From our American Corespondent:
I found “Knives Out” watchable but rather slow & marginally entertaining – just FYI my wife enjoyed it more. I’d give it a “C” and she’d give it a “B”.
First, the good news – a good whodunit requires clever plot twists that are revealed at the end & Knives Out has a very clever plot that weaves a tricky tale together at the end. It’s a bit contrived here & there, but probably no more so than most murder mysteries. It seemed to me, however, that the plot reveal was lacking in excitement or drama – it seemed very flat.
Now on to the not-quite-so-good news. As is required, the story moves from “the rich guy dies” to the investigation phase to the “everyone in the family has a motive” point. I found this part, perhaps the first hour, very slow and unentertaining. For one thing, there was very little humor (true of the whole movie, amazing how often a movie trailer seems to include every really funny scene in the entire movie). From this point on it picked up steam, but I still found it a bit dull and dry. In retrospect it seems this movie never tried to be funny or really dramatic, it just rolled out the story.
Second, Daniel Craig is playing Benoit Blanc with a very thick accent (I think it’s supposed to Kentucky, but it sounded like a Southern aristocrat to me). My wife and I both commented on this immediately after the movie. It may be that the accent wouldn’t have bothered us if it weren’t coming from Daniel Craig, but somehow it seemed very out of place – it was seriously annoying.
The third issue is that the movie managed to cram in a few minutes of totally unnecessary PC preaching. There is a scene where some of the family members are sitting around the living room arguing about illegal immigration. Of course, the guy who argues that illegal immigration is a problem makes a right hash out of explaining why and even creates a horribly awkward scene by asking a Hispanic employee what her views were. This scene added nothing to the movie and the awkward part was uncomfortable even though I knew it was just a movie. I may be oversensitive to this, but if a movie reversed the politics and did something so stupid I think it would be panned for this schtick mercilessly. It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.
All that said, it scored an excellent 92% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes, so maybe the accent and PC crap are more easily ignored by a lot of people.