Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★★

"It's a weird case from the start. A case with a hole in the center. A doughnut."

Okay, screw it, I'm giving this the full five-star rating. It might not necessarily be what the film objectively deserves, but it's definitely what I think it deserves.

I love murder mysteries. Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Edgar Allan Poe, James M. Cain are just some of the classic writers whose works I have enjoyed greatly in the past, and Rian Johnson seems to be very conscious of their influences, paying homage to elements of the mystery genre with every ounce of the production design, the plot development and the eclectic cast ensemble.

But the most striking thing about Knives Out is, for me, just how rewatchable it is. So many murder mysteries become tiresome once you have learned who the real murderer is. It's why Kenneth Branagh's remake of Murder on the Orient Express didn't work for me, and it's also why a lot of the more straight-forward adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories didn't work for me, simply because I've read most of the Holmes and Watson adventures at some point. However, this rewatch of Knives Out convinced me that even knowing what's really going on doesn't degrade the enjoyment factor by one single bit. It had been a blast watching this in a packed cinema (those were the days...), but seeing it at home wasn't any less enjoyable, and perhaps even more amusing.

I don't really like to repeat myself, as I have talked sufficiently about the strength of the cast and the technical work in my previous review, but I feel the need to highlight once again the magnificence of Ana de Armas' performance. She's absolutely marvelous and a delight to watch from beginning to end.

There are a few weak spots. I think some of the family members are not given enough screentime, some of the jokes are too rough and played mostly for comedic effort rather than actually fitting into the moment. But those problems are too minor for me to love this film any less.

2019 Ranked

Featured in: Great Movies

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