Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Knives Out propels the murder mystery genre into the 21st century by embedding the plot with social commentary.
Set in modern day America, the movie exposes the hypocrisy of a wealthy white family when their patriarch, writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), dies by an apparent suicide. Therefore leaving the entirety of his estate to his carer, hardworking latina woman Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas). The very same family who had promised to take care of Marta following Harlan’s death quickly turn against her, going as far as threatening her undocumented mother and accusing her of having seduced Harlan.
In addition to all of this, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) refuses to accept the apparent suicide and carefully searches for a perpetrator within the Thrombey family. Knives Out is so much more than a ‘Whodunit’ movie – it interrogates relationships between class, races and exposes the sanctimoniousness of the Thrombey family as they are stripped of their white saviours act and have to confront their own prejudices and money-hunger.
The ensemble cast complimented each other perfectly, giving incredibly strong performances both on their own and collectively. The cinematography enhanced the coral narrative; the colour scheme of reds and golds was perfectly calibrated to accompany the tense atmosphere of the unfolding mystery.
Knives Out is a murder mystery that will win over those who aren’t normally fans of the genre – it brings a wonderful depth to the characters and manages to achieve what classic murder mysteries struggle to do: giving the audience recognisable, familiar characters they will fall in love with as the plot unravels.