November 21, 2019 8 min to read

Knives Out (2019) – Advanced Screening Review

Category : 2019, 2019 In Film, 2019 In Films, Advanced Screening, Advanced Screenings, Comedy, Crime, drama, Film, Film Review, Film Reviews, Films, Mongrel Media, Most Anticipated, Movie, Movie Review, Movie Reviews, Movies, Mystery, Review, Reviews, Screening, Thriller

“This is a twisted web, and we are not finishing untangling it, not yet”

Release Date: November 27th, 2019
Length: 2H 10M
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
MPAA: PG

**This may be the earliest screening I have gotten to attend. The film comes out next week, November 27th! **

I didn’t know what to expect with this film when I first heard about it a couple months ago. But when the cast started being announced and that first trailer? how could I not be excited. This cast is ABSOLUTELY jam packed with talent. With the star studded cast, I was looking forward to this movie and it was one of my most anticipated films for the rest of the year. I was also intrigued to see how Rian Johnson would follow up his divisive Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017).

Knives Out is a Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery and Thriller film about a detective who investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Rian Johnson wrote and directed Knives Out. His filmography consists of Looper (2012), Breaking Bad (3 episodes), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017). He also directed Brick (2005), but I haven’t taken the time to sit down and watch it, but I have heard extremely good things about it. I think Rian Johnson is a talented filmmaker, Looper was one of the most unique science fiction films I’ve seen in a while and I thought it was very clever. The Last Jedi I enjoyed more so, because he took a chance and changed up the formula for Star Wars; which absolutely divided fans, I’ve had different conversations with many different people about our reactions to The Last Jedi. Some people really enjoyed it, a lot people absolutely hated it, but it has been an interesting conversation ever since it came out.

So needless to say, I was excited to see what Rian Johnson had up his sleeve next. I thought Knives Out was an extremely well written, hilarious and well directed movie. Whodunnit’s in my experience watching them, can come apart at the seams very easily. With so many twists and turns to keep the audience on their toes, and especially that final twist have to land in such a way that the audience feels fulfilled and the movie has to earn its run time. At 2H 10M long, I was glued to the screen, on the edge of my seat for some of it. It was really well directed and written as I said and it is very refreshing for an original film like this, with such a star studded cast.

Rian Johnson has absolutely knocked it out of the park, and this film, to this reviewer, is the best film that he has directed.

Knives Out Stars Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, Chris Evans as Ransom Drysdale, Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale, Michael Shannon as Walt Thrombey, Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey, LaKeith Stanfield as Lieutenant Elliot, Christopher Plumer as Harlan Thrombey and Katherine Langford as Meg Thrombey.

Daniel Craig’s filmography consists of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Road to Perdition (2002), Layer Cake (2004), Munich (2005), Casino Royale (2006), Defiance (2008), GoldenEye 007 {Video Game} (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), Skyfall (2012), and Logan Lucky (2017). As I expected, Craig absolutely stole the screen. If this is the types of films he wants to make when he’s not playing James Bond, I am absolutely okay with that (and I think Craig is the second best bond to me, Pierce Brosnan being my favourite). The accent that he did was interesting and not at all annoying to me. You could genuinely tell he was having a GREAT time with this role.

Chris Evan’s filmography consists of Not Another Teen Movie (2001), The Perfect Score (2004), Cellular (2004), Sunshine (2007), Street Kings (2008), Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019). Chris Evans, is the best Chris (but I also like Chris Hemsworth a whole lot, BATTLE OF THE CHRIS’ ). But I genuinely laughed out loud at the trailer when he did the “Eat shit” line to everyone, it felt like such a different role for Captain… I mean Chris Evans, that it was refreshing to see. I feel like Evans had a great time doing this film and it was nice to see him in something different that he has never done before.

Jamie Lee Curtis’s filmography consists of Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Terror Train (1980), Halloween II (1981), True Lies (1994), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Freaky Friday (2003), Halloween (2018). Jamie Lee Curtis is a bloody tour de force in every film that she has ever done. She is a scene stealing, lovely talent. She was fantastic in this movie, but thats not saying much as she is wonderful in absolutely everything she’s in; it would be news if she was bad in this movie, but its Jamie Lee Curtis, you get the quality that you expect from the roles that she takes. Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely the queen of the screen.

