Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★½

I'm not much of a parlor mystery fan - I like my criminals desperate and my detectives street-level and possibly drunk - but I am a Rian Johnson fan. And I found him via Brick, which also took an old style of mystery story and made it modern and relatable, so I've been looking forward to this one.

We open the movie with what amounts to a series of cop interviews, where, thanks to flashbacks, we know that every Goddamned person involved is lying through their teeth, and everyone involved has a motive, because everyone involved is a fucking scumbag. Except for master detective Daniel Craig, who is an archetype the way that Joseph Gordon Levitt was in Brick: he's got the accent to show he's from somewhere else, the classic tweed suit, and the ability to see through bullshit.

There's a nifty gimmick in that the apparent killer has a tic: if they lie, they throw up. So we spend a good bunch of time watching that person shadow Craig, trying to innocently eliminate evidence in a way that doesn't cause anyone to ask them any questions that might cause a mighty chunder.

There's a huge amount of plot here, and machinations upon machinations, and writing about them becomes difficult on my seventh beer of a long holiday weekend but -

Holy shit! The car chase where Daniel Craig and the cops are chasing Captain America and the hologram from Blade Runner 2049? That's Moody Street in Waltham, MA! I lived two blocks from there for almost 10 years! That place with the green awning, Frugal Framers? That's where I got all my comic art framed for a decade! My favorite comic store, The Outer Limits, is a half block up the hill from there!

Anyway, this is a tough movie to write up late on a Saturday night. The characters are all charming, the plot convoluted but convincing, with an old school parlor reveal where the detective walks through the crime with the suspects in the room. The whole mystery hangs together, the people feel real, and it is a strong piece of engaging entertainment.

tl;dr: When in Waltham, buy your comic books at The Outer Limits, 437 Moody Street! Just a block up from Frugal Framers, as seen in the major motion picture, Knives Out!

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