Certificate – 12A
Directed By – Rian Johnson
Starring – Daniel Craig, Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, James Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell.
Running Time – 127 Minutes (2 Hours 7 Minutes)
As we’re in weird times right now, there’s never been a perfect time to go and get Knives Out as it’s a modern-day classic.
After seeing it at the London Film Festival and follow-up showings, it’s now in my personal top five favourite movies ever.
I love this movie so much I’m changing the format of my review as there is nothing bad about this masterpiece.
What is Knives Out About?
When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate.
From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.
Is It Any Good?
If you read the opening, the answer is yes. THIS MOVIE IS A MASTERPIECE!!!
It’s crazy to think this film took 12 months to go from pre-production to release and broke over $300 million and it’s all down to the incredible mind of Johnson.
This movie should (and probably) be shown throughout film schools and classes across the world as it’s the perfect template of directing, editing, writing and so many other areas because it all comes together beautifully.
It’s mental to think; this is when Johnson is having fun, and you can tell when watching that he had a blast writing the script and filming with this incredible cast.
Speaking of fun, I’ve never seen Craig perform with this much joy and humour, especially as this was filmed during the short window of Danny Boyle leaving Bond 25, as he does with Blanc and that Southern accent.
The fact that the gentleman detective doesn’t seem to be good at his job compared to Agatha Christie’s super-sleuth, but is still able to get under the skin of this family and unveil the dirty inside.
I am so grateful that Johnson is writing another Blanc story and we can see Craig continue in this role as it’s the perfect character for him now James Bond is over for the 52-year-old.
The only downside is we won’t be seeing Armas return as this is the film truly shows off her acting and the way she acts with every member of the cast with the highlight scene being opposite Plummer.
The raw emotion heartbreak of losing her friend is some beautiful acting.
It continues throughout the film as Armas is nearly in every scene and juggles many emotions and you can’t help but get lost in those big brown eyes.
However, it’s Evans that blasts onto the screen and steals it from everyone playing an incredibly privileged arsehole fantastically, and you can’t help but smile the moment he comes on.
Meanwhile, Curtis and Johnson have such great chemistry together it’s hard to think why they haven’t played a married couple before. Collette continues to prove why she’s such a wonderful actor as it would’ve been easy to for Joni to be a “wacky” character, but Collette can balance it perfectly.
Moving onto the script, for an over two-hour movie, Johnson does a fantastic job with the script as it flows beautifully without any lagging and every character bouncing off each other.
It’s also a cracking job by the film’s editor Bob Ducsay to helps with the pacing.
Back on the script, it’s not just the flow but also has some fantastic dialogue from Evans telling his family to “eat shit” to two of Craig’s doughnut hole speeches (spoilers before watching the clip below).
The film also has many other understories and off camera pieces like how the whole Thrombey family continue to get her nationality wrong and Johnson’s Richard beginning his own downfall.
Finally, Johnson’s directing is incredible from the use of flashbacks to the different ways the film is shot. The big standout being the moment Johnson transitions from steadicam to handheld is wonderfully done and adds a layer to make that scene feel like media scrum.
If you’re a student of film or love movies, then you need to watch and study this film.
Has The Blu-Ray Got Any Special Features?
Yes and again they’re fantastic. As someone who loves these on Blu-ray/DVD, I can’t thank Johnson and Lionsgate enough for putting on so many of them.
These extras include:
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes – Must watch after the film to give more background to certain characters.
- Marketing Gallery
- Meet The Thrombeys Viral Ads
- In Theatre Commentary
- Director and Cast Q&A
- Rian Johnson: Planning The Perfect Murder Featurette
- Making A Murder Featurette – An essential featurette and again a must watch for film students to understand the step-by-step of movie-making film script to screen.
Johnson has created a masterpiece and a new franchise with Craig producing one of his greatest performances.