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Knives Out: A modern-day Triumph in Murder Mystery Cinema

Knives Out promotional poster.

Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson, is a contemporary film that captivated audiences upon its release in 2019. Johnson, known for his innovative storytelling, takes a classic murder mystery and infuses it with modern twists. As a viewer, one is immediately drawn into a web of intrigue. The film has an ensemble cast featuring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, and more, promising top-tier performance. In this review, I’ll delve into the intricacies of Knives Out to uncover whether it lives up to the hype.

The film unfolds at the luxurious country house of Thrombey, after the wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey’s (Christopher Plummer) death. Famed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is called to investigate what initially appears to be a straightforward suicide but soon reveals itself as a complex murder. Each family member becomes a suspect, and the plot cleverly navigates through twists and turns, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. The central theme explores greed, privilege, and the consequences of unchecked ambition.
Knives Out impressively weaves a narrative that pays respect to classic whodunits while injecting a fresh and modern perspective. The plot intricacies are handled with finesse, and Johnson skillfully uses misdirection to keep the audience guessing. The ensemble cast delivers stellar performances, with standout moments from Daniel Craig’s Southern-drawled detective and Ana de Armas’s compelling portrayal of Marta Cabrera.

Daniel Craig and Ana De Aramas in Knives Out. (Claire Folger)

Character development is a strong suit of the film, as each family member is meticulously crafted with quirks and flaws that add depth to the story. The cinematography captures the magnificence of the Thrombey estate, enhancing the visual experience. Johnson’s direction and scriptwriting showcase his ability to balance humor and social commentary.
While the film’s pacing is generally well-executed, some may find certain moments a little low-pressure. However, these instances don’t take away significantly from the overall impact. The movie’s conclusion ties up loose ends satisfyingly, providing closure to the intricate narrative.

Knives Out emerges as a triumph in the murder mystery genre, offering a delightful blend of traditional tropes and modern storytelling. Rian Johnson’s direction and outstanding cast ensure that the film stands out among its peers. It’s a captivating experience that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish. Whether you’re a fan of mysteries or simply appreciate well-crafted cinema, Knives Out is a must-watch. It successfully marries nostalgia with innovation, making it a standout addition to the genre. This movie can be either rented or bought online. Starts at $3.99 on Apple TV.

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About the Contributor
Nikolai Molchanov, Staff Reporter
Nikolai Molchanov, a 16-year-old senior born in Vladivostok, Russia, serves as a staff reporter for The International Changemaker. With a passion for writing and photography, Nikolai is ready to make EF Academy a better place.

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