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Knives Out (2019) Review

A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.





Director/Writer: Rian Johnson

Producer: Ram Bergman


Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama


The tale begins with the mysterious murder of Harlan Thormbey (Christopher Plummer), a suicide that is beginning to turn into something greater. The movie introduces us to all the characters one by one masking the exposition and allowing Lieutenant Elliot to find out what each person was doing on the night of the suicide. The one – to – ones are broken up with cut scenes of the party and how each character perceived the evening and just when you think you are going to get some vital bit of information out of each character it is broken up. This happens three times and is broken up by a mysterious man, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) hitting a note on the piano key, breaking the characters attention but also the audiences. The third time he eventually speaks and questions them and he has this deep American accent which he seems to drool every end to his sentences.


As he tries to figure out what is going on, he steps outside to talk to the other officers and he meets Marta (Ana De Armas) who has a great arc where she cannot lie without being sick, after unravelling some more information and Daniel Craig closes the scene with:


“It makes no damn sense, compels me though…”


As the story unravels, we see two sides of the party and how Marta was actually treated on the night.


It takes nearly 50 minutes into the movie until we viewers see what happens to Harlan Thormbey and the camera pans from right to left to allow a knife to enter the frame in front of Harlan before it is revealed what actually happened to him.


This film has multiple bits of dialogue that act as callbacks throughout the movie and made me go “oh s***”. It is a film that is definitely worth a watch twice to see if you can pick everything up. This movie is great at telling its audience everything and then still confusing you and making you go full detective mode.


Rian Johnson has done some amazing directorial work. His blocking with having the characters sitting and where they are positioned within a room is really good and it almost makes the movie set for the stage. The comedy carries through really well and is used in such a way that makes it all seem to like this is as much of a joke as it is a murder mystery movie.


Overall, I really liked this movie. It had some really good dynamics and balancing of tones with some excellent directorial work.

I rate this movie a 4.5/5.

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