Review: “Knives Out” A Wickedly Fun Whodunit

Knives Out is a fun twist on the classic whodunit. 

The movie opens with police investigating the death of acclaimed mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) after his birthday party at the family home. The house, for the record, looked like it could have come straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.

Harlan was discovered after the party by his housekeeper (Edi Patterson) with his throat slit. Authorities initially rule his death a suicide, but detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, who used a thick, Southern accent to hilarious effect) soon finds every member of the family had a possible motive to kill Harlan.

The movie quickly goes through interviews with the family. Harlan’s daughter, Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis, a real estate mogul who presents as a self-made woman, although she got a loan from her dad to start her company; Walt (Michael Shannon), Harlan’s son who ran his publishing company but had recently had a dispute with him about the direction of the company before his death; Joni (Toni Collette), the widow of Harlan’s deceased son and lifestyle guru, and more.

Harlan’s caretaker, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) seems to be the least morally compromised of the bunch. She’s from a Latin American country her employers struggle to remember, despite calling her ‘part of the family’ and from a family of immigrants who’d be put at risk if she got in trouble with the law. Marta’s authenticity made me root for her throughout the film and made her the most sympathetic character.

She enters into an uneasy alliance with Harlan’s grandson, Ransom (Chris Evans), to try to piece together what happened the night of the patriarch’s party.

All in all, Knives Out is a ton of fun, and has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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