by Theo Sloan
February 17, 2020
Knives Out is director Rian Johnson’s fourth movie, and it is his first movie since Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi. It stars Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, Chris Evans as Ransom Robinson, and Ana de Armas as Marta. It also features many famous stars, such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Frank Oz, in smaller roles. Knives Out is a spectacular movie, one of the best of 2019, making talking about the good in this movie both fun and easy. Please note that I will not be discussing plot details in this review because I recommend seeing the movie if you have not already done so.
Knives Out is a murder mystery with a new twist. It is set in a grand mansion in Massachusetts, and it has a witty tone, deviating from the dark, sinister tone of the classic murder mystery. It is similar to the classic in that it aims to have the audience guessing who the murderer is throughout the runtime. Knives Out achieves this goal, and it also includes a second story that kicks in about halfway through the movie that almost overshadows the murder mystery itself. However, the murder mystery is fantastic and features some of the best twists and turns in any movie I have ever seen. This movie is amazingly well-written. The acting is also phenomenal. I praised Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley in The Rise of Skywalker, and I stand by that, but the acting here completely blows those performances out of the water. This movie features Ana de Armas in her biggest role yet, and she does a fantastic job. Daniel Craig is amazing as well, and Chris Evans proves that he is capable of more than the nice-guy Captain America role he has been playing for ten years. In addition, the score in this movie is fantastic. From the beginning of the long, uncut opening shot, the score instantly grabbed my attention and pulled me into the movie.
Knives Out completely sucks its audience into the world it establishes and the story it tells. I consider these to be the most important attributes of a movie. From the opening frame to the closing shot, it had my full attention. It was at times dramatic, scary, intense, sad, funny, and victorious, and it never once pulled me out of the movie. Knives Out also features some biting social commentary. I am more open to political messages in movies than some people, but I acknowledge that it can sometimes feel forced or pretentious. However, this movie suffers from none of that. Its main point was that, regardless of their political views, the rich do not ever want their wealth taken away from them, and they will turn on anyone who tries to do that.
Knives Out is great, though I do have a nitpicky issue with it. There are some characters played by fantastic actors who don’t get much screen time, and I wish some of them had a little more time to chew scenery because they are all so great, but this is an insignificant issue. Rian Johnson also manages to stick a little message about internet trolls into the movie, a group he dealt with after The Last Jedi proved to be the one of most controversial media of the 2010s.
The movie is essentially perfect. Knives Out is now available to stream and will be coming to DVD very soon. I highly recommend that you check it out.