Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), Knives Out follows the clues behind the death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy author who is murdered after his birthday party. Called in by a mysterious benefactor, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called in to help unravel the mystery amongst Harlan’s quirky relatives, including Harlan’s daughter, Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), his sons, Richard (Don Johnson) and Walt (Michael Shannon) and caregiver Marta (Ana de Armas).
From Brick to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Johnson’s films thrive when thrown into a genre and given the opportunity to turn it on its head. Thankfully, Knives Out continues this trend of success by offering a wild and sharply-written homage to classic ‘whodunnit’ mysteries of old. Thanks to Johnson’s witty writing and incredible performances by its cast, the film absolutely pops onscreen and never feels stale. As Blanc, Craig is simply wonderful and may have even found a character to define his career when 007 retires. Channeling the best of Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, Craig often holds the film together with his hard-nosed growl and solid comedic timing.
In the end, there will be few films this year that are as fun and entertaining as Knives Out. Writer/director Johnson has once again woven a complex narrative filled with unique and engaging characters that will be well worth the price of admission. In doing so, the film also manages to highlight the difficulties inherent to America’s immigration issues as well.
Knives Out had its world premiere last week at the Toronto International Film Festival and spins its web of lies in theatres on November 27th, 2019.