Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★

Knives Out presents itself as a vivacious blend of both the old and the new. It may appear to a good old-fashioned whodunit on the surface, but when phrases such as "alt-right Nazi troll" and "I read a tweet about a profile on you in The New Yorker", you're aware of the fact that the surprises lying ahead in shadows are vastly different from what a typical murder mystery offers.

The extremely affluent Thrombey family of suburban Massachusetts is rattled by the death of 85 year old patriarch Harlan (Christopher Plummer), a successful novelist who specializes in twisted tales of murder and deception. When he's discovered dead the morning after his birthday party, Detectives Blanc (Daniel Craig) and Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) are called in to investigate. The suspects could be anyone in the family. Could it be Harlan's daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), her husband Richard (Don Johnson), and their son Ransom (Chris Evans)? Or is it his daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) and her daughter Meg (Katherine Langford)? Or even his son Walt (Michael Shannon)? Maybe it wasn't even someone related to him...something's up with the mysterious nurse Marta (Ana de Armas, the MVP). Is she the killer?

I'm going to keep my mouth shut about all of the turns and storytelling tricks that happen during this wildly entertaining rollercoaster of a film, but it ultimately becomes a much thematically richer exploration of America than one would expect. Rian Johnson masterfully directs and writes the hell out of his cast and story, crafting a marvelous five-course feast with plenty of treats to offer.

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