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Review: Star-studded 'Knives Out' is a ridiculously clever whodunnit

From left to right. Richard (Don Johnson), Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), Ransom (Chris Evans) Great Nana (K Callan), Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) Walt (Michael Shannon), Jacob (Jaeden Lieberher), Donna (Riki Lindholm), Joni (Toni Collette) and Meg (Katherine{ }Langford) in KNIVES OUT.{ } (Photo: Lionsgate)

Knives Out
4 out of 5 Stars
Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Starring: Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material

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SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: When crime novelist Harlan Throbey is found dead by apparent suicide after his 85th birthday, Detective Benoit Blanc is hired by an anonymous individual to investigate the members of Throbey’s family and staff.

Review: With “Knives Out” director/writer Rian Johnson has crafted a marvelous whodunnit filled with the biggest personalities that he could stuff into a house and the darkest humor he could squeeze into a PG-13 rating.

Crime novelist HarlanThrobey (Christopher Plummer) is beloved by his readers and barely tolerated by his family who all have eyes on the writer’s money. Harlan is aware of their disdain and the feeling is mutual. Of course, Harlan is dead. It’s the how, who, when and why that needs unraveling.

Seeing as the police are inclined to label Harlan’s death as a suicide, the answers will have to come from Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig sporting a Southern drawl), a detective who was hired by an anonymous person who sent envelope full of cash to his door.

What follows is a lot of finger pointing and more than a few bombshell revelations. It’s like the current news cycle. The difference being you can laugh at the film’s absurdity. Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee, Chris Evans, Katherine Langford and Michael Shannon offer up some fabulous all-caps ACTING while Ana de Armas plays a bewildered deer in the headlights. “Knives Out” is golden. And then Frank Oz makes an appearance. I rest my case.

There are obvious comparisons that can be made between Johnson’s film and 1985’s cult classic “Clue” (still the best adaptation of a board game with “Ouija: Origin of Evil” being its only real competition). It’s the tone and the general tropes, not so much the actual story, that tie the films together. Well, that and they are both immensely enjoyable.