By Megan Davies | Digital Spy
Not content with being a key part of the cast of the year’s biggest film so far – a little something called Avengers: Endgame – Captain America star Chris Evans has now turned his attention to post-Marvel ventures, and his new project is turning out to be something of a hit too.
Written and directed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, Knives Out is an all-star murder-mystery featuring Evans, Bond star Daniel Craig, Katherine Langford, Ana de Armas, Michael Shannon and more.
The film received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday (September 7), and where there are film premieres there are also critics giving their verdict – and the first reactions to Knives Out have declared the film a resounding success.
With particular praise for director Rian Johnson and the film’s all-star cast, early reviews of Knives Out have declared the film “masterful”, a “crowd-pleaser” and “one of the most entertaining films of the year”.
Who needs the MCU, eh?
“Rian Johnson has treated us to a wonderfully devious Agatha Christie homage, a freeing exercise that shows just how much he can achieve without Lucasfilm breathing down his neck. The Last Jedi director (and soon to be creator of an all-new Star Wars trilogy) is a self-confessed fan of the mystery author and has managed to concoct a contemporary whodunnit that both respects and revises the subgenre. In other words, with Knives Out, he’s killed it.”
“The world needs more movies like Knives Out. Writer/director Rian Johnson’s supremely entertaining whodunit is one part Agatha Christie mystery, one part Hitchcock thriller, and one part broad comedy, but every aspect of the film is executed so perfectly, with such precision, that it coalesces into a remarkable, cohesive whole.
“The star-studded crowdpleaser is packed with delightful twists and turns, artfully steered by Johnson’s steady hand while tackling themes of American greed in between the audience’s guffaws and gasps. It’s an impeccably constructed roller coaster ride created by a mad (but meticulous) engineer, and when it ends you’ll immediately want to get back on. Simply put, this is one of the most entertaining films of the year.”
“Twists abound in Knives Out, but by far the most unexpected is Johnson’s decision to treat this brain teaser as a comedy […] It all serves to remind what a pleasure is to be had untangling elaborate cases when the mystery is twistery and the ensemble, like that creaky ‘dark and stormy night’ cliché, is sufficiently over-cast.
“Knives Out recalls a time when audiences could still be surprised by such mysteries, before the genre devolved into a corny parody of itself. Johnson keeps us guessing, which is good, but the thing that makes this a better mousetrap than most isn’t the complexity, but the fact he’s managed to rig it without the usual cheese.”
“The incredibly well-crafted script will undoubtedly be one of the film’s main selling features and there is no lack of jokes at the hypocrisy of the entitled rich assholes of the Thrombey family.
“At its heart Knives Out is a comedy first, a mystery second and a sly political commentary about the 1% a distant third. Thanks to an impeccable script, game actors and plenty of laughs, though, the messaging goes down easy. This one is a crowd-pleaser.”
“Fittingly enough, Knives Out is too much fun in the moment for you to dwell on what’s come before (or to be too distracted guessing at where it’s going). Even if you do somehow manage to piece the whole thing together in advance, there’s no way of predicting the joy of watching it all unfold. As playful as Wes Anderson and as literal as James Gray, Johnson has finally devised an original story that’s fuelled by his natural gamesmanship — one that doesn’t feel like it’s suffocated by its own design.”
“Johnson’s screenplay in many ways is the star here, with its well-oiled plot mechanics and guileful twists and turns, constantly pulling the rug out from under the audience as much as the characters.
“But the smart script would be nothing without actors able to keep up with its surprises, and there’s not a weak link in the ensemble. Everyone gets his or her moments.”
“The game’s afoot and everyone’s a suspect in Knives Out, Rian Johnson’s deliriously funny whodunit. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have trying to solve a murder.
“Gathering together a killer cast of movie stars and character actors, Johnson has crafted a film that’s both a loving homage to locked room mysteries and a giddy, laugh-out-loud funny comedy that keeps pulling the rug out from under you just when you think you’ve found your footing. It’s a total blast.”
Knives Out is currently scheduled to reach big screens in the US on November 27. It’ll be released in the UK on November 29.