Knives Out has been on my “to watch” list for quite a while now, and after finally giving it a watch earlier this week, I can tell you I left feeling very satisfied. It’s a great stand-alone film that wraps up the story nicely by the time the credits start rolling. Knives Out is a mystery crime film that has all the classic elements of a great “whodunit” murder mystery. Rian Johnson, the writer and director of the film, created a suspenseful story that’ll keep you on your toes as you try to unravel the riddle yourself. And with a fantastic cast including the likes of Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer, the movie had all the right ingredients to succeed.

Detective Benoit Blanc uncovering the mystery

I always love a good original film because creating something fresh and innovative is so hard to come by nowadays. I can confidently tell you that Rian Johnson really made something special with this one though. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Knives Out expertly packages an intriguing mystery within its 2 hour timeframe. It’s the kind of movie that really gets the audience engaged from start to finish because you don’t want to miss anything potentially important. My favourite part was trying to guess who the culprit was and attempting to piece together parts of the puzzle (I failed miserably by the way). That’s certainly the charm with these kinds of movies, although it’s really a testament to how well-written and creative the story was. 

The key to making a great mystery is not only in the execution of the story (which they clearly excelled at), but also the believability of the reveal. It’s incredibly important that when the puzzle is finally solved, the audience isn’t left with feelings of disappointment or confusion. There needs to be a certain shock factor that verges on incredulity, but with all of it still based in reason. Thanks to the solid writing, Knives Out really delivered on this front. I think the movie is as successful as it is because the story finishes on such a satisfying note; the build up is intense and intriguing, but the conclusion perfectly answers all the questions. When Detective Blanc slowly laid out the facts and ousted the real murderer, I felt a mix of two emotions: “oooh, that’s clever” and “yeah, I can see that”. It’s the perfect reaction because it’s a blend of surprise and understanding – it’s exactly how you want to feel during the final reveal of a mystery movie.

Chris Evans as Ransom in Knives Out

But of course, great writing and directing isn’t always enough to produce an amazing film – you need great acting to go with it. With such an incredible list of stars signed up for this film, I’m sure you won’t have a hard time believing me when I say the actors did a phenomenal job. Every character who needed to be charismatic, was, and every character who needed to be timid, was. Led by the very charismatic Daniel Craig playing the role of Detective Blanc, he provided a certain flair and delightful personality that made him such an enjoyable character. If there’s any complaint I have, honestly, it’s that ridiculous accent of his. I’ll let it go because I enjoyed the movie, but seriously, what is up with that accent?! He paired well against Armas’ gentle, nervous character though and they created an interesting dynamic. Armas did well in portraying someone who was just thrown into this muddled mess, although there were times when I didn’t agree with her character’s decisions.

The Thrombey family perfectly portrayed themselves as the most greedy, obnoxious, and undeserving people, and it really helped play into the “whodunit” aspect of the film. I’m sure if Johnson wanted it, he could’ve wrote any one of these terrible people to be the murderer. Out of the family, my favourite had to be Chris Evans as Ransom. As our beloved Captain America, it was definitely interesting to see Evans in a more villainous role. I thought he did a respectable job though and there were moments when he really captured the right menacing expressions. It’s kind of funny how before I watched this movie, the most popular commentary on the film on social media was “Chris Evans in sweaters”. 

The Thrombey family and Marta celebrating their father's birthday

Fantastic from start to finish, Knives Out is a rewarding watch that gives you all the excitement and anxiety that a good mystery should. I personally felt the movie had excellent pacing that kept me from losing interest, but had enough time to fully uncover the whole story and shine a spotlight on each character. With Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) coming out soon, this was the perfect time to watch the movie because now it’s got me all excited for the sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed riding this rollercoaster of a movie, and for that I’m giving it an 8.5/10. If you’re looking for a more thrilling and engaging watch that is full of surprises and twists, this is one you should definitely check out. Or if you’re into Chris Evans in sweaters, that’s another reason too.