Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★

The main attraction here isn’t necessarily the central mystery - it’s certainly admirable how many elements Johnson manages to juggle in that regard, but in the end, it doesn’t really subvert as many expectations as it thinks it does. It wraps up in fairly predictable fashion, in my opinion. The main attraction is, as expected, the incredible cast, which tears into the material with aplomb and hams it up like there’s no tomorrow. Shannon is the early star, but Craig slowly but surely takes over the film with his silly accent, Bond suaveness, and eccentric comedic edge. He and de Armas are great foils for each other, and their dynamic develops in an incredibly entertaining way. Honestly, everyone in the cast deserves a shoutout in some regard.

Occasionally the film struggles to keep things moving, as it has to consistently utilize flashbacks, shift gears, and explain things to the audience. But like any good whodunit, it makes up for some of those issues with a distinct visual style and an understanding that being over the top isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Johnson brings technique, talent, and even a distinctly political energy behind the camera, and he lets the cast and production design play off of each other until you’re drawn into his world. It’s a lot of fun, but also a really lovely production and a great excuse to get all these actors in the same room to be assholes to each other. It’s nice to know that we can still not take ourselves too seriously during Fall Prestige Movie Season.

Also: great final shot.

GRADE: B+

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