A traditional whodunit story with a modern twist, Knives Out sees detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) called in to investigate the murder of wealthy novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) following a family gathering with all manner of suspects; particularly those motivated by their long desired earnings from Thrombey's will.
Knives Out's first key merit is arguably a renowned and well chosen cast, with the likes of Daniel Craig (sounding odd but still impressing with his American voice) as well as Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and of course the renowned Christopher Plummer among many others. This is a cast that performs strongly throughout; while there's occasionally some inconsistencies with screen time and focus, always difficult to avoid when handling such a large ensemble, it still manages to impress thanks to the majority of said characters being full of charm and depth.
As a mystery film, one would certainly expect a clever plot with unique twists, and Knives Out certainly doesn't disappoint in that respect. This is a story writer/director Rian Johnson clearly put great effort into and prepared with significant care and attention to detail, and one brought to life on screen with a fluid pace bolstered once again by some terrific performances and a lovely visual approach. Superbly filmed from start to finish, with a cinematographic style more than apt for the mysterious vibe of the genre, Knives Out is more than easy to admire and appreciate even during some of its less exciting moments.
The plot itself is one that has its complicated aspects, but thankfully the film's confident storytelling transcends this in order to convey everything as clearly and fluently as possible, though also without making any exposition truly forced or gimmicky. As things unfold throughout, a definite wow factor is certainly apparent, with the plot's numerous twists and turns expertly handled to leave audiences incredibly enticed and amazed. Knives Out also boasts some brilliant and witty comedic value; value that blends nicely with the overall tone, thus never feeling overly shallow or juxtaposed with the film's more mysterious elements. It all adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery from start to finish; not without some minor faults, but such faults aren't a huge consequence when the majority of it is all so fantastic.