Cast: Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Ana de Armas,
Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson
Director: Rian Johnson
Running Time: 131 Minutes
Theater: November 27, 2019 DVD: February 25, 2020
Available digital for rental or purchase
A famous crime novelist is found dead in his room one morning under suspicious circumstances. Soon Daniel Craig, a suspicious detective arrives. He's suspicious of everyone and he's also suspicious as he won't say who hired him or what he's really looking for. He interviews the maid who found him and the family, children and adult grandchildren. Each person tells a story that sounds like a half-truth or an outright lie. We have a house filled with red herrings.
By now it should be clear we are in Agatha Christie territory. Even the country mansion of the dead man seems straight out of an Agatha Christie novel, several stories, vine covered walls ideal for climbing, etc. This is a very stylish movie. Stylish is the only word for that describes it. Apparently, the director has said he is a big fan of Agatha Christie. If this is his homage to her, it works brilliantly.
The plot is indescribable both because I don't want to give away the final twist but because the plot is nothing but twists. Every time you think you've figured out the plot, who did what to whom and why, the story changes direction. When I say the final twist, I really mean the final ten twists! It's unusual to write a review without talking about the plot but truly, there is no way to do it except to say we have a group of angry relatives, each one of whom had the means and the motivation but which one did it or did someone outside the family do it? Or was it a murder? And who hired the mysterious detective?
For those who recognize the director's name, yes he's the one who directed the controversial The Last Jedi. I'm being kind calling it controversial for I really, really didn't like what he did with the Star Wars saga. Having seen Knives Out, I only wish he had passed on directing a Star Wars movie and instead produced a couple more brilliant mystery thrillers. It did show me that he was utterly wrong for the Star Wars universe. That demands a different kind of mind than his. It's a different genre and it's clear his strength and talent lies with stories like Knives Out. Reviewed By: Marian Powell