“Knives Out” is a modern whodunnit mystery-comedy written and directed by Rian Johnson (writer and director of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Looper”) and stars an insane ensemble of which includes the likes of Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”), Ana de Armas (“Blade Runner 2049′), Kathryn Langford (“13 Reasons Why”), Lakeith Stanfield (“Get Out”) and Jaeden Martell (“It (2017)”)… just to name a few. The film follows a dysfunctional, affluent family as they gather after the suicide of their renowned crime novelist father (Christopher Plummer), but when a detective (Daniel Craig, “James Bond”) finds out about the case, he suspects foul play.
Rian Johnson has made some great movies like “Looper,” “Brick” and “The Brothers Bloom,” but this might be my absolute favorite yet not to mention favorite of the entire year. His writing and directing is top-notch. The script is extremely tight and super clever, having every question answered by the end of the movie. He crafts the story in a way where you will think you know what’s going on, but trust me, your mind will be blown when the final reveal is told. It is definitely deserving of a possible Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
The cast is absolutely incredible. As you can see from the first paragraph, Johnson has brought together an incredibly talented group of actors and every single one gets a moment to shine here. Everyone is having an absolute blast playing each of their roles which are all written so distinctly. The family might all be rich jerks, but they’re all different in their own ways. Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas are the standouts. Craig, a native Brit, delivering an insane southern accent which fits his character to a tee and de Armas having an emotional role that stands out from the other characters. It’s also nice seeing Evans back in a jerk role after being basically typed cast as the sweetheart thanks to Captain America, his first jerk role since “Scott Pilgrim vs the World.”
The film is insanely funny. Multiple times me, along with the rest of my fellow theater goers, were rolling with laughter as each clever joke is delivered throughout. Craig, Collette and Evans are the funniest of the group, but everyone gets their chance to crack a joke that will send nothing but laughter throughout the theater.
There are some articles that state that this film is political, tapping into the current political climate of America. To an extent, that’s true, but I wouldn’t say the film itself is political but instead that the characters are political. The family is dysfunctional and all have different opposing viewpoints and get heated over discussing it, much like you would see at a Thanksgiving dinner. I love that the movie doesn’t take a certain side, allowing both the red and blue characters state their peace. It’s a modern take on the Whodunnit genre, something you never really see today, so Johnson is just trying to capture what Americans are like today, and he does it perfectly. The film isn’t trying to spread any political agenda, it’s only message really being that kindness, in the end, prevails.
“Knives Out” is perfect is every aspect and perfectly captures what an Agatha Christie novel would be like if it was written today. From the directing, writing and acting, even elements I didn’t even cover like the gorgeous set and costume designs and the genius editing, every aspect that Rian Johnson has brought onto the screen is incredible.