This past Friday I had the chance to see an early screening of Knives Out. I’ve been anticipating this film for quite some time so I jumped at the chance to see it almost a week in advance. Murder mysteries are kind of my weakness. I love reading them, watching them and even trying to solve them. (Invite me to all your murder mystery dinner parties please.)
For those of you who don’t know, Knives Out is about private investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) who was anonymously asked to figure out the puzzling death of a family patriarch (Christopher Plummer) the night of his 85th birthday party. His character ironically happens to be an internationally known murder mystery writer and I think that’s such a juicy detail. Is it a murder?? Is it a suicide?? Someone knows and isn’t telling. Rian Johnson perfectly captures the essence of a classic whodunnit. It feels very Clue and Murder on the Orient Express with a modern twist.
The cast includes Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera, Harlan Thrombey’s (Christopher Plummer) caretaker, Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale, the “self-made” daughter of Harlan. Don Johnson plays her husband Richard and Chris Evans plays Ransom, their spoiled-rotten-never-worked-a-day-in-his-life son. The rest of the dysfunctional family is made up of familiar faces such as Michael Shannon as Walt Thrombey, Toni Collette as Joni, and Katherine Langford as Joni’s daughter Meg.
Each family member is held up at the mansion while they’re all questioned. This only sets up for more drama considering none of them get along. Not only does the film wow the audience with mystery, but it also silently reflects on today’s social concerns. Without giving away too much, or anything really I must keep a tight lip on what else I say. In the beginning, you’re absolutely thinking anyone of the family members could have had something to do with his death. Things don’t add up, but when the cause of death and whodunnit gets revealed within the first half-hour of the film you might think it’s smooth sailing from there. I’m here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that it is one hundred and ten percent not smooth sailing. The twists and turns start to come out like the track of an old rollercoaster and you’ll start knocking people off your mental list. None of the characters are boring to me and the baggage they carry is just overflowing with a motive for murder. Context clues are all around and I plan to see the film again in the hopes that I spot something new.
This film has dark themes, there is no denying that. However, it’s sharp and snappy and comes with some clever one-liners. With all the remakes out there I think we needed this film. Yes, I did say earlier that it channels a Clue feel, but there is so much more to unpack with this one, it feels really fresh. From me, it gets 5/5 stars, a well-deserved round of applause and I’ll be adding it to my ‘Favorite Films’ list on IMDb.
The film officially releases on Wednesday, November, 27th. Did you buy your tickets yet? After you see the film follow us and let us know your thoughts @TheCinemaSpot and if you want to read some spoiler-free tweets about Chris Evans in his cable knit sweater you can find those @msfrancescaaloe