Rian Johnson wrote and directed this classic whodunit mystery movie. Johnson admits he’s a huge fan of Agatha Christie so Knives Out can be considered a homage to Hercule Poirot–with a Southern twist. Daniel Craig plays Benoit Blanc, a quirky master detective with a Southern accent. Blanc is hired by an anonymous client to investigate the death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a wildly rich and successful mystery writer. Thrombey’s greedy family all show up for the reading of his will. That scene sets off the action for the rest of the movie. Thrombey’s real-estate daughter, Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), and her straying husband Richard (Don Johnson) have plenty of motive. Thrombey’s son, Walt (Michael Shannon), faces losing his publishing income from his father’s books. Thrombey’s younger daughter, Joni (Toni Collette), and Thrombey’s wayward grandson, Ransom (Chris Evans) must deal with the prospect that the monthly checks will disappear.
I particularly liked the performance of Ana de Armas who plays Marta, Harlan Thrombey’s good-hearted nurse. Marta almost always tells the truth, but when she tells a lie…she pukes! Very funny and cunning. If you’re looking for a movie in the tradition of Murder On the Orient Express and Death On the Nile, you’ll find delight with Knives Out. GRADE: A-