Knives Out Death On The Nile


Knives Out Blu-ray. Its producers raised eight times as many millions to make 'Death on the Nile,' which earned considerably less than its predecessor at the box. Arriving in cinemas this October is Kenneth Branagh’s second big screen adaptation of an Agatha Christie Poirot story. Following the success of Murder On The Orient Express, Branagh has now tackled – as teased in the first film – Death On The Nile. Once again he takes the role of Poirot in the movie, as well as directing the film. Death on the Nile is due out in 2020, so if Johnson can finish Knives Out and release it in 2019 – which seems to be the plan – he might have the jump on Branagh. Death on the Nile is a 1978 British mystery film based on Agatha Christie's 1937 novel of the same name, directed by John Guillermin and adapted by Anthony Shaffer. The film features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, played by Peter Ustinov for the first time, plus an all-star supporting cast that includes Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, David Niven, George Kennedy. Knives Out ending explained The wealthy family patriarch and famous author, Harlan Thrombey, is turning 85 and having a party with his family. He turns up dead that via an apparent suicide after arguing with seemingly all of his children and his oldest grandchild.

With a surfeit of pretentious, over-produced and downright boring movies to signal this as one of the worst holiday seasons ever, many people crave a good old-fashioned murder mystery modeled after one of those intricately plotted page turners by Agatha Christie. Like me, they want a perfect head-scratcher, like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile. Knives Out, from writer-director Rian Johnson (Star Wars:The Last Jedi), is not it, but as a spoof of Christie, it has a few giggles that in the final 15 minutes turn into guffaws.

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That comment is not meant as a negative. Intentional or not, this alleged thriller is more of a comedy, and maybe I’m just jaded, but to me, there isn’t a genuine thrill in sight. Still, I found it an enjoyable enough way to pass the time between clichés. The plot: Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a rich and famous crime novelist, is found the morning after his 85th birthday party, on the floor of his gloomy old country mansion with his throat slashed. The next two hours asks “whodunit”?

(3/4 stars)
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Written by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer
Running time: 130 mins.

It could be any member of his creepy staff or dysfunctional family. Everyone has a motive and they’re all suspects, including the old man’s daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her greedy husband Richard (Don Johnson), their worthless playboy son Ransom (Chris Evans) who has been disinherited on the night of the murder as the black sheep of the family, son Walt (Michael Shannon) who has just been fired from running his father’s publishing company, daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) who has been discovered stealing $100,000 year from Harlan, her avaricious daughter Meg (Katherine Langford), and, most important of all, Harlan’s devoted private nurse and personal confidante Marta (Ana de Armas), a Guatemalan immigrant and the only person in the house who supposedly had nothing to gain from his demise.


One by one, their lies, secrets, crimes and misdemeanors are discovered by Benoit Blanc, “the last of the gentleman detectives,” played by a miscast Daniel Craig with a cornball Southern accent that sounds like a mouth full of fried grits.

In a concerted effort to keep the final reveal a secret, Johnson asks the audience in a filmed prologue not to become whistleblowers—an unnecessary request, to be sure, since Knives Out is so crammed full of plot twists, blackmail notes, toxicology reports and red herrings that you couldn’t explain what happens at gunpoint.

Who hired Benoit Blanc, a cross between Hercule Poirot and Li’l Abner, anonymously? Who switched Harlan’s meds and filled his veins with morphine? I left asking more questions than the film ever answers, but it’s worth the effort when you get an occasional line of real wit like Craig’s description of a reading of the will as “a community theatre production of a tax return.”

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For his wildly entertaining new murder-mystery movie Knives Out, writer-director Rian Johnson has lined up an all-star cast, nearly every one of whom is playing a fabulously wealthy creep. Don Johnson plays the philandering spouse of a snippy real estate mogul, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Chris Evans is their stubbornly unserious playboy son. Michael Shannon plays his millionaire father's staunchly right-wing business manager, raising a teenage son who's a Neo-Nazi internet troll. And Toni Collette is a self-styled social media influencer, burning through her late husband's family fortune.

Most of these characters are — whether they realize it or not — moochers. The clan's patriarch is the mega-successful mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey, played by Christopher Plummer. When he dies under mysterious circumstances, a shrewd southern dandy detective named Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) scrutinizes the potential suspects one-by-one. And one-by-one, he reveals that even if they didn't actually kill Harlan, they've spent most of their lives bleeding him dry .. and then congratulating themselves for being self-made millionaires.

Knives Out Death On The Nile Cast

This premise may seem like an aggressively woke spin on a classic genre. And I haven't even mentioned Harlan's beloved nurse: an undocumented immigrant's daughter named Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who helps steer Benoit's investigation, even as her late employer's family belittles and marginalizes her. (One running joke is that no Thrombey can remember her nationality; it's all pretty much 'somewhere brown-skinned people come from' to them.)

