Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Release date: 27 November, 2019
Running Time: 130 Minutes
A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.
Knives Out is an upcoming 2019 American neo-noir black comedy mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson. Described as a modern take on the whodunit murder mystery, the film follows a family gathering gone horribly awry, after the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate. The film stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019 and is scheduled to be released on 27 November, 2019, by Lionsgate.
Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombrey invites his extended dysfunctional family to his mansion on his 85th birthday in hopes of reuniting them all. However during the birthday party, Harlan is found dead by the family and Detective Benoit Blanc is called to investigate the case. Soon enough, everyone in the family becomes a suspect.
As early as 2010, writer/director Rian Johnson expressed interest in making an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery film. He told The Independent that he wanted to make the film after finishing Looper (2012). However, Johnson’s next project after Looper turned out to be Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
Knives Out was announced in September 2018, with Daniel Craig starring in the film. It was sold to distributors during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. In October 2018, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette joined the cast. In November 2018, Christopher Plummer, Jaeden Martell, Katherine Langford, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, and Raúl Castillo joined the cast. Frequent Johnson collaborator Noah Segan was announced as being in the film in December. Shannon has compared the film to the works of Agatha Christie. In March 2019, Frank Oz, who previously worked with Johnson in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, revealed that he would be appearing in a small role.
Johnson cited several classic mystery thrillers and mystery comedies as influences on the film, including Evil Under the Sun, Murder by Death, Death on the Nile, The Last of Sheila, Deathtrap, Clue, Gosford Park, The Mirror Crack’d, Something’s Afoot, Murder on the Orient Express and The Private Eyes.
Principal photography began on October 30, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts and wrapped on December 20, 2018.
Knives Out will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019. It is scheduled to be theatrically released on 27 November , 2019, by Lionsgate.
Knives Out Movie Trailer:
Knives Out Movie Review:
An old country house full of curios and creaking stairs; scores of relatives and a man who controls their destinies; and a murder. Who doesn’t like a good old mystery like that?
Johnson writes and directs this story, set in Agastha Christie mould, with fewer twists than one expects. The centrality of its surprise, in fact, lies in how simple and straightforward it is. It may not give you the thrills of having solved a crime ahead of the filmmakers, but the film might just reinforce your faith in the goodness of hearts, without the burden of any deep-set sociological analysis. Plus, Knives Out clearly wants to do well with its politics at a time of Donald Trump, delivering a rather on-the-nose message about nice immigrants and seeming-to-be-nice Americans.
That it all goes down so smoothly has to do well with the cast of Knives Out – with Craig, Curtis, Collette and Plummer, especially, slipping into their roles with relish. Craig is a private detective by the mouth-watering name of Benoit Blanc, who keeps a watch on the goings-on of the house from the comforts of an armchair in a corner, smoke drifting up from the end of his cigar, but is as quickly down on his knees to observe a carpet for mud marks. “The last of the gentleman sleuths” is how one character describes him. Craig plays Blanc with a thick accent, an affected Hercule Poirot manner, and a growing sense of outrage.
Plummer is lord of the manor Harlan Thrombey, a best-selling mystery books writer who has been found with his throat slashed in “suspected” suicide. His appearances are brief but this is a role Plummer can master in his sleep, and he doesn’t disappoint.
Collette is his floaty daughter-in-law Joni, who makes skincare products but sees herself as more of a woke lifestyle guru; Curtis is his eldest child, Linda, a hard-nosed real-estate mogul. Curtis chews the scenes she is in. The others, including Evans (a bit too much of a cliche as the wasted rich playboy), play a houseful of Harlan’s relatives.
The odd one out is Marta (Armas), who was Harlan’s nurse/care giver, and was the last one to see him alive. In true manner of well-meaning rich people, the Thrombeys all go out of their way to insist that Marta is “like family”. And yet, none of them knows which country she comes from, just some South American one – Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, are some options on offer.
When the chips begin to fall, and it’s not a real surprise how they do, family secrets are revealed, frictions surface, masks are dropped, and the knives come out. However, little blood is spilled, even as the film leaves you with the tantalising possibility that the last may not have been heard of the Thrombeys and Monsieur Blanc.