Read below for her review of the movie.
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True Confession: I’m a sucker for mysteries, comedies, and Chris Evans, not necessarily in that order. So I desperately wanted to see “Knives Out” because it’s a mystery with a great cast, and Chris Evans getting to be funny again. But just because the trailers looked great, would it mean that the film held up? And I was going with not only the hubs, but my MIL, too. Would they like it as well, or would this be a family disappointment film?
Happily, the film is even better than the trailers lead you to believe, and all three of us loved it.
A famous author, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), has died, apparently from suicide. But has he? The police were willing to believe suicide, but a famous private detective, Benoit Blanc – basically a southern-fried Hercule Poirot (Daniel Craig, Foghorn Leghorning it up to wonderful effect) – has been hired by an anonymous source to investigate. And the moment he starts, Blanc is sure there’s been foul play. There is a star-studded cast of potential suspects, but it takes Blanc’s keen insights to ferret out the truth.
Because many others have already reviewed this movie, I’m going to focus on the script, which is excellent.
Of course, you don’t have a good movie without a good script, but this script really shines. There’s witty wordplay, humor, pathos, dread, and a rollercoaster ride for at least one of the characters that we, the audience, go on as well. The actors, of course, have to be good enough to make the script work, and they all are, but it’s more than just their skill that makes this so good. The scrip is crisp – nothing is wasted, nothing seen is unimportant, nothing important is not seen – and it’s also twisty in surprising ways, which is great fun with a mystery plot.
The movie relies heavily on flashbacks, which is common with mysteries – the flashback sequence where the detective describes who did or could have done it, usually. This movie, however, has a lot more flashbacks than normal.
Sometimes flashbacks are confusing, boring, or indulgent. In this movie, they’re handled perfectly – they give you more information and expand your knowledge and increase your enjoyment…and sometimes they mislead you in the best of ways.
The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson, he of “Star Wars XIII” aka The Film The Fanboys Hated. What you may not realize is that he’s also the writer and director of cool films like “Brick” and “Looper”. So it’s not a total surprise that “Knives Out” works so well – Johnson has a track record that says he knows what he’s doing.
The film is rated PG-13, and you will want to be sure any kids going are clear that Chris Evans is an actor playing a role, lest they think they’re seeing Captain America Behaving Badly. For those Chris Evans fans out there, of which I am definitely one, it’s nice to see him getting to make jokes and laugh again. Most of the cast isn’t laughing, but you will be, so go see “Knives Out” and enjoy a great, non-blockbuster, non-sequel, fun, intelligent movie.
5 stars out of 5