Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★★

"Everyone Has A Motive. No One Has A Clue"

This has been a film I've known about for at least a year now if not two. Shortly after Johnson finished "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", he began production on this film. At the time, all that was known about it was that it was described as a modern mystery/thriller and how stacked the excellent cast was to boot. Fast forward about a year and a half later and the film is now out in all it's glory for the world to see.

I'm a fan of Johnson's work as a director. I think "Looper" is still one of the best sci-fi thrillers I've seen in the last decade and I also really enjoyed and appreciated "Star Wars: The Last Jedi". I know that film was heavily divisive but I still remain on the side that really liked it. I have yet to see his film "Brick" but I've heard very positive things about it. Getting back to this film, I was already locked in but then the first trailer came out and I got EVEN more pumped to see it. Now that I have, what did I think?

I think this film is a BRILLIANT deconstruction of the mystery genre. Practically every character gets their moment to shine. The locations and sets are exquisitely detailed and intricate. The cinematography is breathtaking. the script is super sharp and witty and the music is very reminiscent of "Clue" and "Murder On The Orient Express". It all just comes together so well to create one of the most twisty and entertaining films I've seen this year. So let's discuss.

The performances. As I briefly stated above, they are all incredibly strong. Craig is clearly having a ball as the suave private investigator "Benoit Blanc" who boasts a killer southern drawl. He was riveting to watch. Evans gleefully plays the black sheep of the family "Ransom Drysdale". He was snarky, entitled and completely full of himself. Armas' immigrant nurse "Marta Cabrera" was good hearted, kind and pure. I'm glad she's getting more prominent roles cause she's very talented. Curtis plays the feisty oldest daughter "Linda Thrombey" with a ferocity and intimidation that I don't think I've ever seen from her.

Shannon's "Walt Thrombey" is a eccentric and driven individual who isn't afraid to take the gloves off if necessary. Johnson's opinionated wife to Linda, "Richard Thrombey" is a unapologetic and manipulative character that has his own secrets and demons. Colette's "Joni Thrombey" is an eccentric and obsessive owner of a fashion company not unlike Kim Kardashian in many ways. Plummer's patriarch of the family and renowned crime writer "Harlan Thrombey" is as compelling and captivating as one might expect. Langford's daughter to Joni, "Meg Thrombey" is a selfish yet caring weed smoker who cares most about her education. Martell's son to Walt, "Jacob Thrombey" is sadly not given as much to do. He's described as "politically active" and is usually always on his cell phone when he's present in scenes. Lastly Stanfield's "Lieutenant Elliot" is another strong edition that has great interplay with all the other characters.

Let's jump right on over to the cinematography and set design. This film is absolutely GORGEOUS. The titular mansion's interior is like looking at a life size "Clue" board. I especially loved the cornucopia of knives that was shown/used heavily throughout the film. Aside from that, everything is just shot to perfection. This should be no surprise as frequent Johnson collaborator Steve Yedlin returned to shoot this film right after working on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi". The film just looks so crisp and colorful. I ate it up.

Before we conclude, let's talk about the music. I LOVED it. Atmospheric, bombastic and recalling the old fashioned mysteries of the past decades. It fit the film's tone perfectly and Nathan Johnson did a wonderful job of composing this score. Having composed film's like "Looper" and "Kill The Messenger", he clearly knows how to evoke a range of strong feelings from his audience.

In conclusion, this film continued to impress me throughout. The characters are very memorable, the locations and cinematography are flawless, the music is spot on with the genre and the script is easily one of the best of the year. It's twisty, wickedly smart and often very funny. For a film that's 2 hours and 10 minutes long, it flew by! I honestly didn't want it to end. I can't wait to watch it again and I highly recommend seeing it if you haven't already. With all of that said, I'm going to give "Knives Out" 5/5 stars.

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