would be willing to take it to the next level and kill? It was all eyes on Harlon’s personal nurse, Marta, after the reading of the will had uncovered that Harlon had left everything to her including the fortune, the house, and the publishing company. But how could it have been Marta if she had left by twelve and Harlon was seen soon after? All is answered as the mystery unravels further. 

The cast is one of the movie’s crowning achievements.The film’s focus is entirely on the Thrombey Family and the man who is sent their to unravel the mystery Played by Daniel Craig, Benoit Blanc is full of charisma and eagerness with a thick Louisiana accent that adds to the charm of his character. Craig’s character is really the one that is able to tie the story together and keep things going. His energy and tenacity to get to the bottom of the case and figure out who hired him keep and Blanc doesn’t stop for a second. The rest of the cast is great, but they don’t get nearly as much screen time as some characters in the film. But with what screen time they had and I felt many of the family members were properly fleshed out and made the mystery even more enticing. Especially with their cutthroat interactions between each other. From the desperation of Michael Shannon’s’ Walt Thrombey to the inclusiveness and wokeness of Katherine Langford’s Meg Thrombey, everyone has a role to play in this story. 

 “Knives Out” Is one of the finest films of this year, rivaling against even the best this year has to offer. The brilliant performances from the cast of the film who are given clever and excellent dialogue make the film even better than it already is with its conundrum of a story. It’s a nice break from the world of CGI blockbusters that release every weekend, and reminds viewers what cinema really can be. I recommend everyone get out and support ‘Knives Out” and remember what cinema is really about.