Knives Out ★★★★

Mega-wealthy novelist and family patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead with his wrists slashed the morning after a family party where he had delivered some harsh home truths to several members of his somewhat dysfunctional and privileged brood.

The local cops think it's a cut and dried suicide but renowned private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) suspects foul play and so begins a tale of intrigue in a good old fashioned murder mystery centring around Harlan's devoted private carer and confidant Marta (Ana de Armas) who suffers from an unusual condition where lying makes her projectile vomit.

Featuring an all-star ensemble cast including Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis and Don Johnson as well as Chris Evans as Harlan's arrogant playboy grandson Ransom it's a pretty significant return to form for director Rian Johnson after his scolding experience with Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

It's 2hrs 10 mins runtime could have been a drag but it races in and this is a highly likeable caper which is endearingly led by Ana de Armas in a sympathetic role which she carries off with aplomb whilst staggering from one unfortunate event to another.

Evans is also impressive in an unusually sneering role that he is clearly having a hoot delivering.

Daniel Craig's accent is more Arby's than KFC and for my money, the film shows its hand as to what actually happened in regards to Harlan's demise a little too early which diminishes some of the central intrigue surrounding the 'whodunit' theme but these are minor gripes and there are still enough twists in the tale though ultimately it's the performances that keep you engaged.

There are also a few major laughs and all in all it's a pretty rousing way to spend an evening in these trying times.

That aside it's pretty refreshing to see a big Hollywood movie with a world view where nice guys or in this case girls don't finish last and it's those who show the most civility, perseverance and empathy who get rewarded.