Daniel Craig, Lakeith Stanfield, and Noah Segan in Knives Out. | Claire Folger
Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more star in the latest caper from Rian Johnson.
Whodunnits in the vein of Agatha Christie — like Knives Out, a romping delight from genre-bending Last Jedi auteur Rian Johnson — require a degree of prejudice in the reader in order to work properly. Characters are slotted into a type, usually owing to their occupation, nationality, or social standing, and then the fun of the story comes from how people act against (or within) type, subverting our guesses.
Christie, of course, was working in England a century ago; Johnson’s story is set in contemporary, richly autumnal patrician Massachusetts, in the home of a hugely successful mystery writer who has, unfortunately, turned up dead. And because this is America in 2019, the prejudices and privileges displayed by the family vying for his money are uniquely American, too.
But Knives Out, being a whodunnit, is best if you go in knowing as little as possible. The twists aren’t aids to telling the story, they are the story. It’s the most finely tuned version of a murder mystery you could hope for, with joyous performances and style in spades. So if you don’t want a hint of a spoiler, stop here. If you don’t mind a bit of background, carry on.
Knives Out is mostly just fun, but it lodges some barbs, too
Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) built his fortune on the mystery novels he wrote, so he’s clearly a man of great imagination, but his family is not quite as bright. There’s business-minded daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), her husband Richard (Don Johnson), and their mean, terrible son Ransom (Chris Evans). There’s Harlan’s son Walt (Michael Shannon), who runs the family publishing company, …read more
Source:: Vox – All