Harlan Thormby is dead. On what appears to be a normal evening at the family estate, a horrific death occurs, seemingly the suicide of the notorious mystery writer Harlan Thormsby. As his family reconvenes to mourn the loss of the head of their family, everything seems to become more complex, slowly unraveling secret grudges, inconsistent stories, and complex relationships. With a nostalgic ode to the classic board game Clue, Knives Out provides a humorous, sarcastic look at the morbid with an all-star cast that doesn’t disappoint.
The funeral starts the chaos as the Thormby family comes together to celebrate the life of Harlan as well as to wait in anticipation for one precious moment: the reading of the will. But as the will is read, the family is left shocked and infuriated by the final words of Harlan: His fortune from so many years of writing left in the wrong hands. As the family swarms together to right the wrong, Detective Blanc (Daniel Craig) is brought on the scene to investigate, looking into the complex family histories. The members of the Thormby family are more guilty than they may appear. With an insight into the lives (and lies) of each family member, viewers are presented a complex, often humorous account of the lies that divide and ensnare even the most innocent of people. Car chases, unsolved clues, and murder—all of which make Knives Out so absorbing and exciting.
Knives Out was both shocking and enthralling—a story expertly crafted. From the chilling performance from Chris Evans to the humor from classic film icons Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Collette, this film not only allows for over two hours of escapism but also a story that is simply a pleasure to experience—something often lacking on the big screen of recent. Some elements of the story do seem predictable, yet the journey and mystery are still just as exciting nonetheless. With plenty of emotion and even relevant connections to the present political conflicts in America, Knives Out is self-aware yet proves endearing in the end.
A mystery on the surface and a commentary on family and culture underneath, Knives Out is even more complex and smarter than critics are giving the film credit for. With convincing and haunting performances from Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette, the film does what so many films forget to accomplish amidst Oscar bait and political commentary, which is simply giving audiences an experience that they can’t stop talking about.