Title: Knives Out
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas
Runtime: 2 hr 10 mins
What It Is: When patriarch Harlan Thrombley (Plummer) of an eccentric family dies detectives, police, and sleuth Benoit Blanc (Craig) are investigating foul play. Everyone is a suspect at this point. From his family to the help, to the dogs. But who killed the mystery writer? Will Benoit Blanc be able to solve the crime. Who did it? Whodunit? Only he can solve this…but can he and what will happen to the millions left behind.
What We Think: To quote Sir Walter Scott “Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive!” That is the central theme here. Anna De Armas is absolutely killer! Johnson utilizes his cast to great aplomb. In his previous efforts creating great characters and building, worlds were something Johnson does and did. Here it’s no different. There are some moments that seem too concerned with their own self-importance. Another critique of Johnson. I think he handles a very layered plot really well and at the end of the day, this truly is a “Rian Johnson” joint. Take that as you will.
Our Grade: B+, There’s a certain way in which the characters speak here, much like in Johnson’s Brick, that comes off as movie-ish. We’re in the world of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express just substitutes that stories Belgian gumshoe with the southern sleuth we get here. I could go for more films with Benoit Blanc. I could go for more mysteries in the cinema. This film does it’s damnedest to like to nudge you in the shoulder and wink throughout. Sadly it’s biggest issue is that it blows it’s whole load early on if you’re paying enough attention.