‘Knives Out’ Didn’t Quite Suck Me Right In (Movie Review)

Image result for knives out
‘Knives Out’ Movie Poster Image from IMDB

PG-13 — 130 minutes — Drama, Mystery, Suspense

Release Date: Nov. 27, 2019

Directed by: Rian Johnson 

In this latest Whodunnit movie, “Knives Out” follows a detective (Daniel Craig) who gets mysteriously called to an extravagant mansion where a best-selling murder-mystery author, Harlan Thrombey, (Christopher Plummer) has been murdered. One-by-one, Harlan’s family and staff are interviewed to see where they were before the crime was committed on the night of Harlan’s birthday. And so begins the utter madness and quirkiness of this movie that was a mixture of “Clue” meets Agatha Christie. 

The “Knives Out” Cast and Characters

What initially drew me into this film was the cast filled with so many familiar faces like Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ana de Armas, a Cuban actress that I’ve been infatuated with for quite some time. I really enjoyed the way they initially showed off every character, who all had their own quirky personalities, by having an interrogation-type setting where each character recounts what they did the night of the murder by using clever editing to juxtaposition the characters’ lies, during the interrogations, with what actually happened to them that night. 

Something I did not enjoy at all was Daniel Craig’s faux Southern accent (picture Django Unchained mixed with Colonel Sanders’) which, I’m sure, was supposed to be for comic relief, but, instead it kept pulling me out of the movie and reminded me that Daniel Craig was acting and forcing an accent for a role. There was no actual need for this accent considering his backstory is never actually explored and his character is quite flat. I think I would have enjoyed the movie so much more if we just heard his smooth British accent instead of having to hear him force out every sentence in an accent that he couldn’t quite pull off. 

Who really shined in this movie was Marta (Ana de Armas). This was my first Ana de Armas movie, and I am so proud of her for taking center stage and for shining in her role as the nurse of Harlan who has more secrets to hide than she leads on. The innocence she radiated made me fall for her character, and I kept rooting her on as she navigates her way through a household of pompous, privileged rich people who have never worked a day in their life.

Seeing a Cubanita at the center of a movie full of some well-known actors was awe-inspiring and was what won me over, in the end, despite the fact that I didn’t mesh well with the storyline.

Pulling apart the Storyline of “Knives Out”

It was only when the movie progressed passed the initial interrogations and delved into Blanc’s (Daniel Craig’s character) investigation of the murder that I was lost, as a viewer. Each plot twist revealed slowly but surely throughout the movie felt glaringly obvious to me and had no element of surprise. While I understand that this Whodunnit doesn’t take itself too seriously considering there are a lot of humorous moments woven into the seriousness of the story’s setting, I wasn’t compelled by the direction the story took and wish we could have seen more scenes with the supporting characters whose personalities were so loud and absurd. 

If I were to want to see a Whodunnit type of movie, I would turn to “Clue” (1985) instead, but if one of your favorite actors is in this film, it’s worth the watch to see how they fare in this convoluted story.

ALSO TRY: “Clue” 1985 – Based on the classic board game, 6 guests are mysteriously invited to a mansion, but when their host is murdered, they must work together to find out which among them is the killer in a hilarious, underrated, comedic mystery movie. 

This is my first ever movie review, so if you have any specific details you’d want me to include in future reviews, please let me know!