Is 'Knives Out' Worthy Of All The Hype? It's Now On Amazon Prime

Knives Out Don Johnson Richard Drysdale Jaeden Martell Jacob Thrombey Michael Shannon Walt Thrombey Katherine Langford Meg Thrombey Chris Evans Ransom Drysdale Daniel Craig Benoit Blanc Christopher Plummer Harlan Thrombey Lakeith Stanfield Detective Lieutenant Elliott Jamie Lee Curtis Linda Drysdale Toni Collette Joni Thrombey Ana de Armas Marta Cabrera
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To say I had measured expectations headings into “Knives Out” would be an understatement. I did not head into it with claws out or anything. However, the idea that this movie with an all-star cast could possibly rise to the occasion of being decent, let alone above average, seemed to be a pipe dream.

Starring screen veterans, Jamie Lee Curtis and Don Johnson, alongside megastar-on-the-rise, Ana de Armas, “Knives Out” features a knock-out of a cast. Set in the present day, most of the action takes place at an out-of-this-world mansion, which begs to be studied. The reason for being there is a sudden death that rocks the family. Thrombey patriarch, Harlan (Christopher Plummer), seems to have killed himself.

Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is not so sure. In fact, he is downright suspicious that there is more to the story. Enter Ana de Armas’ Marta Cabrera, and the pieces begin to fall into place. What sets “Knives Out” apart from the usual who-dun-its is that there are quite a few twists and turns for a seemingly straightforward story. 

It unfolds at an entertaining pace as the eccentric family members left to reside in the mansion are each given their moment to act out. Thus, making it a character-driven murder mystery in the vein of “White Lines.” Accordingly, there is a lot to soak in here and Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Don Johnson, especially rack up more than a few scene-stealing moments.

Proving the millennial generation of actors is in promising hands is Ana de Armas, who charms yet again in another performance from 2019. Last year was a breakout year for de Armas, and she is following that up with another year of multiple projects in 2020. As Marta, Harlan’s nurse who is thrust into the center of the investigation, de Armas gives a terrific and down-to-earth turn.

Unfortunately, Ana de Armas is put in the pinch of Marta, becoming sick if she tells a lie. A plot nuance that requires unseemly vomit imagery and imaginings. When is the last time you were able to watch a movie without a scene where a character became violently ill, though? Exactly. It seems to be a strange trend that “Knives Out” also employs.

Ana de Armas does not let Marta’s penchant for sickness get her down. She plays it all with a girl-next-door abandon that makes Marta relatable and sympathetic. Elsewhere, her co-stars manage to give some dazzling turns. As for Daniel Craig, he pushes himself further as an actor than he has in a while with Benoit Blanc. “Knives Out,” providing a darkly comic reprieve from his usual characters.

The movie’s writer and director, Rian Johnson, peppers his production with a lot of moving parts. For someone who sometimes struggles to catch every morsel in an elaborately plotted mystery, “Knives Out” explains most everything to its audience. It does so without having to pump the breaks, die down the dialogue, or pause the pace.

So, is “Knives Out” worthy of all of the hype it received last year and earlier in 2020? Now that it is out on Amazon Prime Video, it will be available for even more viewers to weigh in with their answers. Surprisingly, my answer following a review is a resounding, “yes.”

Have you enjoyed 1985’s “Clue,” mysteries with a comic punch, the escalating career of Ana de Armas, and that of acting legends? Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, and Don Johnson, to name a few. Then “Knives Out” is a movie you will want to watch. It has all of that going for it, and it knows how to leverage it.

Rating: 8.5/10

“Knives Out” is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video along with a lot of other great content you should consider watching.