Incredibly sharp and witty, Knives Out somewhat modernizes the old whodunit but keeps it classy, suspenseful, and lusciously mysterious.
Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is an incredibly wealthy and famous crime novelist, who has just had his 85th birthday. The day after his party, his maid goes up to his study and discovers his body, and it appears he has been brutally murdered. Suddenly, everyone who was at the party is now a suspect in Harlan's untimely death.
Private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) has been brought on the job and now he must interview the family left behind by Harlan. Each member claims to be fully innocent and heartbroken by the death of their beloved family patriarch, but Blanc is not swayed by their sob stories. Blanc must use his heightened suspicions about the privileged and entitled Thrombey family as well as his keen intuition as his guide to discovering who the real culprit is so he can solve the case.
Knives Out was one of my most highly awaited films of the year. I am a sucker for a good mystery, and when I saw the trailer and the cast, I was practically giddy with anticipation waiting to see it. Thankfully, Knives Out was fully worth the wait. It was a lot slower than I had expected, especially given the speed in which its previews portrayed it, but honestly I am glad that it chose to go at the pace it did. By doing this, you were able to get the needed information to try and solve the mystery on your own, just like any good whodunit should do. Each family member and suspect gets a chance to tell their version of their story of the night of Harlan's party, and as each person relays their tale, the inaccuracies and plot holes begin to reveal themselves. You can practically see the ideas and theories sprouting in Blanc's eyes as he begins to uncover the truth that is shrouded behind the lies.
With a cast such as the one that makes up Knives Out, it is almost impossible to pick out a stand out member of the bunch. Each actor brings their own flourish and skill to their characters, turning them into the types of roles you'd expect to see in an entertaining murder mystery. Almost all of the suspects are terrible people, each with very few facets to their personalities. They are very much what you see on the surface with not a lot remorse or compassion underneath. Yet, with all that being said, they are incredibly fun to watch. They embody their roles so well, that you just can't wait to see one of them get taken down by Benoit Blanc. Speaking of Blanc, watching Daniel Craig in this film was easily my favorite aspect of the entire movie. Though the film is set in present day, his character seemed to be pulled right out of a murder mystery set in the old Savannah. Both his appearance and demeanor clash with the modern ideals of some of the suspects, making him a great focal point and protagonist for this wonderful spin on the classic whodunit genre.
Whenever I watch or read a story that involves a mystery, I always invest a lot of time and effort to try and solve it before the end of the story. As Knives Out was beginning, I was paying very close attention to each detail of the characters' alibis, hoping I'd be able to crack the case before the credits rolled. Now, I am someone who has loved puzzles and mysteries for as long as I can remember, and not to boast about myself, but I have had a pretty good track record at figuring out the the solution to mysteries in the past. With Knives Out, about thirty-five minutes or so into the movie, I was pretty positive I had figured out who the culprit was, but the film did such a wonderful job at distracting me from my theories, that I had actually forgotten about who I thought the killer was until the big reveal was made at the end. I was right, but I loved that Knives Out was able to throw me off track. It kept the plot incredibly intriguing and entertaining, with twists and turns every step of the way.
Knives Out is a film that as I was leaving the theater, I knew I had absolutely loved what I had just seen, but I actually ended up liking it even more in the days that followed. The more I thought about it, the more I really digested how clever, well written, and impeccably made it was. Even though I already know who did it, I cannot wait to watch it again, just so I can try to pick up on clues I may have missed before, and to be able to once again witness a near perfect movie.