The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc knows for sure — everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Now, Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth.
Watch the Trailer
Directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out is one of the most purely entertaining films in years. It is the work of an elite cinematic art, something that keeps us focused on what the left hand is doing and miss the right one. And, in this case, it’s not just a wildly fun mystery to untangle but a scornful bit of social commentary about where America is in 2019.
All time successful mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is dead and the reason is unknown. His housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him with a slit throat and the knife still in his hand which appears to be a suicide, but there are some unanswered questions. After all, who really slits their own throat out of no reason?. There could be, but it’s not found yet. A couple of cops (duo of LaKeith Stanfield and Noah Segan) come to the Thrombey estate to do a small investigation, just to make sure they’re not missing anything, and the film opens with their conversations with each of the Thrombey family members. Daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a successful businesswoman with an idiot husband named Richard (Don Johnson) and an awful son named Ransom (Chris Evans). Son Walt (Michael Shannon) runs the publishing side, but he’s been fighting a lot with dear old dad. Daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) is deep into self-help but has been helping herself by ripping off the old man. Finally, there’s Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s registered nurse and the most trusted confidante.
The case may have been just remained in the book covered with dust when all of a sudden the appearance of a renowned detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) brings the actual twist in the story, the reason behind his arrival shall remain a suspense till the end of the movie. Being a detective, Craig speaks facts with complete affirmation and confidence to each and every character. He keeps that fine glimpse in the eyes, the hope and faith in untangling the truth that someone might know, but is hiding from everyone. On the other hand Marta plays a very charming role of the Protagonist where she equally loves and supports all the members irrespective of their hatred towards her. But at the end it’s Blanc who stands by her and explains her the fact that how deep the rabbit hole is in which she has been repeatedly falling all this time.
Knives Out snaps visually, although regular collaborator Steve Yedlin never allows his cinematography to get too flashy to distract from the mystery or chorus. It’s a film that works because of Johnson’s visible love for the genre, but never becomes too referential. A lot of talented directors have returned to genre movies after making a fortune and brought too much self-awareness with them, but that’s not the case here. Knives Out is all about breaking the puzzle pieces and connect them in a different manner to complete the picture, less like “think out of the box” and more like “break and create”.