Global  

MOVIE REVIEW: Knives Out

One News Page Staff Monday, 6 April 2020
MOVIE REVIEW: Knives Outby 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

KNIVES OUT

IMDb

Dir: Rian Johnson

Starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer

starstarstarstarstar    3.5 STARS (out of 5)

For this week’s movie review, I’d like to take a look at a movie that picked up a lot of praise last year, but which we were unable to review for One News Page at the time. With COVID-19 distancing continuing, the movie is picking up a lot of interest at home, and I’m therefore casting my eye over Knives Out – which many claim to have revitalised the murder mystery genre. But, are they correct?

Seemingly having killed himself after a birthday party, mystery author Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) leaves a large family behind, much of whom stand to benefit from his will. He also leaves behind Marta Cabrera (de Armas), his closest friend and nurse – who finds herself tangled up in what quickly appears to be fast becoming a murder investigation. That is, according to idiosyncratic private detective Benoit Blanc (Craig), who seems to have been hired to solve the case before it was even opened. Was Thrombey murdered? If so, by whom?

Knives Out - Review
Knives Out (Lionsgate)

Knives Out received a huge array of plaudits upon its release in 2019, and many claimed it sorely missed out on several Oscar nods. Rian Johnson is a decorated director and writer, and while his take on Star Wars via The Last Jedi may have been met with mixed praise, it’s clear he loves his art. This movie, in particular, is brilliantly staged and shot, and benefits from a familiar, intriguing scene that evokes memories from old Agatha Christie specials.

That is, of course, what we are to assume Johnson is going for. The cast is wonderfully odd and made up of various household names, and they do drive the plot impeccably – Daniel Craig’s slightly odd Foghorn Leghorn impression even gets picked up on in the script at one point – and without them, we’d probably be looking at a much more inferior package. Plummer is, as always, a class act, and if anything, he feels woefully underused.

Knives Out is a great addition to the pantheon of murder mystery movies in the sense that – and I’m straying into slight spoiler territory here, but not too much – the case seems to be solved around 30 minutes in. The remaining movie is a journey through what happens after the event, and what happens to us as viewers of the story, knowing most of the facts. Of course, there are one or two twists in the tale coming, and for that reason, it’s worth holding on for.

However, as a fan of thrillers and whodunnits, I can’t help but admit I found the roundabout way of telling this story fell a little bit flat. I’m likely going to earn the ire of many for this – but I actually found the final twists to make a little too much sense – I felt they were maybe a little too obvious. Is this my simply being too demanding? Maybe – but I was less thrilled about the climax than I was satisfied, if that gives any kind of idea to my mindset.

Knives Out - Official Trailer (Lionsgate)

Much of Knives Out works really, really well. The cast is superb, the setting and direction are brilliant, and the overall concept is fairly original, especially considering we have seen so many of these types of story before. Am I literally suggesting I would have preferred a more straightforward or cliched movie? Not necessarily. I think Knives Out is a brave and necessary experiment. However, I’m not so sure it works to the advantage I was expecting it to.

By subverting things, I felt a little more let down by the climax. Yes – there is plenty of tension, and a great set-up or two – but I had strong feelings of ‘there has to be more’ at the moments of big reveal. That, to me, is disappointing.

However, I can see why this movie received so much reverence. It breathes more than a little bit of life into a stale genre. It’s knowingly self-referential. Craig proves that he can do more than just wear nice suits and drive Aston Martins. The cast work well together with a script that’s adept and is worth following, for the most part. I just feel that – despite what many people will tell you – it is not the perfect genre-turning piece that it’s being held up to be.

With that in mind, Knives Out is certainly worth a rent if you like murder mysteries, but do keep an open mind. It will certainly appeal to fans of Johnson’s work, as well as anyone who’s desperate to see this calibre of cast work together. For that reason alone, it is certainly worth the price of admission.


9
shares
ShareTweetSavePostSend
 

You Might Like


💡 One News Page Knowledge: Other News Mentions

Daniel Craig Daniel Craig English actor

Daniel Craig tops countdown of actors who spend the most time shirtless in movies [Video]

Daniel Craig tops countdown of actors who spend the most time shirtless in movies

Daniel Craig is the actor who's spent the most time topless in his movies, according to a new countdown published online.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:48Published
Damian Lewis insists he’d turn down Bond if he was asked [Video]

Damian Lewis insists he’d turn down Bond if he was asked

Damian Lewis isn't apparently interested in replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond, and would turn down the role if it was offered to him.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:52Published
Barbara Broccoli confirms Daniel Craig's Bond replacement hasn't been found yet [Video]

Barbara Broccoli confirms Daniel Craig's Bond replacement hasn't been found yet

Producer Barbara Broccoli has confirmed that the search for Daniel Craig's James Bond replacement hasn't begun yet.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:48Published
Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond pushed to Easter [Video]

Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond pushed to Easter

The release of the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die, has been pushed to next year.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:51Published

Ana de Armas Ana de Armas Cuban actress

Ana de Armas: 'Fame is not the most exciting thing about my job' [Video]

Ana de Armas: 'Fame is not the most exciting thing about my job'

The 32-year-old Knives Out actress spoke to Flaunt magazine about spending the Covid-19 lockdown in Los Angeles with boyfriend Ben Affleck, admitting that while the pair is loved up, she misses her family in Cuba.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:54Published
Ana de Armas doesn’t want her Bond character to be defined by what she wears' [Video]

Ana de Armas doesn’t want her Bond character to be defined by what she wears'

Ana de Armas insists glamour is “essential” to her Bond character.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:47Published
Ana de Armas lands Natural Diamond Council’s first celebrity campaign [Video]

Ana de Armas lands Natural Diamond Council’s first celebrity campaign

Ana de Armas is the first celebrity to front a campaign for the Natural Diamond Council.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:52Published

Lakeith Stanfield Lakeith Stanfield American actor

Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo to Star in 'The Harder They Fall,' Harry Styles Joins 'Don’t Worr [Video]

Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo to Star in 'The Harder They Fall,' Harry Styles Joins 'Don’t Worr

Harry Styles is headed back to the big screen for 'Don't Worry Darling,' 'Wonder Woman 1984' is delaying its release (again) to December 25th and Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Regina King and Delroy Lindo are set to star in 'The Harder They Fall.'

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:38Published

Chris Evans (actor) Chris Evans (actor) American actor

Judi Dench saved goldfish with the 'kiss of life' [Video]

Judi Dench saved goldfish with the 'kiss of life'

During a chat with Chris Evans, Dench revealed the incident happened years ago, and her fish has since passed away.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:51Published
Chris Evans and More 'Avengers' Stars Come Together For Virtual Biden Fundraiser | THR News [Video]

Chris Evans and More 'Avengers' Stars Come Together For Virtual Biden Fundraiser | THR News

Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle and Zoe Saldana will join Sen. Kamala Harris to participate in a grassroots fundraiser hosted by the Russo Brothers on Oct. 20, in support of Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:29Published
Jamie Lee Curtis suspects Chris Evans' nude photo leak was 'planned' [Video]

Jamie Lee Curtis suspects Chris Evans' nude photo leak was 'planned'

Jamie Lee Curtis has a theory that her Knives Out co-star Chris Evans "planned" his nude photo leak to urge fans to vote.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:45Published

Jamie Lee Curtis Jamie Lee Curtis American actress and author

Bette Midler announces 'Hocus Pocus' reunion with Meryl Streep, Jamie Lee Curtis, more

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are getting the Sanderson Sisters back together for a virtual "Hocus Pocus" reunion.

USATODAY.com

Tweets about this

•More original news reports from One News Page