Directed and written by Rian Johnson, Knives Out is a 2019 American mystery film that follows the lives of a family gathering gone wrong. This movie is a classic whodunit film, which portrays the story of a murder in which the identity of the murderer is not revealed until the end. This film differentiates from typical mystery movies as the setting takes place in modern America rather than earlier years.
After Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a world-renowned writer and self-made man, is found dead with a slit throat and a knife in his hand, a detective hired by an anonymous source tries to unravel the mystery of his killer through various events.
Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) arrives at the Thrombey house and discovers various secrets hidden among the family members that reveal their involvement in extortion, affairs, and lying. Other characters include daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is a successful businesswoman married to an incompetent husband named Richard (Don Johnson) and has a spoiled ill-mannered son named Ransom (Chris Evans). Son Walt (Michael Shannon) has been arguing with his dad for some time and daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) has been helping herself by ripping off the father. Finally, there’s Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s nurse and most trusted confidante.
Detective Blanc’s instinct pushes him to believe Marta is the culprit behind the murder and after discovering multiple clues and pieces of evidence. The nurse also believes she has committed the crime, but little does she and the detective know—spoiler alert—she has been framed by Ransom.
One of the most interesting things about this movie is how it clashes the early cinematic approach of traditional whodunit roles with modern film aspects in order to attract a larger and more youthful audience. Knives Out employs the use of vulgar language and modern technology in comparison to tradition whodunit films that are based in the 90s and usually revolve around the lives of a wealthy and dysfunctional American family.
In effort to assimilate today’s culture, the movie also brings awareness to one of today’s most talked about topics: Latin immigration. The suspected killer, Marta, is an undocumented individual living in the U.S. and must live under fear of getting deported. Although the movie doesn’t spend much time focusing on her background story, it differs from older films with the inclusion of political topics.
This movie is definitely one of those movies that leave you wanting more and it is surely worth spending that extra amount of money for some popcorn and drinks. The never-ending suspense truly does not disappoint. The interesting and futuristic setting along with the suspense and the edge-of-your-seat plot twist at the end makes the movie definitely worth watching.