A Movie Review of Knives Out

Examining what makes the charming murder mystery so enjoyable to watch

Aubrey Harrell, Editorial Board

While it can sometimes be a challenge for mystery genre films to keep an audience enraptured and speculating up until the very end of the film without any giveaways as to how the plot will be resolved, recent film Knives Out, produced by Rian Johnson, does not face such a problem. The murder mystery is a captivating mix of wit and unexpected twists that will keep the viewer on their toes, with twists that change the course of the movie just as you think you’ve figured the mystery out.

The story is centered around the death of Harlan Thrombey, who, ironically, is a famed mystery novelist with quite the fortune saved up. After his 85th birthday party, he is found dead and with his throat slit, and while his death is initially issued as a suicide, things take a turn as inquisitive mastermind investigator Benoit Blanc, who was hired by an anonymous source for the job, announces he suspects foul play. Blanc, along with other two other detectives from the police force, interrogate Thrombey’s dysfunctional family and the house staff to sift through the lies and reach the truth as to what really happened the night Thrombey died. As it turns out, almost every family member has some sort of motive as to why they may resort to the murder of Harlan Thrombey, as it is soon revealed that Thrombey has slighted many of his family members by either refusing to let them leech off his fortune any longer or by threatening to reveal some incriminating secrets of the family members. Marta, his longtime nurse and confidant, is sucked further into the investigation as it’s revealed she can’t lie without vomiting afterward, resulting in Blanc using her as a human lie detector of sorts. Through many twists and turns and conflict, what really happened that night is slowly revealed in incriminates, and as soon as the viewer thinks they know the whole story a wrench is thrown in that complicates the story. Knives Out is a prime example of a murder mystery done right and is filled with so much wit and charm that the movie never feels too heavy and dismal, and the casts’ talent and charisma adds to the viewing experience.