Knives Out is a 2019 American mystery film written, directed, and co-produced by Rian Johnson. It stars Daniel Craig as a detective investigating the death of a wealthy patriarch and features an ensemble cast. Johnson conceived the film in 2005 but didn't write the screenplay until 2017. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and received universal acclaim. It grossed $311.9 million on a $40 million budget and was nominated for several awards. In 2021, Netflix acquired the rights to two sequels written and directed by Johnson with Craig reprising his role, the first of which was released in 2022.
The basic concept for the film was developed by Johnson after he made Brick in 2005. He wanted to make an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery film, but his next project became Star Wars: The Last Jedi. After finishing his press tour for that film, he spent seven months writing the script for Knives Out. The film is inspired by classic mystery thrillers and comedies, with influences including The Last of Sheila, Murder on the Orient Express, Clue and Gosford Park. The title was taken from the 2001 Radiohead song "Knives Out". The film was announced in 2018, with Daniel Craig starring, and was sold to distributors at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. The cast includes Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Jaeden Martell, Katherine Langford, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, and M. Emmet Walsh.
Knives Out has received positive reviews from critics, with an approval rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 82 out of 100 on Metacritic. Critics have praised the film's script, performances, and use of murder-mystery tropes. Audiences also gave the film high ratings, with an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale. The film has been described as "ingeniously plotted" and "subversive", and has been selected as one of the top ten films of 2019 by the American Film Institute, the National Board of Review, and Time magazine.