Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Knives Out Movie Review

Daniel Craig stars in Knives Out

Tragedy of Errors

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in Knives Out, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan's dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan's untimely death. With an all-star ensemble cast including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell, Knives Out is a witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer

What's Good: Harlan's family (particularly Collette, Curtis and Johnson) is delightfully eccentric, but pretty much disappears after a frantic/sterling 20-minute debut, giving way to huge doses of Craig, de Armas and various flashbacks that muddy an already confusing mystery. There's a few clever lines ("The guy practically lives on the Clue board") and moments, but not enough to do its impressive cast justice.

What's Not: Craig's accent rivals Midway's Ed Skrein for worst of (2019) honors. Given his inordinate share of screen time, it's almost enough to ruin the movie. That, and incessantly long stretches of boredom, that had me longing for this summer's similar (but superior) Ready or Not.

Budget: $40 million

Runtime: 130 minutes (Too long.)

Target Audience: Mystery/whodunit fans.

Bottom Line: Craig hits the nail on the head when he observes, "A case with a hole in the middle of it." Johnson's film is uneven (fast, slow, confusing) and wastes the considerable talents of a superb cast with a middle-of-the-road story (which he also wrote.) It's (slightly) above average, but still disappointing.

Grade: C+