Knives Out (2019)

When famous mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead, its up to Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate how he died.

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material

Fun Fact: Rian Johnson said he named some of the characters after 1970’s musicians.

If you haven’t really been keeping up with Rian Johnson’s career after The Last Jedi, I’ll give you a quick synopsis of what happened. Many fans of Star Wars blamed him for ruining Star Wars and when I heard he was directing this film, I heard from many people that hated his attempt at Star Wars automatically said that Knives Out was going to be terrible. It’s unfortunate that I heard things like that because sometimes people get so invested in what they love they forget that one bad movie to them from a director doesn’t mean their career is over.

Knives Out is a throwback to classic mystery stories. Growing up my Mom was always watching different mystery shows on PBS and the like, so I have had some experience watching mystery’s. For years many mystery films and shows have been adapted from various source materials such as novels, but we haven’t really got any original mystery movies. This film is a breath of fresh air in that genre and I loved every minute of it. This was the movie that Rian Johnson needed to show that he has what it takes to make a great movie. He wrote the script and directs an all-star cast of people that bring this film to life.

Rian Johnson’s direction is what makes this film enjoyable. It’s not only his direction, it’s also his smartly written screenplay that carries the film. We get a combination of serious and lighthearted moments that blend well together. The characters have a certain flair to them that brings out the serious and over the top. The script also features nice twists that mystery stories are known for. For a mystery story you need to keep the viewer invested featuring different twists and obstacles. This film features that well. The house that the filming took place was a real throwback to classic mystery stories. I liked the decision that Johnson made to make it in the modern era. We have enough stories and films based in the past why not make it modernized. Once again, it’s a fresh take on the genre.

Usually I make confessions in my reviews that you may not agree with. That’s the beauty of opinions with film. My confession today is that I’m not the biggest Daniel Craig fan. I just never really got behind his acting that much, but this film had changed my opinion in a way. Craig portrays Detective Benoit Blanc, who is the lead investigator to figure out the murder case. Craig uses a southern accent that’s just amazing. I was invested from the very first second he spoke and believed we may have a new star mystery character in hand. I want to see more of this character with Daniel Craig playing him. Ana de Armas was fantastic as well and she has quite a load to carry with the amount of screen time she has. I was rooting for her character to succeed. Jamie Lee Curtis was fantastic once again as the daughter of Harlan Thrombey. She hits the over the top part of the character very well. While Chris Evans has a less screen time than the others, he plays a crucial role in the film and I’m not going to spoil it because everyone needs to see this movie. I’m just going to say that the whole cast is fantastic as they all bring their A-Game to the roles they are portraying.

Overall, Knives Out is my favorite movie I’ve seen so far from 2019. It’s well directed, acted, and written. Director Rian Johnson has a nice murder mystery film that is original. Sure, many mystery stories feature the same type of plot, but it’s nice to see new characters other than Sherlock Holmes and others that we have already seen. Daniel Craig leads the cast in an awesome performance as the film’s lead detective. I’ve not been that much of a Craig fan, but he’s warming up to me and I want to see more of him as this character. The whole cast in fact is amazing and there isn’t one bad performance in the movie. This movie has it’s serious and over the top moments and they blend in nicely and the pacing of the film is perfect. There is so much going on that time flies by and it will make you want to watch it again. Like I said of all the movies that I’ve seen that came out in 2019 this is so far my favorite.

Now staring with this review I’m going to feature a segment in my reviews called Wife’s Verdict. Since my wife is the love of my life and is a big movie fan like I am, her opinion matters. So, from now on after every movie we watch together I’m going to tell you what she liked about it. She loved this movie just as much as I did. When she tells me that we need to own a movie after we watch it for the first time, I know that she was into it. She liked everything about it and it’s nice we are on the same page about it.

Verdict: Hit

Wife’s Verdict: Hit

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