Knives Out paid homage to a beloved Agatha Christie style mystery genre with a full galaxy of stars and a well written story. It was funny. It was beautifully set in a creaky, remote, old mansion. It was definitely a winner.
Knives Out featured a mystery about a dead patriarch and his family of parasitic children and grandchildren. Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) was a famous mystery writer whose books supported everyone in the family.
Harlan employed a nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas). One night, she thought she accidentally poisoned him. Harlan decided to stage his accidental death as a suicide. A last act of generosity from the great writer. He sent Marta away with a plan.
Lt. Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield), with a civilian detective named Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) hanging about, investigated the death. As is typical for this genre, Benoit Blanc listened to all the clues and gathered everyone in the same room at the end to explain what he’d learned and reveal a killer. Daniel Craig played this character with a mishmash of an accent made the detective more pretentious and silly than the pretentious family he investigated.
Along the way, we got to enjoy some interesting characters and have a few laughs. The best laugh was that Harlan left his money to someone quite unexpected. Harlan had 3 children and several grandchildren.
Joni (Toni Collette) had a college-age daughter Meg (Katherine Langford) to support off her dad’s fortune.
Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Richard (Don Johnson) claimed not to need her dad’s money, but did.
Walt (Michael Shannon) merely wanted to bring his dad’s business empire into the digital age.
Ransom (Chris Evans), Harlan’s ridiculously handsome grandson, only seemed interested in fast cars.
My favorite characters had minor roles – Jacob (Jaeden Martell), the Nazi loving grandson and Greatnana (K Callan). Donna (Riki Lindhome) was Jacob’s nervous mother.
Greatnana was a delight. #EldersRock, don’t they?
I also grew quite fond of the nurse Marta before the story ended. The immigrant, the outsider, with a refreshing dose of honesty – Marta was the only character who didn’t have knives out after the money. She navigated the entitled upper class fools surrounding her with grace. Bonus points because Marta’s Mom was played by a favorite of mine, Marlene Forte.
Ana de Armas as Marta already has an impressive list of credits on IMDB. She’s beautiful and talented. If you weren’t aware of her before this film came out, you definitely will be now. Among all the star power and big name energy in this cast, she stands out like a rare gem.
Of course, every one of these characters was very suspicious indeed and the detective Benoit Blanc had his work cut out sifting through the clues. There was a lovely twist at the end (isn’t there always?) and a very satisfactory conclusion.
The masterful mystery Knives Out was written and directed by Rian Johnson.
Take a look at the trailer.
Have you seen this movie yet? What did you think of it?