“Knives Out” brings audiences a fun, new style of murder-mystery


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“Knives Out” came out on November 27, 2019

Emily Howell, Staff Writer

Released November 29, the new murder-mystery comedy Knives Out has consistently ranked near the top of the box office and received three Golden Globe nominations. These praises, I believe are well deserved. 

Director/writer Rian Johnson, also known for his direction of Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi, delivered what I believe is the epitome of murder mystery movies. It follows the suicide of Harlan Thrombey, a wealthy and famous murder-mystery author following his 85th birthday. 

Without disclosing the details of this important event, the audience feels as though they know what happened to Thrombey and I certainly felt confused when all-time detective Benoit Blanc came to investigate the Thrombey family about the death of their beloved family leader. Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, believes Thrombey did not commit suicide but was in fact murdered by one of the party-goers. The audience is slowly strung along as the children, grandchildren, and caregiver to Thrombey are investigated. I reluctantly followed this plotline but became more and more convinced of it as the complicated relationships of a family driven by money, selfishness, and jealousy came to light. 

Again, without spoiling the details of Thrombey’s death the audience does know, there is a slow burn release of new information that makes the audience doubt what they actually saw happen. I thought the plot was perfectly written and executed by Johnson because I thought I was following along, but I couldn’t have been more off. I felt this especially when the family members were interrogated by Blanc and his team because my mind was turning with possibilities and I was constantly making new predictions as to who I thought was behind the foul-play. 

I found myself unable to truly see the ending coming.

— Emily Howell

When the details finally come to a head, I found myself unable to truly see the ending coming, which is something I find rare in mystery and crime dramas. It also had the perfect blend of drama and comedy, but the comedic elements I believe are what add an extra layer of interest for the audience. 

While I can’t rave enough about the plot of Knives Out, it would be a disgrace to not acknowledge the big-name actors and actresses that starred in it. The Thrombey children and their spouses were played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Riki Lindhome, and Toni Collette. The grandchildren were played by Chris Evans, Katherine Langford, and Jaeden Martell. 

The two biggest cast members that stole the show for me, however, were Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas. De Armas, who played Thrombey’s caregiver, gave a performance that awarded her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Musical or Comedy. I think she greatly deserves this accolade because she was able to win the hearts of the audience and come across both as a character of innocence and one of guilt. Daniel Craig, also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, might be my favorite character because of his southern accent alone. I couldn’t think of a better person to play the genius detective, which I think proves the excellence of his acting.

As a fan of Marvel, I also have to quickly acknowledge Chris Evans as he takes on a very different role from his well-known portrayal of Captain America. I think Knives Out is the starting point for a new era of Evans’ movies. I believe a lot of the humorous and light-hearted elements stemmed mainly from Evans’ character, proving he is a multi-faceted actor with a lot of role capabilities to build upon. 

The movie as a whole was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, and while awards and nominations can be taken with a grain of salt by some, I cannot think of a better way to encapsulate this movie. Still, in theatres, Knives Out is one of the best movie-going experiences I’ve had and I cannot recommend it enough.