Michael Shannon’s filmography consists of Cecil B. DeMented (2000), Vanilla Sky (2001), High Crimes (2002), 8 Mile (2002), Bad Boys II (2003), Revolutionary Road (2008), Take Shelter (2011), Mud (2012), Man Of Steel (2013), The Night Before (2015), Loving (2016), Nocturnal Animals (2016), The Shape Of Water (2017). Why Michael Shannon doesn’t get more credit, is beyond me. I love Michael Shannon, I’ve gone out of my way to see a couple of films because Shannon’s name was attached to it. He is absolutely a chameleon and can play any role he wants to. You hated him in The Shape Of Water (2017) for being a rude jerk, but you were eerily intrigued by his role in Take Shelter (2011) – If you haven’t seen Take Shelter, I cannot recommend it enough (Its on Amazon Prime as of November 20th) – I’ll try to get a review up for that. But Shannon was great in this movie, he chewed the scene when it was needed. I’ll watch any film with him in it.

Toni Collette’s filmography consists of The Sixth Sense (1999), Shaft (2000), About a Boy (2002), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Fright Night (2011), Hitchcock (2012), The Way Way Back (2013), Hostages {TV Series} (2013-2014), Hector and the Search For Happiness (2014), Krampus (2015), Imperium (2016), and Hereditary (2018). What is there to say about Toni Collette that hasn’t already been said? She should have been nominated for her role in Hereditary, the film that really made me a fan of hers, but she has been fantastic in all the roles I’ve seen her in. She did a great job in this movie, theres nothing bad I can say about her performance.

LaKeith Stanfield’s filmography consists of Short Term 12 (2013), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), Selma (2014), Straight Outta Compton (2015), Snowden (2016), Get Out (2017), Death Note (2017), and Sorry To Bother You (2018). LaKeith Stanfield is a really talented actor… theres no doubt about that. You probably know him as the guy that yelled “GET OUT!” in the film Get Out (2017) but he deserves more credit than that. I hope to see him in a lot more films, because he is extremely talented. Please watch Short Term 12, he was fantastic in that movie, but that film is just FANTASTIC and deserves to be seen by more people.

Christopher Plummer’s filmography consists of Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Insider (1999), A Beautiful Mind (2001), National Treasure (2004), Inside Man (2006), Up (2009), 9 (2009), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim {Video Game} (2011), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014). Christopher Plummer is a name I am very familiar with, but going through his filmography I have realized that I haven’t seen a lot of his films or remember a lot of his roles, which is a shame because Plummer has a massive filmic legacy. Plummer looked like he enjoyed himself during the film.

Katherine Langford’s filmography consists of Love, Simon (2018), and 13 Reasons Why {TV Series} (2017-). I like Katherine Langford, I think she is a very talented young actress. My first introduction to her was 13 Reasons Why {TV Series} where she was absolutely fantastic, HOWEVER I stopped watching that series after the first season because I completely lost interest and it was a one season and done for me, and it baffles me that it is still going. Sorry I’m rambling. But Langford is a really great young actress, she was really wonderful in Love, Simon (2018) which I do recommend to everyone, if you like wholesome films, its absolutely worth checking out.

Star studded casts are either really hit or miss for me. There are some star studded casts that I find the film does nothing with and the film ends up being really lacklustre. Knives Out on the other hand, plays its extremely smart and uses each character and each piece of the cast to its advantage. You have all this talent, why would you waste it? I felt like no one overshadowed anyone else (except Daniel Craig, who REALLY stuck out to me) but the entire cast had really really great chemistry. They were able to feed off each other really well, and it felt to me that everyone was just having a great time.

I went into this film expecting to have a good time, but I expected to be let down in areas. I am happy to report that I was absolutely not let down, and enjoyed myself wholly for the entire duration of the film. It was funny, it was interesting, it was twisted and it was just a lot of fun.

I give Knives Out a 5/5.

If you like murder mysteries, damn good casts, unique films or if your favourite board game of all time is Clue? this movie is for you!

Keep your chin up, until next time!

-Andrew

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