Run time: 98 mins
While murder mystery fans will be counting the weeks until the release of the eagerly anticipated Knives Out sequel, they can ease their appetite with this charming caper.
Starring Sam Rockwell as Inspector Stoppard and Saoirse Ronan as Constable Stalker, a pair of odd-couple Scotland Yard officers investigating a theatre-world murder in 1950s London, this larky meta-whodunit both subverts and pays homage to The Mousetrap, Agatha Christie’s famously long-running play. I’m not going to divulge who gets done in, because that’s an impish sting in itself. The plot cleverly revolves around Christie’s contract stipulations, as well as the true story she based her play on.
The usual suspects assemble: the glam Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson), playwright Mervyn (David Oyelowo) and the producer who fatefully signed on that dotted line, John Woolf (Reece Shearsmith). And Adrien Brody is one Leo Köpernick, the American movie director Woolf wants to hire, who thinks the play’s a relic and sets about raising hell.
Aiding the meta-complexity is a Wes Anderson-like sense of playful wonder in the setting. It’s a whizzy fairground ride in theatreland, powered entirely by the thought of a literary icon spinning in her grave.