Knives Out

Theatrical Release: November 27, 2019
Knives Out


A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Dove Review

Suicide or murder? Whodunit? Following an eventful birthday party for Harlan Thrombey, one of the maids find the body of Harlan, a wealthy novelist and the family patriarch, in a situation that appears to be suicide. Two police officers are trying to piece the night together with the help of a famous private detective. At first glance, Harlan’s family appear to be decent and respectable, but with the slightest prodding it is clear that everyone around Harland would benefit from his death (except for a nurse that helps take care of Harlan and has a very visceral reaction to lying).

What’s at stake is his inheritance: the mansion, about 60 million dollars, and the big prize, control of his publishing company. Is everything as it seems or did you miss something? Did Harlan commit suicide? If not, who killed him? And who gets what?

Knives Out is a mystery following in the footsteps of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Clue. Every character is unique and complex which leaves you with the feeling that there is more that you don’t know. Who can you trust when everyone has proven to be untrustworthy and out for themselves?

At times, the film is funny while still being able to build suspense and keep you questioning what you are seeing. It shows how power and wealth trickle down families, and how it negatively affects them. Also, it would be a crime not to mention the outstanding cast including some of the most recognizable names in the industry.

Knives Out is a crowd-pleasing murder mystery you didn’t know you needed. The positives of this film are our two central (moral) characters. Harland is fully aware of what his money and power has done to his kids and is trying to correct their path. Marta, Harlan’s nurse, takes actions that are immoral, but she does so not for her benefit or gain but to protect those she loves and cares for. Marta is so good-natured that she becomes physically sick when she lies.

Unfortunately, the other characters are not as good-natured, doing drugs, being violent, using vulgar/racist language, and expressing joy and the pain or failure of other family members. These constant character choices make this film Not Dove-approved.

The Dove Take:

Knives Out is a fantastic murder mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end; however, violence, language, drugs, and other immoral behavior are not suited for most audiences.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: Harlan is trying to push his family to be better. Marta is driven not by greed but the desire to protect those she loves.
Sex: None
Language: A – 4, AH – 5, S – 12, B – 3, D – 1, GD – 4, F –
Violence: Self-harming, violence with a knife, fist fighting, overdose.
Drugs: Characters are seen vaping, smoking cigars, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and overdose, and using morphine (morphing is seen in multiple lights). Most instances of drug use have little consequences.
Nudity: None
Other: Family verbal arguments, marital infidelity (Not seen), stealing money from family, racist / politically volatile arguments, characters express joy at the pain or failure of family members. Actions ultimately have consequences.


Company: Unknown
Writer: Rian Johnson
Director: Rian Johnson
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 130 min.
Reviewer: Max B.