Skip to main content

Director Rian Johnson assembles an all-star cast including Daniel Craig in Knives Out.

Claire Folger/Courtesy of TIFF

  • Knives Out
  • Written and directed by Rian Johnson
  • Starring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas and Chris Evans
  • Classification PG
  • 130 minutes

rating

By the power vested in me as a film critic with absolutely zero legal jurisdiction, I hereby sentence Daniel Craig to a lifetime of performing solely with a drawling southern accent. This might seem like an unfit punishment for the wonderful versatility of a performer such as Craig, but the decision serves the greater good of society. There are few pleasures as great as watching the British actor twist his tongue to sound like he’s delivering monologues dripped in molasses. The linguistic tact worked wonderfully in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky in 2017, and it is just as successful in Knives Out, director Rian Johnson’s backward meta spin on the whodunit.

Rian Johnson on the mysteries of Knives Out, the year’s most delightfully bloody guessing game

New in theatres this week: The gripping The Two Popes, thoughtful Honey Boy and thrilling Dark Waters

Here, the erstwhile 007 – who has made no secret of his distaste for the contractual obligations required by Her Majesty’s Secret Service – gets to have great fun away from MI6 as a Kentucky-fried Poirot facsimile named Benoit Blanc. Hired by an anonymous client to investigate the suicide (or was it?) of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), Blanc finds his case complicated by the fact that the dead man (or is he?) was a fabulously wealthy author who specialized in writing murder mysteries.

What follows is loads of morbid pleasure, as Johnson (who cemented his whodunit bona fides with his 2005 debut, Brick) gets to unleash an extraordinarily bouncy exercise in upended expectations. This is a dizzy, zippy and surprisingly politically astute murder-mystery comedy that hits all its beats with flair, before turning around and knifing conventional thinking in the back.

Story continues below advertisement

Craig gets the best support network an actor has ever received since ... well, maybe Logan Lucky. The film’s killer (or are they?) cast includes Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Ana de Armas, LaKeith Stanfield and Don Johnson (who, between this, Dragged Across Concrete and HBO’s Watchmen, is having a banner year; cue the Miami Vice theme). But this is mostly Craig’s case to close, and the actor proves again that is he one of our most undervalued performers, in or out of a tuxedo (or is he? No, he is).

Knives Out opens Nov. 27

Live your best. We have a daily Life & Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies