“Knives Out” is a 2019 drama/thriller that is pretty enjoyable. Being a classic whoddunit, the movie takes the murder mystery formula to the next level with its supsense and enjoyable visuals. Though this movie has all the elements to be a film for the ages, it has trouble keeping the attention of the viewer.
This movie has a lot of good aspects to it. The scenic design is amazing. The house in which the movie takes place is a really elaborate set. With secret doors and vital set pieces, (eg. a creeky staircase, a hidden window, etc.) it is the perfect setting for a good murder mystery.
The lighting design in the movie is also done well, with dramatic lighting shots through tiny windows and fireside light to bring that extra ambiance that the movie needs. Grouped together with the sound design, the movie is good visually and audibly.
The acting is stellar. Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas do well together in their interactions, and when seeing the movie it is pretty obvious what great chemistry they have. Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis do amazing performances, as their characters are kind of different than the others in the huge family. The characters in this story are pretty entertaining. Although other whodunnits like “Clue,” have contrasting unique characters, this movie really just has humanlike characters who all have pretty normal motives. This isn’t like an Agathe Christie murder mystery, its like a modern murder mystery where everyone is normal, and that can be seen as a problem. With the movie being about the members of a unique family, each of them wanting to have a slice of the will, you’d think some of these dramatic characters would be interesting to watch. However, these characters are entertaining enough when they interact, especially when they all fight, it sounds like an actually family fighting.
One character named Marta Cabrera has a character trait that is really funny. It’s also deadly needed for the plot to even function. But it has some good moments with this character trait and the little stuff that comes from it.
The story itself is a very odd take on the murder mystery concept. It tells of a man who killed himself but is thought to be murdered. They reveal the culprit to the viewer right away.. Then throughout the movie it shows the murderer trying to undo his actions. It’s quite entertaining and interesting to watch. Of course, there are still those classic murder mystery twist and turns in the plot for those who don’t like a “how-they-did-it” tale.
The only problem with this movie is the pacing. This movie has trouble keeping interest of the audience. As older murder mystery movies had wacky, unique characters, this one only has its wit and banter to keep the viewers attention. Although it does really well overall, this movie feels longer than it really is. It may drag on, but it is still an entertaining movie.
Grade: B+ (4.3/5)