“A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.” – IMDB
You know it. Those movies that could be on TNT (back in the day) or that every time you scroll through Netflix (there we go, we back on track now?), you’ll stop and watch. You’ve seen it a million times and it may not be Citizen Kane, but it’s funny, intriguing, and mindless enough that it doesn’t demand too much energy from you. That is Knives Out. Let me clarify and give you three reasons why:
- The twists and turns. If you’re not familiar with the plot, it is a murder mystery. As simple as that. That being said, it plays with the the tropes that we’ve all come to expect in a thriller. At times, it gives into them, at others, it completely changes direction. This is simple, but effective strategy because any guesses you have in the beginning, you’ll have forgotten because the plot has veered in fifty different directions since then. It makes it a more interactive experience and I found myself and my friend constantly turning to each other to make new guesses.
- It is chock-full of amazing actors. These days, those type of movies scare me. He’s Just Not That Into You, Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve, Love Actually (yep, I said it, I don’t like it…DEAL WITH IT) just don’t delve into any character enough to make the movie exciting. I get bored with every story line, all of which are usually a smidgen too sappy, and feel like I spent my money just to see actors paraded before me, flaunting how little work they did for an easy multi-million dollar paycheck. This is not the case with Knives Out. It’s carefully crafted to give us just enough information about the character to intrigue us, but not enough to give too much of the plot away. It also feels like an exercise in the the actors playing with one another, riffing off of one another, and trying out new skills (looking at you, Mr. Craig). It’s fun to watch a group of top-level actors enjoying their time on screen.
- It makes fun of itself. If done well, it’s great’s to see a movie that can be irreverent towards itself. That’s why Deadpool was so popular, after all. This movie, in several different parts, either called out something I had just been thinking or something my friend and I had mentioned to one another while we were watching. It knows what its cultural references are and its not afraid to tip its hat to them.
I was a little upset recently to hear that there is a remake of Clue in the works. Even though it’s supposed to be directed by Jason Bateman, who is hilarious and I’m sure would put together a great cast, I just can’t handle one more remake from my childhood. If someone insists on updating a classic, I suggest they take notes from Knives Out and make an homage to the classic that’s new and fresh, as opposed to directly recycling used materials (PC NOTE: this is the only case where I don’t advocate recycling). Because, although I’m not sure Knives Out will be remembered as a classic, I do know that because of its originality, it’s a movie that I’ll likely to stop and watch whenever I come across it.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: Clue, Brick, The Brothers Bloom
With: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, and LaKeith Stanfield.
Directed By: Rian Johnson