Back left
Back right

Knives Out Movie Review - Beautifully Acted Twisty Mystery

Bright teens who love solving mysteries should enjoy.

Reviewed by on Nov 27, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the mystery movie Knives Out. It is a twisty who-done-it with a cool cast including It’s Jaeden Martell and Captain America himself Chris Evans. Great for young mystery buffs. Read our movie review!

In Knives Out, directed by Rian Johnson the fellow who directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, everyone is a suspect in a fun, modern-day murder mystery. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, a mystery person hires the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate.

Private Detective Blanc is on the casePrivate Detective Blanc is on the caseCourtesy of Lionsgate

Blanc pieces together a twisted tale involving all of Harlan's self-serving, dysfunctional family and his devoted staff in order to uncover the truth.  

Knives Out Trailer


The Last Party

Successful crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his extended and warring family to his remote mansion for his 85th birthday party in hopes of reuniting them.

The birthday partyThe birthday partyCourtesy of Lionsgate

They are: Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale Harlan's eldest daughter, Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale Linda's husband, Michael Shannon as Walter "Walt" Thrombey, Harlan's youngest son, Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey, Harlan's daughter-in-law, Katherine Langford as Megan "Meg" Thrombey Harlan's granddaughter, Chris Evans as Ransom, Linda and Richard’s playboy high-living son and Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey Harlan's grandson. The morning after the party, Harlan's housekeeper Fran (Edi Patterson) finds him dead in his study with his throat slit.

Jaeden Martell as grandson JacobJaeden Martell as grandson JacobCourtesy of Lionsgate

Enter the Famous Detective

The police, along with experienced private eye Benoit Blanc, are called in to investigate. Even Blanc doesn’t know who actually hired him. Throughout a series of interviews with members of the family, secrets are revealed as well as possible motives for murder. Richard, Harlan's son-in-law, was discovered to have cheated on his wife Linda with Harlan threatening to expose him. Joni, Harlan's daughter-in-law and wife of his deceased son Neil, was discovered stealing $400,000 from Harlan by using duplicate checks meant for her daughter Meg’s education. Walt was fired from his father's publishing company during the birthday party. Ransom, Linda and Richard's son, had discovered he'd been cut out of the will entirely.

Chris Evans plays RansomChris Evans plays RansomCourtesy of Lionsgate

More Discoveries

We find out that after the party, Harlan's caretaker and nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) took Harlan upstairs to give him his nightly medication. After beginning to play a game of Go, Harlan jokingly knocked the board off of the table mixing up two bottles of medication before Marta could give him any. She injected him but accidentally gave him 100 milligrams of morphine. To protect his friend from a murder charge, Harlan gave her strict instructions on how to avoid suspicion then, thinking he’d be dead in ten minutes, he slit his own throat.  Freaked, Marta followed her boss’s instructions driving away with the family seeing her then sneaking back into the house to set up a plan to clear her as a suspect.

Marta could be blamed for murderMarta could be blamed for murderCourtesy of Lionsgate

The Will

The police question Marta, since she is a trustworthy source due to her inability to lie without throwing up. Suspecting murder not suicide Blanc is determined to find the true cause of death. The next day, Blanc, along with Marta and the police, search the house and its surroundings for clues but Marta is able to cover up many before the detectives can find them.

Blanc follows clues in the woodsBlanc follows clues in the woodsCourtesy of Lionsgate

The family anxiously awaits the will reading and is shocked to hear that Harlan left everything to Marta! Despite the family's kindness to Marta the night before, they quickly turn on her but Ransom helps her escape. Ransom and Marta then go to a local restaurant where he coaxes her to tell him everything.

Chris and Ana talk with their directorChris and Ana talk with their directorCourtesy of Lionsgate

Everyone is Still a Suspect

Family members realize that if Marta can be charged with the murder, they will regain their inheritance. Blanc tells everyone they are suspects. Marta gets a ransom note reading "I know what you did" along with a partial photocopy of Harlan's toxicology report proving, Marta thinks, that he would have died of too much morphine. Marta drives with Ransom to the medical examiner's office for the entire report but it has been burned to the ground.

Marta with MegMarta with MegCourtesy of Lionsgate


What will the toxicology report say? Who is trying to blackmail Marta? Is Ransom really trying to help her? Who hired Blanc? Will Blanc decide that Marta is innocent? Will she really end up with the family fortune after all?

The Thrombey familyThe Thrombey family Courtesy of Lionsgate

Wrapping Up

Knives Out is a cleverly-written and well-acted murder mystery with some classic and new touches. There is a bit of humor created by the characters’ reactions to one another. If you are a teen who enjoys reading and can get into Agatha Christie murder mysteries or even a good Nancy Drew, you can probably hang in and start figuring out “who done it”. Younger kids and non mystery-solvers might find the film too slow, boring and too “talky”.

We enjoyed the guessing game and the acting and can award the movie four stars.

Knives Out Movie Rating: 4

Knives Out Movie PosterCourtesy of Lionsgate

See Knives Out in theaters now.

Are You a Mystery Buff?

Do you like solving a mystery in books, TV or film? What are your favorite mysteries? Are you bored by a “who-done-it” story? Give us your pros, cons and opinions with a comment and/or note on your Kidzworld profile page.


By: Lynn Barker