"Knives Out" is an American mystery film written, co-produced and directed by Rian Johnson. The film is a modern whodunit type of story revolving around a family whose patriarch is murdered, leading to an all-out, hard-hitting investigation led by Daniel Craig’s character Benoit Blanc.
The film starts off pretty straight-forward, introducing us to the murdered, famous mystery author Harlan Thrombey after his housekeeper finds him in his private study with his throat slit. From there, the story really kicks in - the wheels start to turn and the viewer begins to notice that the murder is truly more than it seems to be.
One of the first characters we are introduced to is Marta Cabrera, played by Ana de Armas, who is Harlan’s nurse and best friend; it is made clear early on that Marta is the only one is Harlan's life he truly trusts.
When we are first introduced to Benoit Blac, it comes across as very unique for Daniel Craig, as he has never played that type of character before but does so very fluently. The way Daniel Craig pulls off the character's voice, style and swag is one of the factors that sinks you more and more into the film.
As Benoit’s investigation kicks up, we are introduced to each character of the Thrombey family. In the family of suspected murderers, we have Michael Shannon as Walter Thrombey (the youngest son), Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale (the eldest daughter), Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale (Linda’s husband) and Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey who, after becoming a widow to Harlan's son, stuck around the family - mainly for the money. Throughout these introductions it is clear that each member of the family has their own reasons for why they could possibly be the culprit, but it isn't until the middle of the film that everything turns inside out.
The film does a magnificent job at making the viewer think one thing when, in fact, something else is going on. In the film it is made apparent that this is the same style of Harlan's writing: a complex story where you think you know what will happen next - but in reality you have no idea. Also starring Katherine Langford as Megan Thrombey, Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom" Drysdale and Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Elliot, the all star cast makes it hard to not keep your eyes glued to the screen.
Cinema like this is very hard to come by as the cast keeps up with the range of twists and turns and accurately articulates the art through the screen. Ana de Armas proves she is a talent to look out for. She does wonderfully as the innocently guilty Marta in this story about mind over matter and, in the end, morals over temptations.
Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Collette do wonderfully as supporting characters in the film, adding that extra star power and grabbing the screen with their lines every chance they got.
Not to giveaway too many spoilers, I’ll just say this film deserves all of the awards it can get, dropping in at the end of the decade to claim its title as one of the best of 2019. With an electric screenplay and star-studded cast, "Knives Out” does not disappoint.
Echo Grade : Five out of Five Swoops