Knives Out

Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019) wr. Rian Johnson; Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Frank Oz, K Callan

The feature film version of any one of those myriad whodunnit shows in which the too-clever detective solves the perfect crime, this is dripping with expensive production design and possibly too many stars. Daniel Craig, for example: what the hell is he doing in an American film? Were there no American actors with a genuine Southern accent available? I spent much of the time he was on screen listening for the syllables he got wrong. That, and wondering if he was going to spring into 007-style action. But no, he doesn't even get to drive the car.

Apart from the above, and my usual failure to quite get some point in the intricate plotting (in this case, the difference between the two drugs) I couldn't find anything wrong with this film. It's brilliantly written and edited, and deserves the hundreds of millions it will certainly bring in for the producers and distributors.

Manohla Dargis, in NYT: "Johnson’s own sleight of hand is estimable, even if his effort to add politics into the crowded mix rings hollow. The machine is what matters here, and he has clearly had such a good time engineering it that it’s hard not to feel bad when you don’t laugh along with him."

Wendy Ide, in Sight&Sound: "There’s perhaps the hint of a political subtext to the picture – divisions between socio-economic classes are glaring, the rich are pampered and superficial, the poor are decent and worthy, and there’s a tempting possibility of the redistribution of wealth. But any message here comes a distant second place to the main aim of the picture: delivering a slickly packaged, riotously entertaining good time."

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 10 January, 2020 | Now: 11 January, 2020