Run time: 130 mins
A glorious blockbuster of acting chemistry and cinematic wit.
Following a lavish 85th birthday party in his honour, wealthy and successful mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead with his throat slit. For the police this is an open and shut case of suicide, until master sleuth and debonair detective Benoit Blanc arrives on the scene. Hired by an unknown benefactor, Blanc soon turns his attention to a Cluedo board of suspects; the entire Thrombey clan.
Inspired by the plethora of Agatha Christie novels, writer and director Rian Johnson knows how to stage a murder mystery. Murder on the Orient Express this is not. His knotty, deliriously deceptive screenplay plays like an unreliable narrator’s recollection of a drunken story they heard secondhand.
Daniel Craig is a storm as the ridiculously southern Blanc. Shannon, Curtis and Collette bring malice, spite and greed into each full-frame close-up they get while Chris Evans smarms it up as the rude, spoiled grandson. If you have half as much fun watching Knives Out as it looks like the cast did making it, you are guaranteed a good time. What a reminder that mainstream movies don’t need explosions or superpowers to be deliriously entertaining. (Research Chris Coetsee)