Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ is a suspense and energy-filled journey that is thrilling, clever, and deeply profound.
After the apparent suicide of a wealthy family’s patriarch, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) must piece together the puzzle to prove that it is, in fact, a murder.
After a rocky reception to his big blockbuster break with 2017’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, Rian Johnson comes back in full swing with a masterful and incredibly entertaining mystery packed with impeccable social commentary and enough twists to satisfy even the most skeptical. This accomplishment, of course, is mostly thanks to his script, which never loses its way and maintains refreshing unpredictability throughout its runtime. Perhaps what works best is Johnson’s ability to mesh his trademark sarcastic humor and mystery tongue-in-cheek clichés with a thoughtful commentary on society’s polarized views on the world. It’s an element that gives the film a much-needed message that is profound but never too obvious. As for his direction, Johnson never chooses to go too ostentatious with it; thankfully, it never feels small either, a testament to his unmatched abilities as a filmmaker at this point in his career.
Headlined by a hilarious Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas, the whole cast is splendid in what might be one of the best ensembles put together this year. De Armas, in particular, works better than ever before as the beating heart of the film and is a real joy to see on screen in a very complex performance. Aside from Craig and De Armas, standouts are Chris Evans and Christopher Plummer, who both seem as very lighthearted characters at the beginning. Still, as the film progresses, both show incredible depth in their respective portrayals.
In the end, ‘Knives Out’ more than succeeds thanks to its both masterfully assembled script and cast that elevate it to one of the best and most entertaining films of the year.