Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★★

Well I’m glad to see Rian Johnson used his Star Wars paycheck for a great original mystery.

Knives Out is just fantastic. It’s basically a throwback to classic murder mystery films while adding a clever modern spin with it. That’s what Johnson does best, taking known genres and putting them in a blender and doing something new with it. While Brick was a neo-teen mystery, this is an old-fashioned whodunnit. Just when you think you know what you’re getting into, Johnson “subverts expectations” and does something completely original with a bunch of twists and turns. This is what Murder on Orient Express should have been! Plus, it’s surprisingly really funny. I also admire how Johnson really has the family be more selfish and unlikable as the film progresses (without giving anything away, they’re all real rich assholes).

The ensemble cast is some of the best of the year. Daniel Craig and Chris Evans chew up scenery, Toni Collette and Michael Shannon add a lot of personality, Christopher Plummer was a ton of fun, but Ana de Armas is the true MVP. She’s phenomenal and I hope she receives an Oscar nod. Love some of the shots particularly whenever a character sits in the chair with all the knives pointed at them. That’s just cinematic gold. The pace was great as well. It never feels too slow and goes by very quickly, in a good way.

My only issues are some characters kind of feel pointless. Namely Hannah from 13 Reasons Why and Bill from It were kind of just there. They have their moments to serve the story but they could’ve been taken out and the movie wouldn’t have been different. But honestly, that’s just nitpicking. Knives Out is a fantastic mystery and easily Johnson’s best film. He’s gone from Joesph Gordon Levitt getting sucker-punched to Mark Ruffalo as a con man to Bruce Willis involved in time travel to “ruining Star Wars” (Last Jedi is good) to James Bond as a southern detective. Case in point, the dude has a great career.

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