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Knives Out

In this murder mystery film, the Thrombey family is a bunch of rich, whining, selfish brats headed by their matriarch Harlan (played by Christopher Plummer). His nurse, who has become his friend, helps him with his medications. One night, Harlan is found dead on his couch. Famed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is on-scene with two local detectives to try to uncover what happened. The film is Murder on the Orient Express, updated to a conventional setting and context. I enjoyed the film for its blend of humor and mystery. The cast, including people like Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and others was great; they created a collection of very interesting characters. I especially liked Ana de Armas, who played his young nurse, and Toni Collette, who played his rather “California new age” daughter. Everybody, including the director, was clearly having a great time; it made the film fun to watch. I don’t know that I was that drawn into the mystery part of it (these kinds of movies tend to not interest me so much), but I did like the infusion of social conscience represented in the story. I didn’t feel very surprised by how it ended, but I loved the ending scenes. Thumbs up from me for a film that I don’t think was “great” but was nonetheless entertaining. (2019; 3.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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