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Knives Out (2019)

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Genre: Mystery/Comedy

Rating: 3.5/5

Good filmmaking, but a bit Predictable

I’m really glad Rian Johnson has gotten his second chance with Knives Out after seemingly everyone didn’t want to hear his name anymore due to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Knives Out was a really successful film in 2019, with a star studded cast, intricate production design and a compelling murder mystery. The father of an incredibly wealthy family is found murdered and a rather interesting private detective, played by Daniel Craig, is on the case.

This film does a good job of establishing each character’s relationship to the father and the family as a whole. Who people like, who people dislike, even involving the nieces and nephews of the siblings. Each character is ell established and the relationships between them are convincing. At one point or another every character explains their alibi, which made for a really interesting scene.

Without spoiling the film, I’ll say that I found it to be pretty predictable. The tale has many twists and turns, back and forth. Like any good mystery, right when you think there’s an answer, there’s a new twist. Over and over. Yet, I’m calling this predictable. See, in film school we learn about a concept of plant and payoff. Set something up early on in the script, that may seem like a mundane action or line of dialogue, but later has a big payoff to the story. This film has a lot of subtle, and some not so subtle, plants for the eventual payoff…the real answer. Or does it? I can’t give that away. All I can say is, I saw pretty much every twist coming by catching the subtle plants. Not everyone I watched it with did, and they seemed to be more blown away by the mystery, which leads me to believe the plants aren’t supposed to really give away as much as they do. So that’s why this is dropped down to a 3.5/5, I personally found it too easy to figure out.

Overall, the filmmaking aspects of the film are great. The acting is pretty top notch and it’s actually pretty funny. Will I watch this again? Probably not, but if someone else picks it, I won’t complain too much. I feel like I already caught everything I was meant to catch. Should you watch it? Actually, yes! Just because I caught everything, doesn’t mean you will too, and even so, it’s a fairly entertaining film.

Tony King

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