Knives Out ★★★½

Knives Out is a distinctly 2019 film that's filled to the brim with wit. Rian Johnson's screenplay is really expressive, and it's self-aware enough that even when it doesn't fully work it's still fun to experience. Unlike in a lot of other plot twist-driven movies, Johnson makes sure to supplement the plot with solid characters and pointed thematic direction. His infamous desire to subvert the audience's expectations worked out really well here. It's a whodunit parody in a way I wasn't expecting, and the surprisingly apt political commentary came out of nowhere. Knives Out isn't a work of genius but it's a fun blockbuster that's accessible to a wide audience. It's not funny because it insists upon itself, but because so many people behind the scenes clearly had fun making it. The performances were great, the writing was solid, and the direction was stylish. There's a reason why it's doing so well on viewer-aggregated rating sites. It's not often that I'll appreciate a film for having a wide appeal, but Johnson just manages to get it right.

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