Knives Out Review


Tanuj Sistla, News Editor

“Knives Out,” excellently tells a very captivating story of a murder mystery, essentially bringing a game of Clue to the big screen.


Directed by Rian Johnson, ”Knives Out,” is a murder mystery film set in the heart of family turmoil. When famous and wealthy murder mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (played by Christopher Plummer) dies by apparent suicide, his extended family members are heartbroken, but eager in anticipation for their inheritance. The police, along with snazzy private investigator Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig), don’t believe that it is a suicide and start an investigation. With a multitude of twists and turns throughout the film, “Knives Out“ spectacularly weaves this story through a series of family feuds, suspense, eagerness, and comedy.


Right from the beginning, “Knives Out” is quick to establish the general mood and atmosphere of the film. The soundtrack, location, characters, and even the close-ups of small objects in the mansion, all perfectely encapsulated and radiated the murder mystery vibe.


The movie wastes no time with boring exposition to set up the story. As soon as it begins, the viewer is greeted with the death of Harlan Thrombey and we are immediately launched into the lives of everyone involved in the investigation. Each of the characters is creatively introduced through interrogations and each and every bit of dialogue detail is essential to the story.


On top of that, every character has their own contribution to the story. There’s Thrombey himself, a theatrical nut who craves the plot of a murder mystery in his life, the honest nurse Marta Cabrera (played by Ana de Armas) who was very close to the novelist and for some reason had the impulse to vomit upon lying, the arrogant free riding son Ransom Drysdale (played by Chris Evans), and the cynical yet humorous private investigator Benoit Blanc.


The rest of the characters were the members of the family, who all had their own unique quirks and personalities, and the police supporting Blanc. Although the family’s main role in the movie was to represent their vulture-like greed when Thrombey didn’t include them in his will, their personalities served as comedic and intriguing supplements to the more serious part of the story.


Speaking of which, the plot is woven intricately, and is different from your typical mystery film. Knives Out repeatedly tricks the audience into thinking that they know exactly what’s going on, constantly shifting different factors within the film. For a majority of the film, the viewer is fed a story that explains exactly how Thrombey died, and for the most part seems to be based on how Marta, a good and honest woman, escapes the police and emerges from this complicated puzzle she fell into. But as the movie reaches its conclusion, a series of unexplained circumstances come to light that confuses the audience until the very end, when the strings from the knot are all pulled and the scenario is laid out before the viewer. With the number of twists and turns this movie has, one might even get whiplash (in a good way, of course).


Overall, Knives Out was an excellently well written modern day murder mystery film. It was to the point and constantly captivating.