Knives Out Review: One of 2019's Sharpest Films

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read more: 1917 Review – A War Movie Like No Other

Like his previous films, Johnson sets his story up using a long-established genre template before playing with its plot, its conventions, and its underlying themes. Don’t worry though: Knives Out has its share of social commentary about the haves and the have-nots, and about how wealth and privilege often don’t play nicely with compassion and empathy, but those ideas spring from the characters without making the viewer feel like he or she is watching a lecture. In fact, in some ways, the movie is almost too subtle: despite a fabulous, pointed closing shot, Knives Out doesn’t quite bow out with the resonance that Johnson may have wanted–you’ll have fun watching it but it might feel somewhat evanescent as soon as you leave the theater.

But for those two hours, this is an absolute blast. That is a tribute to not just Johnson’s surehanded writing and direction, but to the incredible cast he’s assembled to play the dysfunctional, vicious, complicated Thrombeys. Each and every one of them–including Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson (settling nicely into his elder statesman phase), Chris Evans (playing about as far away from Captain America as he can), Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette–just dig into the comedic meal that their director has laid out, clearly relishing the chance to cross verbal swords with each other and chow down on dialogue, scenarios and characterizations that are both well-trod and made fresh again.

The top standouts, however, in a cast full of them may be De Armas and Craig. The former is appealing, enigmatic, and sympathetic as the woman who is sort of the moral center of this little universe, while the latter is having the time of his life as the suave, effortlessly cool “gentleman detective” who is the latest in a long line of literary and cinematic predecessors. Rian Johnson has said that he wouldn’t mind exploring further adventures with Blanc, and if Knives Out is a hit, and Craig is up for it as he begins the post-James Bond portion of his career, we’d like to see that happen too.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and make Knives Out a hit… you’ll enjoy the hell out of it and wish there were more movies like this around.

read more: Must See Movies of 2019 

Knives Out is out in theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

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