Knives Out is a Slick Spin on the Old-Fashioned Whodunit Tale

Man, why can’t there be more movies like this today?

Two years ago, director Rian Johnson took immense heat for the widely subversive direction he decided to take the famed, lightsaber-wielding franchise Star Wars in. In doing so, the man has warranted titles such as “the subverting a-hole,” or “the childhood annihilator,” or even the “cleverly unclever schmuck” for his frankly perplexing and almost mocking interpretation of a Star Wars extravaganza. Unfortunately, in consideration of the kind of society we live in today, Rian Johnson’s newest feature’s existence is almost guaranteed to attract malicious haters into carefully judging every frame and element of the motion picture—due to his past legacy—instead of just encouraging these naysayers into savoring its sheer, breathtaking entertainment values—like how it was meant to be viewed.

Knives Out is the type of movie you don’t really know what it is until you reach the end. The mystery noir is practically split into three sub-genres within its model three-act structure. The first act plays out as an endearing love letter to the times when Agatha Christine was a crunch point or the moments in which dramatic uncertainty was the key to initiating a fine start to a worthwhile story. The second act is almost a parody of the long-lived genre that aptly subverts your expectations—without the unrewarding and frankly discombobulated results of Rian Johnson’s previous project The Last Jedi. And last, but certainly not IN THE SLIGHTEST the least, the third act is a full-blown twist-athon that could put M. Night Shyamalan in a coma.

Knives Out is an old-fashioned whodunit set in the new-fashioned atmosphere of today’s political climate and cultural phenomena. With hidden messages left and right, added details to keep viewers guessing at an adrenaline rush, and a six-out-of-five star cast that innovates pre-established archetypes, Rian Johnson’s fifth feature-length is guaranteed to have most viewers in the bag. Endless amounts of references. Endless amounts of humor. Endless amounts of fun. Recommended beyond disbelief.

Verdict: B+

“Knives Out” will be released in theaters this Thanksgiving. 

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