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Wick's Review

Created Dec 14, 2019 08:56AM PST • Edited Jan 05, 2020 08:43PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    What happens when a legendary detective drops in on the murder investigation of a major mystery writer? Rian Johnson’s latest complicated cinematic confection – Knives Out – is what happens. This Agatha Christy homage is loads of fun for nearly two hours. Unfortunately, it’s a 2 hour 10 minute movie.

    That last half-hour draws out the movie’s flaws even as it allows for another handful of plot twists. The flaws really start to wear as the 2 hour mark comes and goes: too long, too smug, insufficiently charismatic. That’s partly due to the movie’s huge ensemble of huge moviestars, more of whom disappoint than delight.

    • The disappointments include Daniel Craig, Chris Evans & Michael Shannon.
    • The delights include Christopher Plummer & the beguiling Ana de Armas.
      The divine de Armas is a moviestar on the rise.

    Rian Johnson made his bones with me when he had Bruce Willis & Joseph Gordon-Levitt play the same hitman in the time-traveling masterpiece Looper. By that standard, Knives Out is a disappointment.
    By the standards of regular movies, it’s killer.

  3. Good 3.0
    Big Big Cast
    • Christopher Plummer is sublime as a wealthy novelist with a seriously dysfunctional family.
    • Daniel Craig chews scenery while being pithy, not easy to do. It takes a great actor to be this bad. Plus, his Southern drawl is laughable, more store-bought than lived-in.
    • Ana de Armas delights as an RN with a kind heart and a weak stomach. AdA is a terrific actress, as she’s shown time and again, e.g., in Hands of Stone and in Blade Runner 2049 with Ryan Gosling.
    • Jamie Lee Curtis brings real femmitas.
    • Don Johnson is typecast as a rich philanderer.
    • Chris Evans is typecast as a spoiled playboy, yet still isn’t very good. That’s something.
    • Michael Shannon is usually better than this.
    • Toni Collette is convincingly awful as a lifestyle guru and influencer.
    • Lakeith Stanfield underwhelms in the stock role of Detective Lieutenant.
    • Notable Cameos
      • Frank Oz
      • M. Emmet Walsh
      • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  4. Male Stars OK 2.5
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Very Good 3.5
  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.3
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Brutal 2.7
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.6
  18. Glib 1.9
  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Glib 1.8
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

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