Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★

The deadly blades in Rian Johnson’s return to a much more condensed style of filmmaking are always on display in Knives Out, whether in literal or figurative form. After dealing with whiny fanboys complaining about his transformation of the Star Wars franchise from a nostalgic fan-service vehicle into possibly the best entry to date, it’s hard not to believe the title plays into some of his recent experiences and acts as something of a cathartic kickback against all the undue criticism that was sent his way.

While this is a smaller affair than the life-and-death stakes played out in a galaxy far, far away, Johnson has handpicked a super-sized ensemble who have all been perfectly cast in their respective roles. Of the films Johnson has made previously it most closely resembles his puzzle-box of a debut, Brick, a film that instantly put his name on the map back in 2005. There’s always been a retro feel to Johnson’s work and his fifth feature is another throwback, this time to classic murder mystery territory, with some pleasing nods to the likes of Angela Lansbury and even a brief appearance by Blood Simple's M. Emmet Walsh.

As Daniel Craig’s private investigator Benoit Blanc would say, “the game is afoot” right from the off. Knives Out runs for a touch over two hours and has to eventually untangle itself from a complicated web of plot, which begins in the heart of the super-rich Thrombey family. The patriarch of the clan, self-made millionaire author Harlan Thrombey, is found murdered by the housemaid the morning after celebrating his 85th birthday and despite their protests of innocence, all the immediate family members are placed under suspicion.

Review continues over at The Digital Fix

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