What's most fun is watching this nearly unbelievable cast make many, many meals out of the nasties they get to play and the scenes they compete to steal. Jamie Lee Curtis and Don Johnson constantly look down their noses at the other Thrombey siblings, Michael Shannon sinks deep into his character's thankless career as his dad's publisher, and Chris Evans plays Captain America's evil twin, tossing out swears every chance he gets and sauntering around this massive country house in an ever-changing chorus line of cozy sweaters. (There are so many sweaters in this movie, and each is better than the last. It's the perfect late fall thriller.)
The real standouts, though, are Craig as Detective Blanc a.k.a. Kentucky Fried Columbo, drawling, "What's the cheese?" and spouting monologues about donut holes, and de Armas as Marta, Harlan Thrombey's nurse whom Blanc shanghais into being his Watson for the weekend, since Marta can't tell a lie without throwing up from the strain. Craig is so freewheeling and fun, and de Armas gets so much more to do here (you probably remember her as artificial intelligence hologram Joi from 2017's Blade Runner 2049), and is genuinely the movie's not-so-secret star.
It's such fun watching these characters square up against each other, manipulating and scheming while also trying to solve a murder mystery, and it's so gratifying that, for once, a great big studio tentpole with an unbelievable ensemble cast is a wholly original piece. Not a single gamepiece in Knives Out is left untouched, not a stone unturned, all leading up to a final shot that is, if you'll pardon me, nothing less than killer.