Review: Knives Out (2019)

A red knife stabbing downwardKnives Out is a rare movie that has the entire audience laughing as they leave the theater. The film is a whodunit hoping to solve why the prolific mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) was found dead the morning after his 85th birthday party.

Thrombey’s family are all people you would love to hate. They’re self-absorbed and taking advantage of Harlan’s generosity. As the movie progresses, the audience learns that all of the family might have it out for the dead patriarch. Harlan Thrombey’s nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), gets tangled up in the whole affair.

A silent character is a gigantic display of hundreds of knives pointing toward a central hole. The interviews by the police take place in front of the art. It is ominous and adds to the tension.

Angela Landsbury and Tom Bosley from Murder, She Wrote make a quick cameo at Marta’s home—her family is obsessed with watching murder mysteries. When Harlan’s family speculates what happened, they choose different mystery novels as possible analogies to the current situation.

Someone unknown hired the renowned investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate the death. Blanc is trying to find who fits in the center of the whole mystery. The family is initially wowed by his reputation, but no one knows what he’s up to.

This mystery is fun and clever. Any mystery that includes a spider wrangler in the credits isn’t self-conscious about the genre. I should have seen it a few weeks ago when I needed some good, unselfconscious laughs.

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