Knives Out early reactions: Rian Johnson's murder mystery hailed as 'funniest film' of the year at TIFF 2019
Rian Johnson had previously said that Knives Out has a 'Hitchcockian thriller-type twist.'
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson's new film, Knives Out, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019 on 7 September. Critics have nothing but praise for Johnson's murder mystery, which boasts a star-studded cast.
Knives Out follows a family that gathers for their patriarch's birthday (a well-known crime novelist), the day on which he dies under mysterious circumstances. This leads to an investigation launched by the authorities with much-loved agent 007 Daniel Craig and Sorry to Bother You’s Lakeith Stanfield named as detectives on the case.
Knives Out has been lauded for its "sharp and incisive" writing and was even called "the year's funniest movie."
IndieWire: "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 fueled by his natural gamesmanship — one that doesn’t feel like it’s suffocated by its own design."
The Guardian: "It’s such a rare pleasure to see a director so in love with a genre without slipping into Tarantinoesque fanboy indulgence, remembering his audience is bigger than himself and also that his film requires both head and heart."
Collider: "A film like Knives Out could fall apart if one vital piece is off-kilter, but thankfully Johnson and his filmmaking team show a masterful control of craft. The script is sharp and incisive, weaving themes relating to inherited wealth, privilege, and American greed throughout while still delivering 30 Rock-like levels of laughs-per-minute."
Variety: "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."
Slash Film: "As fun as the mystery is, the real treat of Knives Out is watching this incredible cast ham it up and have a clearly great time doing it. Everyone here gets their moments to shine, with Noah Sagan perhaps being the biggest breakout and getting the most laughs as he acts up against these heavy-hitters. [Chris] Evans is also a hoot as the black sheep Ransom – the former Captain America manages to garner huge guffaws by simply eating cookies. That’s talent, folks."
Here are some more reactions.
#KnivesOut is one of a kind. @rianjohnson doesn’t hold back - big fun and spicy commentary with fiery results. And if you don’t already know that @Ana_d_Armas is something special, there’s no excuses after this. #TIFF19
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) September 8, 2019
(Carr, btw, was one of the greatest — and funniest — of Golden Age detective novelists, and the only one whose mysteries Agatha Christie herself said she was always stumped by. Start with THE JUDAS WINDOW, THE THREE COFFINS and THE CASE OF THE CONSTANT SUICIDES.) — Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) September 8, 2019
KNIVES OUT: Pure entertainment. Great cast, perfect pacing, and such a smart script. People are gonna LOVE this.
— Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) September 8, 2019
#KnivesOut is flat-out awesome in every way. The funniest film I have seen this year - clever-as-hell writing & glorious performances (Daniel Craig steals the film), this murder-mystery send-up just killed it here at #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/6Nq3kiXxpX — Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 8, 2019
Absolutely *loved* @rianjohnson's @KnivesOut. Not only is the script fantastic, the entire cast is pitch perfect. Try not to learn the twists and turns before seeing it and you're in for an awesome ride. #TIFF19pic.twitter.com/i2vEhGOzYk
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) September 8, 2019
Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan, Edi Patterson, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer star alongside Craig and Stanfield in Knives Out.
According to IndieWire, Johnson had compared the film to Agatha Christie's mysteries and said that the film has a "Hitchcock thriller-type twist."
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