Film Review: Knives Out

Daniel Craig stars as celebrity sleuth Benoit Blanc in Knives Out. Picture: IMDb

Daniel Craig stars as celebrity sleuth Benoit Blanc in Knives Out. Picture: IMDb - Credit: Archant

Rian Johnson has always delivered a fresh, enjoyable spin on a variety of genres; he offered us a sun-dappled twist on the noir style with his debut Brick, a deliciously dark take on Science Fiction with Looper and reinvigorated the Star Wars franchise with the divisive The Last Jedi.

Now, he has put his considerable talents into delivering a wonderfully inventive and devilishly twisty murder mystery with Knives Out.

The film focuses on celebrity sleuth Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), hired to investigate the apparent suicide of wealthy murder mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

As Blanc's investigation continues it becomes clear that Harlan may have been murdered by a member of his family.

With much of the action unfolding in Harlan's enormous, exquisitely designed house Johnson, as all great mystery writers do, constantly keeps the audience on its toes, wrong-footing them at every turn, while the film's true monster lurks in plain sight.

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While there is great pleasure to be derived from the many references to Sleuth and the works of Agatha Christie, it's in the performances from the film's Murder on the Orient Express sized ensemble cast that the film crackles to life.

Craig in particular excels; his southern accented, piano-key plonking detective is a wonderfully distinctive creation.

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Ana de Armas makes a big impression too as kind-hearted carer Marta ; and Chris Evans and Michael Shannon have great fun as Harlan's hateful, entitled grandson Ransom and weak-willed - youngest son Walt respectively.

Knives out is a sharply-written and fabulously constructed Whodunit.

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