Length: 130 minutes / 2.17 hours
One of the most under-utilized genres to date, a good mystery movie is hard to find these days. This is partly why Knives Out (2019) is such a joy to watch. With plenty of twists and turns—and a murderer that subverts all the numerous tropes of the genre—this film is almost on the edge of self-aware satire of mysteries on the whole. This is partly why I found Knives Out to be delightfully amusing: the absurd nature of some of the genre’s most tightly-held motifs were playfully subverted for a couple of genuine laughs.
Of course, part of the problem of Knives Out being so self-aware is that it is inevitably predictable at several key moments. Depending on how far ahead a viewer can deduce the solution to a critical piece of evidence might determine how predictable it is for them. I did appreciate that there was always one piece of the puzzle that remained unsolved to keep the plot moving along, but there were also enough clues that helped make some of the twists a bit more evident than they probably should have been.
In terms of the cast, Knives Out sports a veritable “who’s who” that will make the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game much easier in the future. Some individuals, like Jamie Lee Curtis, were woefully underused, but Michael Shannon and Chris Evans stand out as exemplary roles in this film. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Daniel Craig, who seems to be having fun distancing himself from his iconic James Bond role. While his performance is undoubtedly one of the reasons you should watch this film, I was slightly distracted by his choice of accent, which just sounded odd at times.
A refreshing take on the mystery genre, I give Knives Out 4.0 stars out of 5.