Speaking as someone who loves the mystery genre, I couldn’t wait to see “Knives Out.” Set in an old Victorian mansion with a star-studded cast, the trailer firmly set the hook.
From the press kit: “The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there’s one thing that renowned Detective Benoit Blanc knows for sure, everyone in the wildly dysfunctional Thrombey family is a suspect. Now, Blanc must sift through a web of lies and red herrings to uncover the truth. From acclaimed writer-director Rian Johnson comes this suspenseful, twist-filled whodunnit with an all-star ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell, and more.”
Harlan Thrombey, who has accumulated a fortune writing mystery novels, realizes that he’s spent his life coddling his children and their families. Thrombey, played to perfection by Christopher Plummer, decides to cut all financial support, and leaves his estate to his kind nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), who is truly as coy as she seems.
As you might expect, Thrombey’s family is livid, and the lot turns on Marta, when Thrombey’s body is found in his study, throat slashed by a dagger. This is where the tribute to mysteries past ends, twisting more times than Chubby Checker in 1960.
Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a private investigator with an accent more ridiculous than Foghorn Leghorn, is on the case, but it’s not all that clear who hired him, or if he is even capable of unraveling the case to expose the murderer. His main suspect is Thrombey’s son, Ransom, played with prickly delight by Chris Evans.
This is the best mystery I’ve seen since 2017’s “Murder On The Orient Express,” Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant interpretation of the classic novel. “Knives Out” edges it out, however, because it’s impossible to see the end coming. What could be better in a mystery?