Exit James Bond, Enter Benoit Blanc

Taking a page from Agatha Christie, writer/director Rian Johnson weaves a classic murder mystery that is unique in the marketplace. If “Knives Out” proves to be a box office success, look for Rian to reunite with Daniel Craig for the continuing adventures of detective Benoit Blanc.

When best-selling mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) commits suicide, his troubled family swoops in for the spoils. A dysfunctional unit, the Thrombeys are, for better or worse, the product of their father’s success. Introduced through a series of edgy police interviews, we meet the cavalcade of players.

We learn that Harlan’s eldest daughter, Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis), runs a real estate firm with her husband, Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson). Their playboy son, Ransom (Chris Evans), relies on his grandfather’s wealth to sustain an irresponsible lifestyle.

Harlan’s youngest son, Walt (Michael Shannon), manages the aging patriarch’s mystery novel publishing empire. Walt’s son, Jacob (Jaeden Martell), spends most of his time buried in his smartphone when he’s not spouting right-wing propaganda. And one of Harlan’s other sons died, leaving a wife, Joni (Toni Collette), and a daughter, Meg (Katherine Langford). Like everyone in the Thrombey clan, Toni and Meg are dependent on Harlan’s generosity.

Following the sudden suicide, police detective Lieutenant Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield) and State Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) investigate. But when famous private detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) joins their efforts, the Thrombey family finds their every move under the microscope. And not even the extended family, which includes Harlan’s sensitive nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), and his nosey housekeeper, Fran (Edi Patterson), are exempt. Everyone is a suspect.

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