Rian Johnson‘s much anticipated “Knives Out” had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival to raving first reactions, describing this ensemble whodunit as a fun crowd-pleaser for the fall.
The stacked cast includes Ana de Armas (“Blade Runner 2049”), Chris Evans (“Avengers: Endgame”), Daniel Craig (“Casino Royale”), Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween”), LaKeith Stanfield (“Atlanta,” “Sorry to Bother You”) and Don Johnson (“Miami Vice”). The ensemble also includes Toni Collette (“Hereditary”), Katherine Langford (“13 Reasons Why”) and Christopher Plummer (“The Sound of Music”).
The official synopsis reads:
Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper, The Last Jedi) pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in KNIVES OUT, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate.
From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. With an all-star ensemble cast including Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell, KNIVES OUT is a witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.
Outside of his Star Wars commitments, Johnson has directed “Looper,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “Brick” and the stellar “Breaking Bad” episode, ‘Ozymandias.’ He writes his own script for “Knives Out,” which he explained at CinemaCon to be an Agatha Christie inspiration with a “Hitchcock thriller-type twist.” Those who saw the film at TIFF are relishing the director’s switch from a galaxy far away.
Peter Debruge of Variety describes most of Johnson’s films to be “undeniably clever, but distressingly serious.” With “Knives Out,” Johnson seems to be having more fun liberties with his characters and premise. Debruge writes in his review:
Twists abound in “Knives Out,” but by far the most unexpected is Johnson’s decision to treat this brainteaser as a comedy.
Here, he manages to blend the two, populating the Thrombey household with one-of-a-kind weirdos.
Attendees started tweeting their first reactions via Twitter:
— Danielle Solzman @ #TIFF19 (@DanielleSATM) September 8, 2019
#KnivesOut just became one of my favorite films of 2019. @rianjohnson blows it out of the water. The script is awesome, the performances are fantastic. I could easily watch this over and over. Daniel Craig stands out as Det. Blanc. This is a must-see. #TIFF19
— Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) September 8, 2019
— Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) September 8, 2019
#KnivesOut is a master class in murder mystery. A beautifully crafted, laugh out loud guessing game
— Chris Sylvia @ #TIFF19 (@sylvioso) September 8, 2019
Congrats to @rianjohnson for writing the most telenovela of films.
KNIVES OUT is a total blast and a total take down of privilege, gringos, and perceptions through a genre that's very missed.
*chef's kiss* #TIFF19
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) September 8, 2019
KNIVES OUT is one HUMDINGER of a movie. A true whodunnit that is drop dead hilarious. I died. I’m tweeting this from the grave after dying from the laughs. Daniel Craig in FULL ham mode. FULL HAM. My favorite movie of the year so far. #tiff19
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) September 8, 2019
Knives Out is absolutely outstanding. My favorite @rianjohnson film to date. Many scenes will be stuck in my head for months. Hilarious, insanely clever, packed with surprises and subversions in all the right ways. Agatha Christie would be proud. #KnivesOut pic.twitter.com/9ELpJjEV9l
— Ezra Cubero (@EzraCubero) September 8, 2019
#KnivesOut just killed its way to my top 5 movies of the year. A pitch-perfect whodunit that takes every genre trope and flips it upside down. The score is operatic, the cast is immaculate and the story will have your mind spinning as often as it'll make you laugh. Bravo. #TIFF19
— Rafael Motamayor @ TIFF (@RafaelMotamayor) September 8, 2019