comedy film movie mystery review

Knives Out (2019) Review

by Ian Morton

After far too long away from the keyboard, it was starting to look like the prospect of me ever getting excited about cinema again was forever out of reach. With a list of disappointing Oscar bait and a never ending schedule of remakes and reboots packing out a dull Christmas release schedule, it almost looked like nothing was on the horizon to rekindle that flame! 

Now a mere 5 weeks away from a new decade, an antidote to the melancholia can be found in the form of Knives Out! A sumptuous murder mystery that knows it’s genre and delights in the magic of its ensemble cast.

Set in a country manor, the story follows the curious events surrounding the apparent suicide of fiction writer, Harlan Thrombey. As the family gathers to mourn the deceased patriarch and eagerly awaits the results of the will reading, the plot thickens as famed private eye Benoit Blanc is hired to investigate the case and uncover the hidden truth lurking behind the coroner’s report.

Clearly inspired by the genre and laced with the same drugs that make Agatha Christie novels so addictive, director Rian Johnson has hit back at the critical reception of his last film, The Last Jedi, with a comeback few could see coming. It’s a winning formula from the get go; impressive cinematography and an insane eye for detail leave the audience always looking for clues, while an intriguing plot twist keep you invested in the central characters.

Many will compare the Knives Out ensemble cast to 2017’s, Murder on the Orient Express reboot but it’s a comparison that really doesn’t warrant much debate! From the moment the film starts, the massive cohort of talent are introduced one by one, laid out like the characters in a game of cluedo, each with a motive and a link to the victim. It’s an impressive soap box for each star to claim their spot on the poster, giving them the space to one up each other while having fun at the same time.

The best thing about Knives Out is just how original it is. Sure, it follows a similar beat to the well explored ‘whodunit’ genre, but the film ultimately does it in an intriguing fashion,  keeping you guessing along the way. Shot well and sporting a perfect cast, this is a film determined to sweep away the winter blues!

Knives Out is released November 27th!

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