Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★

"A doughnut hole within a doughnut's hole". 

Those of you who know me, know that I love playing armchair Detective (especially you, Ryan). So I'm going to give director/writer Rian Johnson a lot of credit for weaving a web of shadows and deceit so well that it had me going for quite a bit. To his credit and mine, the attention to detail within this soon to be classic seasonal all-star whodunnit is so well handled that it allows you to solve the circular puzzle as soon as you can place them together. That sounds a bit redundant or obvious, but let me explain a bit. What I mean to say, is that Johnson's insightful yet hinting script and his crew's excellent set design give you just enough crumbs to create your own toast. The film supplies you with everything you need to solve the mystery before it exposes itself for real. Knives Out has some excellent pacing and such a memorable script that even if you wanted to, the amount of fun will override any attempts to dig into its not too convoluted plot. While the film reveals it's hand shockingly early, its own revelation commences an entirely separate mystery. It does not detract from the experience one bit, because you genuinely have to be combing with a magnifying lens to catch the pieces, and I mean combing with a very very fine French ivory comb. It must have only been by the last 45ish minutes, where I was able to truly solve it. And I must say that the closing moments served as quite the tasteful grand finale, tying all the previous strings together beautifully. You know that the closing shot will be looked back at with immense fondness and cheeky grins. Knives Out is with absolute certainty and beyond a reasonable doubt, a strongly recommended film! Whether it be eccentric characters, a witty script, relatable familial drama, politics at the dinner table, obscure Thomas Pynchon jokes, or just a thoroughly crafted murder mystery, Rian Johnson delivers in sharp style. I strongly encourage viewing this with a crowd, your family (dad film confirmed), and I will wholeheartedly be heading to see it again ASAP. In the mean time, I strongly recommend reading, The Westing Game.


While the ensemble cast boasts quite a myriad of heavy-hitting veteran actors, the standouts are by far, the aforementioned Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig (who will both be reprising a partnership in No Time to Die). This film is their sharpened knife, and they are deftly wielding it in leathery gloved hands. I have no hesitation in claiming that this will be one of their career highlights as time progresses. It's worth noting that Ana de Armas, while being a recognisable name and actress, has yet to truly explode on the scene. With a breakthrough role in Blade Runner 2049 and some minor relegated to loving wife roles from War Dogs and Hands of Stone, she's has been on a steady rise since Knock Knock. It's safe to say that her central carrying role as Marta in Knives Out, has solidified that she is capable of leading a film, and I look forward to her Marilyn Monroe collaboration with Andrew Dominick. I was quite disappointed with the lack of Jaime Lee Curtis and Michael Shannon, while Don Johnson and Toni Collette were given slightly more to play around with. It's clear that perhaps the film bit off just a little more than it could afford in terms of cast screen time allowance. But those that were given a nice portion in the screentime's will, like Craig, Armas, Chris Evans, and even Christopher Plummer -to a certain late in his filmography state-, chewed up their screen time without remorse. Knives Out has what can be argued as being one of the best-edited trailers of the year, and regardless of some minor gripes, the cast is quite tastefully hilarious in their respective moments, as advertised. I would argue that there isn't a lot of chemistry amongst the family members, but that might be more telling and beneficial to the film's central theme of toxic familial relationships and greed. What better set up to have the whodunnit than a family funeral, whereas many of us know too well, the true intentions and personas come to surface. 


Go watch it with your family, then spend your family Thanksgiving comparing how similar your household quarrels are. Knives Out offers something for everyone, from a generationally varied cast, a classic aesthetic set in the modern world, to a highlights reel of dinner table topics. It's no shock that this modernised whodunnit take worked so well, seeing how Johnson's updated take on film noir with, Brick, is highly regarded. Perhaps this will get more people to actually check out his underrated heist caper, The Brothers Bloom. Knives Out both lived up to its grand hype and is a bona fide best of the year, featuring one of the best closing shots.




Block or Report

👹 Lee, liked these reviews