April 6, 2022
5 / 5
5 / 5
Knives Out: Sharpest Writing of 2019?
I’m not a big fan of the whodunit genre of film-making. It’s a hard genre to do, to be fair. Once the big mystery is revealed, the audience knows that forever and ever. So the re-watch value can be tainted. And if the movie didn’t lay down enough clues, there is no satisfaction in the answer. But if it laid down too many, the reveal is just as unsatisfying. On top of that, whodunit films can often get laid down and dragged into repetitive exposition instead of interesting dialogue, and while they might have interesting characters, they aren’t very developed or engaging, especially on re-watch. To this day, the only whodunit movie I was fond of was Clue, based on the board game, and if it wasn’t for my bizarre passion for Tim Curry, I’m not sure I would like the film nearly as much as I do. Knives Out leaves no such doubt in my mind. Not only is it by far the best whodunit film I have ever seen, it is one of the best movies of 2019. Maybe even…the decade?
This film is so well-written and crafted that even if I spoiled it in depth during this review, I have all the confidence that anyone who went on to watch it anyways would still have a good time with the twists and turns the movie takes and of course, take in all of the sheer fun the movie offers. What makes this movie so different from other whodunit films? Well, while the cast, cinematography, direction, and virtually any aspect you can think of are top notch, it really is the thematic and witty writing that seals the deal. I’ve seen funny whodunits, I’ve seen clever whodunits, but I’ve never seen one with both done quite to effectively, and likewise, I’ve never seen a whodunit film that actually had a major point to make beyond “let’s have fun”.
If you haven’t seen this movie…do it. I’m going to try my best to avoid spoilers, but it’s pretty hard. So just skip to the last paragraph to avoid anything for a final verdict, but I think you know where it’s going. This movie is brilliant, and has earned its critical praise for a reason.
Alright. The butler did it.
I’m joking, of course. This movie actually reveals exactly who did it (referring to murder) rather early on. Maybe this isn’t a whodunit so much as a…whydunit? But of course, this movie is nothing if not clever, and it’s thanks to Rian Johnson, who has proven himself to be one of the best new(er) directors on the scene. Johnson is responsible for 2 of the absolute best episodes of Breaking Bad, one of my favorite Star Wars films, The Last Jedi, the brilliant Looper, and the highly underrated Brick. Johnson tends to both write and direct his own work, and he certainly has hit many different genres and moods in his career thus far. He’s a master of taking a different approach to conventional film narratives and keeping his work visually engaging, always going beyond the bare minimum. Knives Out is no exception, and had he not directed the best 50 minute episode of television history, I would say it’s perhaps his best work (so far).
November 12, 2021
5 / 5
4.5 / 5
Revisiting “Knives Out”- Now on Amazon Prime
Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper
, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
), Knives Out
was one of the most clever and intricately crafted films of 2019. It affectionately pays homage to the classic murder-mystery “whodunnit” while also completely flipping the script and reinventing the formula. I fell in love with this movie instantly when I saw it in theaters, and it became one of my top five favorite films of 2019.
For those who missed its theatrical run, you now have a chance to see this spectacular film on Amazon Prime.
With its debut on the streaming service, I rewatched it, and I was not disappointed. Knives Out
is a movie that only gets better with subsequent viewings. Much like the donut hole at the center of the case, the movie only gets deeper the more you see it.
follows Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he investigates the “suicide” of wealthy murder-mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Everyone in his eccentric family is a suspect, as Blanc suspects foul play.