A gripping mystery: a review of ‘Knives Out’


Photo by @knivesout on Instagram

Sophia Serice, Reviews & A&E Editor

 Because of the recent release of “Glass Onion,” I’m going to be taking a look back to the original Benoit Blanc mystery, “Knives Out.”

“Knives Out,” released in 2019, stars a full A-list actor ensemble cast with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, seen in the “Halloween” franchise, Chris Evans, notable for the role of Captain America in “The Avengers” and Daniel Craig, who has played James Bond in numerous movies. Other notable young actors like Jaedon Martell and Katherine Langford also star in movies such as the movie adaptation of “IT” and “Love, Simon.”

“Knives Out” opens after the unexpected death of mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) on the night of his 85th birthday party. Detective Benoit Blanc is called to the scene and the family of Harlan are all cast as suspects. 

The story mostly follows Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s caretaker the night of his death. 

The audience follows Marta as she grapples with Harlan’s death and the family’s reaction to it. 

The rest of the movie primarily focuses on the family as more about them is revealed through flashbacks and detective work by Benoit Blanc. 

The ensemble cast is phenomenal, bringing an energy to the scenes and making it all feel similar to a chaotic family Thanksgiving. Each one of them, even if they were only on screen for a moment, truly embraced their characters and breathed life into the production.

Along with the incredible cast, the set design also helped bring the story to life.

The set design for the Thrombey mansion is gorgeous and extremely detailed. Each room has a certain theme and even if you have seen the movie multiple times you will always find something that you appreciate about it even more. If at any point you get tired of what the characters are saying, just pay attention to the background. There is sure to be an object or painting specially designed for that room. 

Not to mention that the sound design and soundtrack for “Knives Out” is perfect for a murder mystery. It is jazzy yet suspenseful, with all of the sharp orchestral stings you could ever want.

This movie carries an old style mystery feel. If you have ever watched or read an Agatha Christie novel like “Murder on the Orient Express” or “And Then There Were None,” you know it is set up to have you guessing until all the pieces start to fall together towards the end. That is precisely what “Knives Out” accomplishes as well. 

It keeps you guessing on if it was a murder or if it was just a mix up until the very end when the murder and motive are both revealed in an elaborate, and honestly funny, ending that ties up the story with a nice bow.

The second installment in the Benoit Blanc mysteries had a one week theatrical release on November 23th, 2022 and a full Netflix release on Dec 23, 2022. 

“Glass Onion” only features one member of the original “Knives Out” cast: Daniel Craig.

From the trailer released on Netflix, it is about a dinner party, similar to “Clue”, and they will have to solve puzzles to find who will be killed that night. 

It also seems Benoit Blanc is not just an observer this time either.

All in all, “Knives Out” is a solid 9.5 out of 10 and is  worth watching if you’re in the mood for some mystery and a bit of humor as well.