But while Johnson definitely intends Knives Out to be a commentary on the political and class divisions of 2019, he's not breaking new ground here. The detective/mystery genre has long been fairly radical. In Raymond Chandler's novels, some swell walks through Philip Marlowe's door, and before long the bouncing between elegant mansions and sordid dens of iniquity, sniffing out the scandals that the rich and famous would rather he bury. Distrusting the upper-class isn't just a recurring theme in these stories; it's a plot-driver.

Knives Out isn't inspired by the noir shadings of Chandler so much as it is by '70s TV detective shows and Agatha Christie's drawing-room mysteries. But all of these largely share Chandler's nuanced understanding of how people too often conflate having a lot of money with cultural superiority.

On the surface, Knives Out is very much like one of the star-studded old movie adaptations of Christie novels like Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express — the kind of films where the posters featured all the actors' faces in tiny boxes. Much of the fun of the movie comes from watching skilled pros like Collette, Curtis, Johnson, and Shannon lean into playing such broadly malevolent, fiercely selfish, unselfconsciously smug plutocrats. Evans and Craig especially look to be having a ball, loosed from the demands of playing the stodgy Captain America and James Bond, now free to go broad as walking, talking cartoons.


Knives Out Death On The Nile Movie

Structurally, Johnson borrows from Sleuth and Deathtrap, two movies (both based on plays) that spring huge surprises every 30 minutes or so, defying the audience's presumptions. But Johnson also, somewhat incongruously, takes from Columbo, a TV show that usually told viewers more than even the hero knew. A Columbo episode nearly always starts with the who, how, and why of a murder, then spends the next hour or so following LAPD homicide detective Lt. Columbo as he pecks away at snobby killers who are certain they've committed the perfect crime.

The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, Cannon. Each of these shows also pitted lumpy, world-weary types against the kind of glamorous people that '70s TV viewers might've read about in, well, People. Of all the classic '70s detective series though, Columbo was the most overt with its class-conflict themes.

Kindle for macbook air. Peter Falk played Columbo as a seemingly in-over-his-head LAPD lifer, clad in a rumpled trench coat and driving a beat-up old car. He'd disarm suspects with his obsequiousness, peppering them with deceptively flattering inquiries into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. How do all their fancy, expensive gadgets work? What's the best way to pick a good bottle of wine? What does a bigwig do all day? Before they knew what had happened, Columbo had asked the one question that exposed their biggest mistake.

Knives Out waits until roughly the end of its first act before jumping into an extended flashback that reveals how Harlan died and who was involved. Then, Columbo-style, we watch as the chief suspect shadows Benoit, desperately trying to steer the detective away from the clues. It's all wonderfully suspenseful, watching a smart P.I. piece together what we already know.

Benoit Blanc is ultimately more of a Christie or a Dashiell Hammett-style hero than a Columbo. He's dapper and eloquent, and he projects a know-it-all confidence that makes his quarry nervous. Still, like many of the best detectives, he combines a deep cynicism about human nature with a sentimental attachment to underdogs and lost causes.

Knives Out Death On The Nile Online

Knives Out can be savage in its depiction of the Thrombey family. But what makes it such a crowd-pleaser is that Johnson also expresses a reassuring optimism that human decency will prevail, and that justice will favor the hard-working and good-hearted over the pernicious and self-serving — no matter how loaded they may be.

This, in essence, is the appeal of these stories where a Miss Marple or a Sam Spade wears a criminal down. It's not that the great mystery writers think millionaires are inherently evil. It's more that they recognize the common, infuriating belief among aristocrats that money should buy them the benefit of the doubt. Their stacks of cash are meant to insulate them from any consequences.

In another Columbo-esque move in Knives Out, the suspects play along with the investigation until it starts to cut a little too close to the truth, at which point they presume they have the power to end it. They're not used to being questioned, so they figure their cooperation is wholly voluntary.

Who Was The Killer In Death On The Nile

Knives out death on the nile full

Knives Out Death On The Nile Full

But the most original twist in this rollicking, unpredictable whodunnit doesn't involve a key clue or a shocking revelation. It's more about the way the detective hero peels away the Thrombeys' defenses, by forcing them to admit how little they've actually accomplished in their lives.

Knives Out Death On The Nile

In some mysteries, the rich pay any price to keep the public from finding out about some sexual indiscretion or long-buried crime. In Knives Out, the scandal is more insidious: It's that these wealthy people who demand deference have never really earned a penny of their income. It's a secret that runs so deep, even the people carrying it are clueless.

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