Based on the advertising for Knives Out, I expected a full-fledged comedy along the lines of 1985’s Clue. Instead, a more serious tone contributed nicely to the twists and turns of a story I wasn’t expecting to deliver a highly satisfying murder mystery.
The film focuses on a private investigator’s motive to uncover the truth behind a famed mystery writer’s apparent suicide. The patriarch’s death comes hours after a birthday party attended by several of his family members, all with secrets and motives of their own. The private investigator and police detectives work with the victim’s nurse (who will literally vomit if she lies) to uncover the truth.
Marketing for this film focused more on the star-studded cast and their characters’ roles in the family. Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Colette, and Chris Evans portray the children, children-in-law, and grandchildren of Christopher Plummer’s father figure. While they each deliver incredible performances, the majority of the movie focuses on a character that was less central in the film’s advertising. This is one of the most successful aspects of the film and immediately threw me off from what I was expecting. By starting the movie off with a plot I wasn’t expecting, I was already hooked.
I was also easily hooked by the incredible performances in the film, specifically by that of Daniel Craig as the southern detective and Ana de Armas as the nurse. Watching them work together to sleuth through the family’s mansion and solve the mystery of the father’s death is consistently entertaining, offering unexpected twists and turns.
But the shining star is Rian Johnson’s fantastic script and direction. By revealing who did it in the first 30 minutes, we’re given an opportunity to watch something even more interesting, from the investigation around the crime, to the dynamic of the dysfunctional family.
Knives Out is nerve-wracking, comedic, tense, and unexpected, sometimes all at once. The top-notch performances, focused direction, and fast paced script make this a murder mystery that will please fans of all genres.
Joey here! Just wanted to chime in on this film as well since I also really enjoyed it. As someone who hasn’t seen any murder mystery films, this one stuck out to me due to its director, Rian Johnson, and the star studded cast.
When watching an original movie, there are several ways you can introduce the characters that the audience is going to follow over the course of the movie, and this film does it very well.
Majority of the characters are introduced during the police interrogation sequence in the beginning of the film. It is there that we can learn about the person, what their relation was to Plummer’s character, and what their motive would be to kill Plummer if their character was indeed the killer.
I thought that was a great way to introduce the characters. One character that really stood out was the nurse. She was central to the story as she was the caretaker to Plummer’s character and the way she would do certain things while Daniel Craig was investigating, gave me some quick laughs and had me on the edge of my seat.
Watching this film more than once is almost guaranteed for me just to see if I can pick up on the subtle references in the earlier moments of the film to see if they give the ending away.
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