Arts & Entertainment

Knives Out

This is a deliciously witty, star-choked satire that takes the classic Agatha Christie formula and stirs in some absurdity and loads of fun.

Rian Johnson wrote and directed the film and an impeccable cast brings it to life around a death. Although it’s being touted as a whodunnit, that mystery is answered midway (although there continue to be twists and turns).

The plot mostly centres on skeletons in the closets, family bickering, and the hapless attempts to undo the consequences of the murder. While the storyline is engaging, the film could easily have stood on the brilliant stone-dry humour and excellent performances. Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc delivers pompously intellectual quips with a deep southern drawl, like he’s a weird hybrid of Atticus Finch, Colombo, and Sherlock Holmes. Toni Collette chews up every scene she’s in with her overly tanned, West Coast health guru, Joni Thrombey. Christopher Plummer is the ill-fated Harlan Thrombey who displays delightful patriarchal disdain in flashback scenes. Ana de Armas is the doe-eyed Marta, nurse to Harlan and embraced by the family as one of their own…until.

★★★ ½

Reviewed by Rita Bratovich