Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc

Knives Out Review

9
Brilliant

Director: 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

Knives Out is the work of writer/director Rian Johnson, the man who gave us Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and who many Star Wars fans want to see the back of. Not me, however, because I believe he’s something of a cinematic genius.

He’s proven it time and time again over the years, and he’s proven it yet again with his last flick, Knives Out, which brings ‘Whodunits’ back onto the big screen, and I can’t thank him enough for that.

Knives Out’s premise is rather familiar if you know your whodunits. A very well-known crime novelist, Harlan Thrombey (played by Christopher Plummer) has died.

He supposedly took his own life in a rather gruesome fashion (he slit his throat with one of his many knives). However, a week later, the members of his very large family are all asked to return to his remote mansion to go over some of the facts just one last time.

However, this time the renowned detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is investigating the case, and he’s after the truth since he believes there’s been foul play.

This means that everyone is a suspect, and Blanc is determined to find out what really happened on the night of Thrombey’s death.

Rian Johnson really knows his Agatha Christie from his Arthur Conan Doyle

Knives Out is a brilliant whodunit

Knives Out is a brilliant whodunit (Credit: Lionsgate)

This is a twisted web, and we are not finished untangling it, not yet.

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The first thing that’s apparent whilst watching Knives Out is that Johnson clearly loves his Agatha Christie. He’s certainly taken inspiration from a number of her crime novels.

But, it’s more than that. What he’s succeeded in doing with this film is cherry-pick the very best bits of Christie’s stories and create something completely new with it.

It plays on the tropes of the whodunit genre so expertly, and the film never gives you a moment’s rest to start to try to figure out what’s really going on. Then, you add to this Johnson’s incredible ability to shoot a thoroughly captivating scene, you’ve got a real crowd-pleaser on your hands.

That’s what Knives Out really is. It’s a good old crowd-pleasing whodunit which will keep most members of the audience guessing until the very end.

Knives Out really keeps you guessing until the very end

Knives Out incredible ensemble cast

Knives Out has an incredible ensemble cast (Credit: Lionsgate)

I suspect foul play. I have eliminated no suspects

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Granted, there will be a few people who would have guessed who the killer is pretty early on (I mean, it took me a little while, but I did get there before it was officially revealed).

However, that’s not the point. It’s the journey that matters, and Johnson takes you on a wonderful journey in Knives Out, full of twists and turns, detours and flashbacks, unexpected reveals and moments of genuine surprise.

The plot is airtight. The crime is pretty much perfect, and the characters are genuinely engrossing. It’s a testament to Johnson’s writing ability that he’s able to assemble such a ludicrous cast of talent and you feel like every character on-screen is a well-rounded individual.

That said, there are some people who stand out. Daniel Craig and Ana De Armas are at the very top of that list.

Benoit Blanc is Daniel Craig’s best ever role

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc (Credit: Lionsgate)

This is a twisted web, and we are not finished untangling it, not yet.

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Craig’s Benoit Blanc is the best character he’s ever played, and I would go as far as saying that it’s the best performance he’s ever given.

Blanc is a mixture of Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and there’s even a bit of Columbo in there, but Craig is also able to give his own unique spin on the detective so that he feels fresh and completely his own.

Meanwhile, Armas is perfect as Marta Cabrera, Thrombey’s nurse, who really serves as a way into the story of the audience, and she plays her part perfectly. That’s very much the case with everybody in this movie.

They all play their parts perfectly, and the whole picture fits together perfectly like a complicated 1000 piece puzzle, and Johnson is the man fitting it all together with expert precision.

Knives Out is so very rewatchable

Chris Evans plays brilliantly against type in Knives Out

Chris Evans plays brilliantly against type (Credit: Lionsgate)

What is this, CSI: KFC?

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I would happily watch Knives Out over and over again, even though I know the end because there’s so much, so many little details I’m sure I missed. That’s the whole joy of these types of stories and movies.

There’s also a real thrill in seeing Chris Evans play completely against type in this movie, and he’s great at it. The scene in which he tells everybody to “eat shit” is a particular highlight.

The only slightly negative point I had with Knives Out is that Daniel Craig’s southern American accent does go somewhat awry at times in the movie, but that can be forgotten due to his incredible all-round performance.

This is a must-see movie. But, I implore you, when you do go to watch it, please don’t spoil the ending for anything. That would be an incredibly unclassy thing to do.

Knives Out is hitting UK cinemas on November 29th, 2019. We recommend you put that date in your calendar and book your tickets now.

What do you make of our Knives Out review? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook or Instagram pages!

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