WHODUNIT: Daniel Craig is part of an all-star ensemble cast in this modern comedic take on the classic drawing- room mystery.

Knives Out

  • Mystery comedy; Cert M, contains offensive language; 2hrs 10mins
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Riki Lindhome
  • Director: Rian Johnson

KNIVES Out is a cinematic oddity that, while paying homage to the classic Agatha Christie-style whodunit, manages to keep even the most jaded of audiences entertained.

Patriarch and hugely successful author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) has just celebrated his 85th birthday surrounded by his family, only to round off the night by slitting his own throat.

There had been raised voices and whispered talk of the will being changed during the party.

The police arrive with Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a cigar-smoking, coin-flipping southern gentleman and private investigator, in tow. They don’t accept the family’s bland assurances that Thrombey killed himself.

Blanc turns to Harlan’s nurse Marta (Ana De Armas – Blade Runner 2049) for the truth as she has an unusual physiological quirk. She can’t tell a lie without vomiting.

As the to-be-expected, cat- and-mouse style interrogations begin, we find that Thrombey’s grandson, Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans) argued with his grandfather and left in a huff.

It seems all the family have one reason or another to want their patriarch out of the way.

There are some big names in this cast and each of them are given the chance to shine.

Though the film plays true to its core genre as a whodunit, the humour is sharp and manages to keep the story running at a good pace.

Though there are few surprises to this whodunit, the film’s appeal is more about how it plays out than where it leads.

8/10

mark.rieder@thebeacon.co.nz