Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a successful mystery writer, is found dead, his throat slit and the knife still in his hand, on the morning after his 85th birthday.
Obviously, it’s suicide.
Or is it? *cue dramatic music* dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun
His family had gathered the night before to celebrate his birthday and, in the grand tradition of Agatha Christie, most of them appear to have some reason to want the family patriarch dead.
Enter local detective Police Detective Elliott (LaKeith Standfield) and his dopey offsider Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) who are here to question Thrombey’s family and discover the truth. With them is ‘gentleman sleuth’ Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) who has been mysteriously summoned to aid the detectives.
As the family is interviewed one by one, sitting in a chair that is surrounded by a piece of art consisting of knives recalling the Game of Thrones throne, you chuckle, settle back into your seat and buckle up because you know you’re in for one hell of a ride.
Should I watch it?
Yes, you absolutely should. Knives Out is one of the best and most fun movies this year.
You can watch it simply as a wonderfully twisted whodunnit, with the stately and mildly foreboding mansion as much a cast member as the cast itself.
As Detective Elliott drily notes ‘The guy practically lives in a Clue board’. And he certainly does….creaking stairs, dark corners, and secret windows all included.
Or you can watch it as the keenly delivered stab at the current political situation in America. All these rich, white 1%er liberals who cannot quite recall which Latin American country their father’s beloved nurse Marta (Ana de Armas) is from. Marta herself, the purest of people, has an illegal immigrant mother.
The self-made, ball-busting daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) who keeps her own husband Richard’s (Don Johnson) balls in a vice-like grip. Their repulsively arrogant trust fund baby offspring Hugh (Evans) who prefers to be called by his middle name Ransom.
The bleeding heart younger son Walt (Michael Shannon) who works in the family business but has managed to raise an ultra-conservative and very creepy son Jacob (Jaeden Martell).
Daniel Craig is perfection as the bumbling sleuth with his deep Southern accent and eye for detail, Ana de Armas is wonderful as the doe-eyed nurse who seems perpetually on the verge of tears but, perhaps a little surprisingly, it’s Chris Evans who manages to steal the show.
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen Evans truly act. I guess after a decade or so as Captain America, and a few so-so roles in so-so movies, he’s not had much of a chance to stretch. Well, he more than makes up for it here.
Go and see this movie now. Right now. Not since the creepy cult movie hit Get Out has social commentary been such scathingly good fun.
4 ¾ stars
Running Time: 130 minutes
Release Date: In cinemas now
Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford