My parents and I had been planning to see Knives Out since we saw the first trailer, and after all the great reviews we were even more excited. So last night we went out to dinner and then settled in for just over two hours of whodunit fun. Did it live up to our expectations? Well, let’s see:
- Appropriate Setting? Check. The central location is the Thrombey estate, which at one point is very accurately compared to a Clue board. It sets (and maintains) the perfect tone for the film.
- Interesting Victim? Check. Christopher Plummer plays Harlan Thrombey, a mystery writer who is found dead on the day after his eighty-fifth birthday. In flashbacks, we get to know Harlan, a very successful mystery author dealing with a family that hits all the standard wealthy family tropes. We soon learn that he was extremely intelligent, clever, and sympathetic.
- Quality Suspect Pool? Check. Harlan’s entire family had gathered to celebrate his birthday, so there’s a collection of children, grandchildren, and in laws to suspect, as well as his housekeeper and nurse. They all have secrets, and most of them are eager to get their hands on Harlan’s money and property, as well as the rights to his novels.
- Charismatic Detective? Check. Daniel Craig gives a great performance as Benoit Blanc, a famous private investigator who is hired anonymously to look into the death, which the police are about to rule as a suicide. Watching his investigation is a delight, especially when he discusses a few extended metaphors that are absolute writing gold.
- Twists and Turns? Check, Check, Check. It’s hard to say too much about this without spoilers, which I always avoid (and in the case of a whodunit, that’s even more important), so let me just say that the movie definitely leaves you guessing.
A few other notes:
- The movie has a lot more talk than action, which contributed to an old school feel that I really enjoyed.
- The entire cast was excellent, with Chris Evans’s performance as the family’s black sheep a definitely highlight. He has some of the best lines, and it’s especially fun to see the man best known as Captain America taking a turn at sarcasm, insults, and callousness.
Highly, highly recommended.
Seen any good movies lately? What’s on your watch list?