“Knives Out” (Lionsgate)

Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Noah Segan and LaKeith Stanfield star in a scene from the movie "Knives Out." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Lionsgate)

By Catholic News Service

Splendid comic whodunit in which a shrewd Southern detective (Daniel Craig) is hired by an anonymous client to investigate the death of a famous and wealthy crime novelist (Christopher Plummer). Though the police lieutenant (LaKeith Stanfield) and trooper (Noah Segan) assigned to the case insist it was suicide, the sleuth seeks answers among the eccentric members of the deceased’s conflict-ridden family (Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson and Toni Collette, among others). He also enlists the help of the late author’s caring and sensible Latina nurse (Ana de Armas).

Writer-director Rian Johnson’s richly entertaining ensemble homage to Agatha Christie has clever twist and turns, abundant humor and sly social commentary. Though strictly for grown-ups, it’s a brainy and satisfying movie.

Brief gory violence, a morally complex situation, drug use, sexual references, about a dozen profanities, a few milder oaths, a couple of rough terms, frequent crude and crass language, an obscene gesture. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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