Knives Out is a diabolically madcap whodunnit. Rian Johnson writes and directs one of the years’ best and most entertaining movies. The films’ sharp-edged wit, mystery, and pace will have you guessing and laughing from beginning to end. Daniel Craig’s performance could garner the thespian his first Academy Award nomination. As Detective Benoit Blanc, an amalgamation of Hercules Poirot and Columbo, Craig soars. He’s hired to solve the mystery of who killed billionaire mystery author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Plummer looks like he’s having his most fun and many more movies left in the film tin.
The rich supporting cast, which includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Dan Johnson, and Michael Shannon is a stellar ensemble cast. It’s amazing that many, if not all, of the aforementioned, are leading stars in their own right but step up as supporting characters, for what is a really good mystery without its suspects? Lead actress, Ana de Armas best known for Blade Runner 2049, not only holds her own against these veterans but holds the movie together.
Rian Johnson’s screenplay is rife with classic movie and television mystery re-call which is a significant part of Knives Out charm. Blend in a bit of Hitchcock with Neil Simon and you get the feel of what Knives Out is. Johnson took great care in making sure the mystery makes sense too. Not to worry, it doesn’t fall into the classic move of withholding information until the very end. Johnson’s screenplay shows its cards so when the classic denouement happens, it all makes sense and the audience doesn’t feel cheated. Look for Knives Out screenplay to garner a nomination as well.
Knives Out is no red herring. It is a throwback to a time when mysteries were popular. Knives Out doesn’t just take a stab at being an excellent mystery which it is. It is excellent movie-going entertainment, and that’s no mystery.