Comedy,  Mystery

Knives Out 2019 Review | Why This Film is So Great

Knives Out (2019)

Director: Rian Johnson

Date Created: 2019-11-27 00:00

Editor's Rating:

Knives Out is a stellar movie and this Knives Out 2019 review will be discussing everything in the film, including the details of the outcome of this mystery movie.

knives out 2019
Knives Out 2019 poster
Knives Out 2019 is a murder mystery that follows the highly renowned and unconventional Detective Benoit Blanc as he tries to uncover the truth behind the murder of the successful crime author, Harlan Russell. Blanc sifts through the clashing personalities of Russell's family to try to unveil who the murderer may be. And it's probably not who you think it is... 

If you haven’t watched the movie yet, and want to enjoy the full emotional rollercoaster untainted then please click away, watch the movie, and then return for some discussion.

Alright, go on now. I’ll put a large gif right below this so you don’t accidentally see any possibly spoiling words before you leave.

Ok, now that you’re at this point in the review, I assume you already know what’s up. There’s nothing to spoil for you. So let’s get into it.

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Knives Out 2019 Review | What Made the Film So Good?

1. Immaculate Aesthetics

knives out 2019 review, creepy house
Knives Out 2019 aesthetic house

The setting for Knives Out 2019 is so vintage and mysterious.

The inside of the house is so cluttered in a way that was really visually demanding. There was so much to take in. It gave you a sense of who Harlan was and what his style was – a very antique shop-like environment with a lot of books. Almost like a cozy, yet potentially dangerous library. I would love to see that set in real life.

There was a level of obvious fakeness to Harlan’s blood and the room and the characters, like a slight exaggeration – even the film’s music felt a little like an old classic movie.

knives out title card
Knives Out 2019 title card

The title of the movie is written in a very classic, old-timey, slightly exaggerated way that works so well with the movie’s aesthetic.

It’s executed so believably that it transports viewers into this new world. It’s easy to accept that this slight exaggeration is the norm of this created world.

Another stunning spectacle was the wheel of knives. I would love to have one in my kitchen.

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Knives Out 2019 knife wheel

I’m glad that even this wheel ended up playing a monumental role in this film. Barely any detail went to waste.

2. Superb Cast

What an ensemble! Knives Out 2019 is overflowing with brilliant characters and believable characterization. Everything flows easily character-wise, plot-wise, and script-wise.

Although the middle of the movie is a little slow, the end picks it right back up ending with a bang, and everything comes full circle.

Now, Chris Evans in that white sweater at the diner/bar/place…

I remember seeing memes and tweets about Evans in a sweater before and I didn’t know that it was from this movie. Seeing it with my own two eyes now, I get it.

Chris Evans in that sweater looks like warm cuddles on a snowy winter day with some hot cocoa by the fireplace.

knives out 2019 chris evans in white sweater
Knives Out 2019 Chris Evans sweater

He embodies all of that with just one sweater. The hype is valid.

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3. Hilarious Script

This film is really funny in a witty way, and even though the characters said silly things, it never felt cheesy. I was actually laughing out loud.

Some of the funniest moments:

  • “I’m not eating one iota of sh*t!” – Walt
  • “Were you boinking my father?” – Linda (how she was able to say this without it sounding ridiculous, I have no idea.)
  • “It’s a weird case from the start. A case with a hole in the center. A donut.” – Benoit Blanc
  • The fact that they said Marta (played by the stunning Ana De Armas) was from a different South American country every single time and no one even stopped to correct it or bring it to light. That was a subtle comedic insertion that was hilarious to me.

4. Puzzling Mystery

With every mystery story, I always try to guess who did it before the murderer is revealed.

My guess: Harlan, as a murder mystery author, had actually planned and constructed his own death as like, his final big story.

Obviously, I was wrong. Fine. I’ll take the L.

I’m glad I did get it wrong because a whodunnit story where you actually guess who did it correctly – where’s the fun in that? The element of surprise is lost.

I don’t know why I wanted to trust that Ransom was a good guy who was just misunderstood by the rest of his family. Maybe because he just seemed so chill and he “saved” Marta from his family’s madness. I don’t know…

But the “Hugh did it” line and the double meaning being that – genius.

My heart dropped when the detective pointed out that Harlan was actually fine the whole time and didn’t have to kill himself. Oof. That’s really tough. That’s super tough.

When Ransom pulled out the knife on Marta and it ended up being fake — yo — I screamed! — internally — cuz it was nighttime and I wasn’t trying to scare anyone — but that moment was just INCREDIBLE.

Harlan said it in the beginning:

“There’s so much of me in that kid [Ransom]. Confident. Stupid. I don’t know… protected. Playing life like a game without consequences. Until you can’t tell the difference between a stage prop… and a real knife.”


I think it’s so amazing how that one line held so much weight in the film.

I love it when lines don’t go to waste.

Another line that didn’t go to waste:

“We [Harlan and Linda] had our own secret way of communicating.”


And then she ended up using the lighter to read her father’s message stating that her husband was cheating on her…

I KNEW IT! I knew when the husband found the letter and saw that it was a blank sheet of paper that there would be invisible ink or something that would be the secret way that Linda and Harlan communicated. So, I’m really glad that that loose end was tied up.

Except — the random note that Benoit Blanc played in the beginning when they were questioning the family.

I still don’t understand the potential significance of that but I did think that it was a funny way to introduce the character. Because the whole time, as a viewer I was thinking, “Who’s that random guy playing a note?” and so for the actors to actually address it too was funny and satisfying.

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5. Satisfying Ending

The family sees that Ransom was the real perpetrator the whole time and that Marta was innocent.

Then, it pans to Marta, looking down on them from the balcony with the mug that was highlighted at the very beginning of the film which said “My house. My rules. My coffee.” What a beautiful full-circled donut.

knives out 2019 ending
Knives Out 2019 ending

It’s saying that Marta is claiming her inheritance. She’s the boss now. It’s saying that now is the time for each member to fend for themselves.

Linda and Robert have to go deal with their marital issues.

Walt has to figure out his own dreams apart from his father’s legacy and pursue that.

Joni and Meg need to take out loans and find a way to support themselves and build their own lives independently.

Ransom will face the consequences of his actions.

The love of money truly breeds corruption.

The way that the family completely turned on Marta and manipulated her because they felt entitled to money that they didn’t even work for… disgusting.

They all seriously relied too heavily on Harlan for their financial needs — and Harlan let them.

And when he tried to cut them off guess what – they killed him. The fact that the love of money surpassed the love of their family member. Sad.

I also thought that giving Marta all of his possessions was a huge, HUGE burden to put on anyone.

Harlan didn’t just give her money and power, he gave her a whole family of people who now despise her and probably want her dead.

If I were Marta, I would find it hard to be at peace knowing that there are people who believe they’re entitled to the life she’s been given.

But I think she’ll be okay. The end really showed her stepping into her authority, into her newfound power.

And besides, if anything goes awry, she has a friend in Benoit Blanc to help her piece things together again.

my house my rules my coffee mug; knives out
Knives Out 2019 statement mug

And that’s the tea…

Rating: 9.2/10

Who do you think committed the murder before the big reveal? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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