Over the past few weeks a number of high-profile releases have hit cinema screens, and they have struggled to make an impact at the box office.

Terminator: Dark Fate opened to decent reviews, but audiences failed to show up. Doctor Sleep proved popular with critics, yet made very little impact – in fact, your average cinemagoer probably doesn’t even know it is out. And this weekend, Charlie’s Angels opened in the UK and, well, the jury is still out on that one.

While the box office figures have yet to be released for Charlie’s Angels, I’m not holding out any hope of this movie being a financial hit. The movie has already bombed in the US and that doesn’t bode well for its success over here.

So, why are audiences skipping the cinema?

Who knows – maybe it’s simply because the films mentioned above are not offering anything new. I’ll be honest, I didn’t show up for Doctor Sleep and tonight I skipped out on seeing Charlie’s Angels too. I just didn’t have a strong desire to watch the movie.

However, I didn’t skip out on going to the movies altogether – tonight I swapped out Charlie’s Angels for an alternative film instead. And boy, it was a good one.

The movie that got me out of the house and into the cinema was Knives Out. And if you’re finding yourself disinterested in the current crop of cinematic releases (in the same way that I am), then I recommend you give Knives Out a try – you won’t be disappointed.

Knives Out is a ‘who dunnit?’, similar in style to an Agatha Christie murder mystery. The film – directed by Rian Johnson – boasts a tightly written story, a touch of dark comedy, and a hugely impressive cast.

And let’s start there – the cast of Knives Out is so, so good. These guys were worth the ticket price alone.

Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Don Johnson – I could go on. Heck, even Frank Oz and K Callan popped up in small roles, adding something to the story.

Each member of the cast was given the opportunity to craft their own unique character and each took the chance and ran with it. Especially Daniel Craig, who got to play a private investigator as a sort-of modern take on Poirot (with a faint whiff of Clouseau).

At times Craig was bizarre, yet also perfect – fitting in with everyone else in the cast, including the ever reliable Toni Collette and the superb Jamie Lee Curtis.

Image: ©Lionsgate Films

As a result of the casting choices made in this production, I found that there was never a dull moment on screen, as the narrative moved from one dysfunctional and/or quirky character to the next. This really helped sell the ensemble, but also helped sell the central mystery too.

From the opening moments, all the way throughout its 130-minute running time, the mystery at the heart of Knives Out was so damn compelling. I had my suspicions about its resolution, and I was partly right, but I couldn’t quite crack it – and I’m glad I couldn’t as it formed the backbone of this entire tale.

It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it certainly didn’t disappoint. The story kept me guessing with every new development, and spooled out partial answers here and there, before sidestepping with new story beats.

And while it was doing this, the narrative even found time to drop in a little social commentary too.

Bravo.

Outside of the cast and the story, Knives Out was also gorgeous to look at. The visuals in this movie really helped it shine – from the backgrounds to the costume choices, there was a real attention to detail throughout.

Again, bravo.

Image: ©Lionsgate Films

It’s fair to say I loved this movie. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Knives Out is easily one of my favourite movies of the year and I’m glad it convinced me to go to the cinema.

Will it perform well? Who can say – but I’m hopeful.

If you are suffering from franchise fatigue, or you simply want to watch a deliciously dark winter warmer, Knives Out is the movie for you. It is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours and it is a breath of fresh air in an endless sea of reboots, sequels, and badly marketed films.

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