‘Knives Out” is a whodunnit thriller done right.
Rian Johnson is no stranger to switching up genres of movies he directs. The last movie Johnson directed was 2017’s The Last Jedi which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Knives Out. For years movies like the light-hearted comedy Clue and the more serious crime movie such as 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express have graced the screen in the style of whodunit films. Over time the genre can and has gotten stale but I think Johnson’s Knives Out is a sort of breath of fresh air for the genre and I’d certainly look forward to any other whodunit film if it was as fresh and as clever as Knives Out.
A classic whodunit crime film isn’t complete without an ensemble and I’d have to say that the cast of Knives Out is stellar. The standouts for me were obviously Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Daniel Craig. But I’ll have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with Toni Collette. I already love Collette but when I saw she was going to be utilizing her comedic chops I was even more excited to see her do something different. Collette is an incredibly talented actress who has most recently been attached to darker movies such as Hereditary and Krampus so to see her in such a light-hearted role was different but in a good way. Every line she delivered had me rolling laughing. That’s not where the laughter stopped though the whole cast had great chemistry on screen and you could tell they were having a blast. Another actress whose performance stole the movie for me was Ana de Armas. I’d keep an eye out for her in the coming years. This performance solidified my excitement for the new James Bond movie hitting the screens next year. The ensemble, like I said before, was great but there are always those that shine a little less than others. Kathryn Langford, Michael Shannon, and Don Johnson were pretty solid. I just enjoyed the others’ performances more.
One word I can describe Johnson’s whodunit is clever and it doesn’t take itself too seriously! Oftentimes movies in this genre take itself way too seriously and don’t have fun but this film does just the opposite and I’m thankful for it. While it follows some of the same plot points of your traditional murder mystery it throws in some curveballs every once in a while. It constantly weaves in little clues that you might hear but not pay any attention to and then at the end he ties in every little detail that is mentioned. Every line has intent and it’s brilliant. I have to say as I was watching it all come together at the end I kept being floored by the attention to detail and the thoughtfulness that was brought into the film. I cannot say enough about the film’s writing. If every film were written this smartly then nothing would be subpar. I think this is a great film for Johnson, a relatively new director, to have under his belt and I can’t wait for more from him.
It was just announced today that Knives Out is nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and I can only see it going up from here. I loved this movie and I can’t wait for another viewing so I can digest even more of it! Treat yourself this weekend and see this gem.