KNIVES OUT

KNIVES OUT movie poster
Following his 85th birthday party, famed crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate. Distinguished detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is hired by an unknown person to aid the police, led by Lieutenant Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield), in the investigation. There's no shortage of suspects in the mansion. Among the dysfunctional family members with motive include: Harlan's daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her avaricious husband Richard (Don Johnson), their disinherited black sheep son Ransom (Chris Evans) and Thrombey's son Walt (Michael Shannon) who recently was fired from running his father’s publishing company. Walt's wife Donna (Riki Lindhome), son Jacob (Jaeden Martell), the patriarch's widowed daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette), who has been found stealing from Harlan, and her daughter Meg (Katherine Langford) are also on the list. Chief among the staff is Harlan’s loyal private nurse and companion Marta (Ana de Armas), a Guatemalan immigrant with a penchant for vomiting when she fails to tell the truth. As Blanc gets closer to solving the case, the plot thickens.

A stellar cast and a twisty plot make this dark comedy a mystery lovers' dream movie. Director/writer Rian Johnson's ("Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi") brilliant script blends
Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock into a completely original pleasure that will keep you in suspense until the very end. Johnson also manages to sneak in several homages, including one to "Murder, She Wrote". Daniel Craig, taking a 007 break, brings an unforgettable new character to life. Using a heavy drawl that he reportedly patterned after Southern historian Shelby Foote, Craig sleuths like Christie's Poirot in a most enjoyable way. I would love to see him play Benoit Blanc in future films. Getting almost as much screen time is charmer Ana de Armas as the embattled nurse. She'll next be joining the star in "No Time to Die", playing Bond girl Paloma. The supporting cast members, too large to list here, deliver one of the best ensemble performances of the year. Look for veterans Frank Oz, K Callan and M. Emmet Walsh in small roles. There's witty dialogue throughout and surprises around every corner - which you'll have to discover for yourself. This familiar genre gets an upgrade. The captivating "Knives Out" is a cutting-edge whodunit. (4/5 CAMS)

Rated PG-13 (for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material)
Running Time: 131 minutes

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