Knives Out ★★★½

Christopher Plummer as the accomplished multi-millionaire Harlan Thrombey who has a sudden demise. With Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Katherine Langford. They all have names like Richard, Walt, Linda, Joni, Hugh, Meg. Credit Rian Johnson for organizing them in his writing and directing so we know quickly who these family bottom feeders are. Ana de Armas is the dedicated caretaker who may know more than anyone of the old man's final hour; de Armas is the beating heart to this yarn. As the sleuth who comes in and suspects foul play, Daniel Craig puts on his Albert Finney accent, an eccentric, meticulous and bemused gumshoe who uses his playful drawl to rivet others while he does his deconstructions. The first hour is enjoyably low-key yet routine, a simple connect-the-dots diversion. But Johnson has tricks up his sleeve as Knives Out deceptively has more going on than your typical whodunnit, and in its genre way, it unfolds brilliantly.

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