ITOL 2019 Roundup: Knives Out

Runtime: 130 minutes

Director: Rian Johnson

Writer: Rian Johnson

Stars: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis

By Jenni Holtz

Rian Johnson‘s new movie “Knives Out” is the best whodunit film since “Clue” (1985). The star-studded cast and multiple twists make it a wild ride, entertaining at every turn. With talents like Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, LaKeith Stanfield, Chris Evans, Toni Colette, and so many more, I knew “Knives Out” would be good before I entered the theater. There was no way I could have predicted just how good, though. “Knives Out” is like popcorn; with each bite you can’t stop yourself from wanting a little bit more. As the mystery unravels, more questions arise and things get more and more complicated. 

“Knives Out” is like popcorn; with each bite you can’t stop yourself from wanting a little bit more.

The story begins shortly after the death of the head of the Thrombey family, Harlen Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), the night of his birthday party. The whole family was in attendance and each has their own reason to be upset with Harlen. Their motives combined with the strange way Harlen died leads the police to suspect foul play, as detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) informs the family with a strong Southern drawl. 

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The film covers the entire murder investigation as every family member is questioned. The surprise protagonist, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), complicates the story and shifts the narrative from a classic whodunit to a socially relevant story about immigration. Unlike the fear-mongering in much of the media, “Knives Out” presents Marta, the daughter of an undocumented immigrant, with empathy and agency. She is neither pitied nor vilified for her immigration status. Instead, she is an integral part of the story and gives a wonderful performance. 

Marta’s character adds a level of social awareness that adds a whole new layer to “Knives Out,” creating a film that is fun, political, and creative. It’s a film that nearly anyone will enjoy and it is certainly one that warrants multiple viewings to find new hints. 

 

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