Movies everyone should see in their lifetime

This is a blog post by featured guest writer and Homestead senior, Ethan Schlesinger.

Knives Out
Year: 2019
Genre: Mystery/Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Director Rian Johnson’s (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper, Brick), Knives Out, is a witty whodunnit film, full of twists and turns, and packed with a talented ensemble cast. The film is centered on the presumed murder of a wealthy mystery novelist, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Following Thrombey’s death, his entire family is declared the prime suspects by a world-renown detective, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). Blanc is mysteriously hired by an unknown benefactor to lead the investigation, along with the help of Lieutenant, Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield). Throughout the film, you are introduced to Thrombey’s lunatic family, including his stingy daughter-in-law Joni Thrombey (Toni Collete), neglected son Walt Thrombey (Michael Shannon), and his entitled grandson Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans). Aside from the family, the story focuses mainly on Thrombey’s caretaker (Ana de Armas), a kind-hearted girl who becomes very close with Thrombey. The film takes you on a wild goose chase from start to finish, providing movie-goers with a captivating Agatha Christie-esque story, and reminding you that everyone and anyone is a suspect.

What I liked: This is a really great movie all around. From an interesting plot to having such animated characters, this movie really hit the spot for me. One of the things that Johnson did really well was playing with the concept of time. In the film, many of the scenes are not shown exactly in chronological order, which makes solving the mystery a more enjoyable experience for the audience. Another thing I really enjoyed was Daniel Craig’s performance as the southern detective, Benoit Blanc. Now, let me tell you I was taken aback… From the moment he appears on the screen, Craig delivers an outstanding performance that is unlike any of his other roles. His chemistry with Ana de Armas, compliments her wonderful and silly portrayal of caretaker, Marta Cabrera.

What I didn’t like: Overall, there wasn’t much I didn’t like in the film. There were some minor plot holes that bothered me, but other than that I think it is a super enjoyable movie. Now, don’t get me wrong, this movie is great, but it tends to fall into the murder mystery cliches and can be super illogical.

Conclusion: When I first saw the trailer, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie. The story seemed very cliche and looked like it was going to be just an ‘OK’ movie. But, let me tell you, this movie surprised me. Director Rian Johnson did an outstanding job in this movie and I feel this might be his redemption for Star Wars: The Last Jedi… All jokes aside, I was very pleased with the film’s direction and thought the casting was perfect. For me, the icing on the cake was the multi-talented ensemble of characters, with some very pleasing performances from Chris Evans, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Jamie Lee Curtis. At a run time of 2 hours and 10 minutes, movies like this can begin to feel like a drag. But for this film, that was not the case. If you’re in for an amusing murder mystery, full of colorful characters and a clever storyline, this is the perfect movie for you. Rent or buy it on-demand or on DVD and Blu-ray when it comes out next month.