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Knives Out: Whodunnit? Riandiddit

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A picturesque, secluded home, a gallery of guests with bones to pick and a wealthy patriarch with his throat slit. It's almost too perfect a recipe for what was promised to be a celebration of the murder mystery.

As you unfurl into your seat, ready for a spoof of one of the most predictable genres in cinema, Knives Out grabs you by the ankles and swings you around the room, refusing to let you settle until you submit to Rian Johnson's rollercoaster of a send-up.

A murder mystery is nothing without an eclectic cast of characters and Knives Out ticks this box with one of the most impressive ensembles of the year. The entire cast without exception look to be having the time of their lives, with Ana De Armas and Daniel Craig deserving particular praise for their chemistry and much-needed straightness in the face of pantomime.

While Johnson's airtight screenplay is perhaps the film's greatest strength, his direction is not to be overlooked. Every shot feels inspired, his motifs and visuals deliberate and thoughtful, a further establishment of Johnson as one of the most visionary directors working today.

Ultimately, for its laudable writing and pick-n-mix of career-best comedic performances, Knives Out is an impossible film to discuss without acknowledgement of the Marples and Poirots that inspired every frame. Is it Airplane! meets Murder On The Orient Express? Not exactly. It's a heartfelt love letter to the murder mystery genre with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. It demands you laugh with the genre, not at it.

For all its jabs and ironic eye rolls, the film is never content with mere mockery. As much parody as it is homage, Knives Out will make you laugh out loud almost as much as it has you sincerely guessing: whodunnit?

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