Review: 'Knives Out' Feels Like A Classic Who-Dunnit Story With Plenty Of Great Twists From Rian Johnson

Movie Reviews
Kyle Brester
November 26, 2019
by Kyle Brester
Knives Out
Lionsgate Films
Lionsgate Films

Thanks to an early screening available on Friday, I was able to watch Knives Out, which ended up being one of the better movies I have seen in 2019.

Knives Out pays tribute to good ole' fashion mystery stories. When the successful mystery author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) ends up dead after his family celebrates his 85th birthday, famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is hired to work with Lt. Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) and Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) to figure out who killed him.

After all the drama that Rian Johnson had to deal with once his Star Wars movie released, its great to see him go back to a type of narrative that I feel is more in line with his skill set. Knives Out is shot very well and its production design feels like an old mystery movie set in modern-day. But what Johnson really does well is writing hilarious and intriguing characters in the middle of a smart mystery story.

With colorful characters such as what Johnson creates, you need the right actors to nail the roles. That's why getting actors such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, and Chris Evans was a great call. Every one of them understands Johnson's vision for their respected character and causes themselves to go wild with them. But despite how ridiculous they can get, you still find something threatening about each one of them, helping you stay hooked to find out which one of them did the murder.

The set up of the mystery appears traditional at first, but it takes a turn where important elements to the mystery end up happening almost immediately. Johnson keeps the film from not feeling like every other mystery story, and instead, makes it his own while also paying homage to many others. While you may not like how the turns initially start out, you should be seeing them payoff towards the end.

In short, Knives Out is a great watch for everyone at the theater. It has plenty of drama, plenty of humor, and plenty of intriguing storytelling to keep you guessing. I'm happy to see Rian Johnson did not let the backlash of The Last Jedi get to him. He clearly has rebounded. I had a blast watching this, and can only imagine how much fun he had making Knives Out.
Knives Out
Knives Out - Lionsgate Films
Knives Out
Knives Out - Lionsgate Films
Knives Out
Knives Out - Lionsgate Films
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Frozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0M
Frozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0MFrozen 2$33.9MKnives Out$14.1MQueen & Slim$6.6MFord v. Ferrari$6.5MA Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood$5.1MDark Waters$4.0M21 Bridges$2.8MPlaying With Fire$2.0MMidway$1.9MLast Christmas$1.0M
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