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American Express Gala

Knives Out

Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) delivers a delight for film fans with his witty, cine-literate and devilishly entertaining new crime caper.

Dir-Scr Rian Johnson
Prod Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman
With Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer
USA
2019
130min
UK Distribution Lionsgate

Murder mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is a veritable one-man crime-fiction industry and his adult children – and their children – have been living off him for years. When he turns up dead, the apparent victim of a murder, it seems that no-one has a motive for killing the golden goose. At least, that’s what the detectives assigned to the case think. But Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) – the debonair ‘Kentucky-fried’ private investigator mysteriously hired by an anonymous source – has other ideas. With a superb cast at their arch best (Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford, Ana de Armas and Don Johnson, to name a few), this is impeccably written and designed, full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.

Johnson clearly knows his mystery genre greats from fiction, television and film. Agatha Christie, Murder, She Wrote and Sleuth are some of the reference points. But while always aware of the conventions, here Rian Johnson does for the murder caper what he did with Brick for noir and Looper for science fiction. He injects them with fresh magic and shows you whole new ways of looking at a beloved genre. Knives Out is a classic whodunnit and as sharp as the blade that killed the patriarch at the heart of the film.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

This member of the filmmaking team is expected to attend the festival:

  • Rian Johnson, director.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

All screenings except for the screening on Sunday 13 October Empire Haymarket 14:45 (this screening will no longer have audio description), are accessible screenings for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. The film has an audio-description soundtrack, and headphones are available on request.

The screening on Wednesday 9 October is an accessible screening for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing. The film has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio.

Tickets for the additional screening are on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00.

See our Screen Talk: Rian Johnson.

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