Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

'Knives Out' Is Dizzying, Dazzling Whodunit Perfect for Long Thanksgiving Weekend 

click to enlarge knivesout.jpg

Film Screenshot

Structured as a stereotypical whodunit, Knives Out intends to keep you guessing, and it successfully does that and then some. The finely crafted film includes a dizzying array of twists and turns — and a pretty fantastic performance by Daniel Craig as the slow-talking Southern investigator itching to figure out who did what to whom. It's now playing areawide.

 The movie commences, as most whodunits do, at the scene of a crime. Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a very wealthy, renowned author of mystery novels, has died of an apparent suicide at his 85th birthday party. All of his family members were present at his mansion on the night of his death, and they all had possible motives. 

 His playboy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) left the party in a huff after an argument. Thrombey's youngest son Walter (Michael Shannon) has clashed with his father on how to properly run his publishing company. Thrombey's daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and husband Richard (Don Johnson) had various run-ins with Thrombey, and Thrombey's daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) has been stealing the money her father-in-law gives her for her daughter's college tuition. 

 And yet, despite all this, the motives don't point to a clear culprit. 

 In fact, the woman who was with Thrombey closest to the time of death is his caretaker Marta (Ana de Armas), a woman so sweet and innocent, she pukes when she lies. Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig), the private detective working on the case as a consultant (we don't know who hired him), gravitates to Marta because he knows she's the one person he can trust. Much of the film revolves around their interaction, and if there's a flaw, it's that the other characters don't get their due. 

 But in the end, writer-director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) masterfully unveils plot twists piece-by-piece until the final sequence when Benoit artfully puts it all together for us and brings things to a close with a terrific "aha" moment.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Now Playing

Knives Out is not showing in any theaters in the area.

What others are saying

  • Comments

    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Newsletters

    Never miss a beat

    Sign Up Now

    Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

    Calendar

    Staff Pick Events

    • The Room @ Cedar Lee Theatre

      • Second Saturday of every month

    © 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
    Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


    Website powered by Foundation