Structured as a stereotypical whodunit, Knives Out intends to keep you guessing, and it successfully does that and then some. The finely crafted film includes a dizzying array of twists and turns — and a pretty fantastic performance by Daniel Craig as the slow-talking Southern investigator itching to figure out who did what to whom. It's now playing areawide.
The movie commences, as most whodunits do, at the scene of a crime. Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a very wealthy, renowned author of mystery novels, has died of an apparent suicide at his 85th birthday party. All of his family members were present at his mansion on the night of his death, and they all had possible motives.
His playboy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) left the party in a huff after an argument. Thrombey's youngest son Walter (Michael Shannon) has clashed with his father on how to properly run his publishing company. Thrombey's daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and husband Richard (Don Johnson) had various run-ins with Thrombey, and Thrombey's daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) has been stealing the money her father-in-law gives her for her daughter's college tuition.
And yet, despite all this, the motives don't point to a clear culprit.
In fact, the woman who was with Thrombey closest to the time of death is his caretaker Marta (Ana de Armas), a woman so sweet and innocent, she pukes when she lies. Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig), the private detective working on the case as a consultant (we don't know who hired him), gravitates to Marta because he knows she's the one person he can trust. Much of the film revolves around their interaction, and if there's a flaw, it's that the other characters don't get their due.
But in the end, writer-director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) masterfully unveils plot twists piece-by-piece until the final sequence when Benoit artfully puts it all together for us and brings things to a close with a terrific "aha" moment.