A wealthy family patriarch dies under mysterious circumstances, and a brilliant detective suspects foul play in Knives Out, Director Rian Johnson’s terrific postmodern take on the classic whodunnit. Frankly, I can’t tell you much without spoiling the fun—there are twists upon twists upon twists throughout—but the film should be on everybody’s must-see list.
(We are very mindful of spoilers below, apart from brief descriptions of the premise and main characters, and well-known tropes of classic mystery novels.)
It’s not as much of a radical departure for Johnson as it might seem. His debut feature film, Brick (2005), was a crime drama with film noir overtones, largely inspired by the works of Dashiell Hammett and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (The actor would go on to star in Johnson’s third film, 2012’s Looper.) For Brick, Johnson had his actors read Hammett and watch classic screwball comedies like His Girl Friday to bring a lighter touch to the traditional noir genre.