As a lover of mystery films, I was excited to watch the latest whodunit movie, Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson. The movie features an ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ana de Armas, who bring their A-game to create a thrilling and witty murder mystery. In this review, I will delve into the plot, characters, acting performances, direction, cinematography, themes, and messages of Knives Out. Additionally, I will discuss the critical reception of the movie and compare it to other mystery films. Finally, I will take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Knives Out and share my overall thoughts on the film.
Plot Summary of Knives Out
Knives Out revolves around the investigation of the death of a wealthy crime novelist, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who dies on the night of his 85th birthday. The detective assigned to the case, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), suspects foul play and begins to interrogate the family members and staff who were present on the night of the murder. The family members are all suspects, as they all have a motive to kill Harlan, who had recently revealed that he planned to cut them out of his will.
As the investigation progresses, the audience is taken on a wild ride of twists and turns as the true killer is slowly revealed. The movie is not just about solving the murder but also about exploring the complicated relationships between the family members and their interactions with the staff. The plot is well-crafted, and the pacing keeps the audience engaged throughout the movie.
Key Characters in Knives Out
Knives Out features a star-studded cast of characters, each with their own unique quirks and motivations. Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is a standout character, with his southern accent and quirky personality. He is a refreshing departure from the typical detective archetype and brings a much-needed dose of humor to the film.
Chris Evans plays Ransom Drysdale, Harlan’s grandson, who is the black sheep of the family. He is arrogant and entitled, and his interactions with the other family members are a highlight of the movie. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Harlan’s daughter, Linda, who is a successful businesswoman but has a strained relationship with her father. Ana de Armas plays Marta Cabrera, Harlan’s nurse, who is the heart of the movie. Her character is sympathetic and relatable, and she brings a much-needed sense of morality to the film.
Acting Performances in Knives Out
The acting performances in Knives Out are top-notch, with each actor bringing their A-game. Daniel Craig’s performance as Benoit Blanc is a standout, and his quirky personality and southern accent are a delight to watch. Chris Evans is also excellent as Ransom Drysdale, and his performance is a departure from his typical roles.
Jamie Lee Curtis delivers a strong performance as Linda, and her interactions with the other family members are a highlight of the movie. Ana de Armas is a revelation as Marta Cabrera, and her character’s moral compass is a breath of fresh air in the movie. The rest of the ensemble cast, including Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette, are all excellent in their roles and bring their own unique quirks to the characters.
Direction and Cinematography in Knives Out
Rian Johnson’s direction in Knives Out is masterful, and he expertly weaves together the various plotlines and characters to create a cohesive and engaging movie. The cinematography by Steve Yedlin is also excellent, with beautiful shots of the sprawling Thrombey estate and tight shots on the characters during tense moments.
The use of lighting and color is also noteworthy, with the bright and colorful clothing of the characters contrasting with the dark and moody lighting of the estate. The attention to detail in the set design and costumes is also impressive, adding to the overall aesthetic of the movie.
Themes and Messages in Knives Out
Knives Out explores themes of greed, privilege, and family dynamics. The movie is a commentary on the wealthy elite and their sense of entitlement, as well as the complex relationships between family members. The character of Marta Cabrera represents the working class and their struggle to survive in a society that is rigged against them.
The movie also touches on the issue of immigration, with Marta’s status as an undocumented immigrant playing a role in the plot. The themes and messages in Knives Out are subtle but impactful, and they add depth and complexity to the movie.
Knives Out Reviews and Ratings
Knives Out has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The movie currently has a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising the movie’s witty script, excellent cast, and expert direction. The movie has also been a commercial success, grossing over $300 million worldwide.
Comparisons to Other Mystery Films
Knives Out has been compared to other classic whodunit films, such as Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Clue. The movie shares similarities with these films, including a large ensemble cast, a complex plot, and a surprise twist ending. However, Knives Out also has a modern sensibility, with its commentary on social issues and its quirky humor.
Behind the Scenes of Knives Out
The making of Knives Out was a collaborative effort, with Rian Johnson working closely with the cast and crew to create a cohesive and engaging movie. The movie was shot on location in Massachusetts, and the sprawling Thrombey estate was created from scratch for the movie.
The cast and crew have spoken about the fun and collaborative atmosphere on set, with the actors improvising and adding their own unique touches to the characters. The attention to detail in the set design and costumes was also a major focus of the production, with the goal of creating a visually stunning movie.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Knives Out
In conclusion, Knives Out is a modern masterpiece of the whodunit genre. The movie features excellent performances from its ensemble cast, expert direction from Rian Johnson, and beautiful cinematography. The themes and messages of the movie add depth and complexity to the plot, and the surprise twist ending will keep you guessing until the very end.
If you are a fan of mystery films or just looking for a fun and engaging movie, I highly recommend Knives Out. It is a refreshing departure from the typical Hollywood blockbuster and is sure to leave you entertained and satisfied.
CTA: Watch Knives Out now and experience a modern whodunit masterpiece!