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YMMV / Knives Out

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  • Abandon Shipping: A very common reaction to Marta x Ransom, although it's still amassed a considerable Angel/Devil Shipping fanbase. Just to recap, he's a bigoted Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who attempts to frame an innocent immigrant's daughter for murder and tries to kill her when he's caught. Before The Reveal, however, it's easy to get caught up in the attractiveness of and the chemistry between Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.
  • Acceptable Targets:
    • The "masturbating Nazi" Jacob Thrombey.
    • Wealthy conservatives get a thrashing via the majority of the Thrombeys. The family is arrogant and constantly boasts about their name, despite the family only becoming wealthy thanks to their father's hard work, making them come off as highly unpleasant. Their political bias against immigrants and a staunch support of the law is quick to be discarded when their position is threatened.
    • The Bourgeois Bohemian also gets zero love as seemingly progressive characters like Meg and Joni appear to be much more interested in their personal rebellions and struggles that don't threaten their wealth, becoming otherwise reactionary when their own privilege is questioned.
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • Fran the housekeeper mentions watching lots of Hallmark detective movies and bustles around in the background trying to be an Amateur Sleuth. It ultimately gets her killed, and lets the true culprit get close to destroying the last bit of evidence incriminating him, when she tries to call him out and confront him. In other words, don't assume that you're competent to do something just because you consume a lot of media about it. Even if you do manage to find useful information, you're probably not qualified to handle the consequences compared to a trained professional.
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    • If Harlan had listened when Marta told him they should call an ambulance after his alleged overdose, he'd still be alive. In other words: if you have a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional you trust, listen to them. You pay them for a reason.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Marta/Ransom is a popular ship. One's the All-Loving Heroine, the other is a greedy, murderous slimebag who tries to frame (and eventually kill) her.
  • Award Snub:
    • Rian Johnson's screenplay was nominated for an Oscar but the film itself was not nominated for Best Picture (despite considerable acclaim) and Ana de Armas was likewise overlooked for Best Actress.
    • Daniel Craig failing to get a nomination for either Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor is equally slighting.
    • Best Costume Design is another category the film should have received consideration in.
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  • Captain Obvious Reveal: From the moment Ransom is introduced onscreen, the character is so obviously guilty, down to having an ominous name and triggering the evil detecting dogs, it almost seems like the movie is setting up a Red Herring. Nope. Of course, the obvious reveal could also be meant to hide the twist that he didn't succeed in killing Harlan because Harlan planned his own death at the hands of Marta first.
  • Catharsis Factor: Seeing Marta puking all over Ransom's face is just SO satisfying to watch!
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ransom. If you look like Chris Evans and are one of the most entertaining characters in the movie, fans will forgive anything, including arson, murder, attempted murder, elitism, racism, and general jerkassery.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Trooper Wagner for all his Adorkable fanboy-like interest in the case and his reactions to every new revelation.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Let's just say that there are a ton of folks interested in the film purely because they put Chris Evans in a cable-knit sweater.
  • Evil Is Sexy: It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that people have this reaction to Ransom — he's played by Chris Evans! The official Twitter account even jokingly branded itself a thirst account for Ransom and his sweater.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: One tying directly to family no less, as it's clear Jacob's Nazieqsue views come from his own bigoted family's tendencies which drove him to accept extremes they find too far. Families enabling hate can give rise to an extremist.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • M. Emmet Walsh and Ana de Armas share a scene together, after appearing in Blade Runner and its sequel respectively.
    • Going one step further, Knives Out was released theatrically on November 2019, the same month and year the events of Blade Runner take place in.
    • Ana De Armas and Daniel Craig (as an agent no less) are starring in the lead roles of a crime movie before their upcoming Bond Movie.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Harlan Thrombey really cut his throat after preparing a convoluted plan to give an alibi to Marta and hide the morphine overdose she accidentally gave him (since the overdose would kill him before an ambulance would reach the mansion and Harlan wanted to make sure Marta wouldn't be suspected). Except Marta's vials of medicine had been switched beforehand by Ransom in order to murder Harlan and make it look like an accident. The "overdose" was merely the result of Marta instinctively picking the right vial and not reading the switched label until after injecting his medicine as normal. So, since Harlan wasn't actually overdosing on morphine, not only he would still be alive if he allowed Marta to call an ambulance (because he wasn't injected a lethal dose of morphine), but a quick investigation into the accident would quickly reveal Marta's medicine bag had been tampered with, turning the whole plot in a very different direction (an investigation for an obvious murder attempt, whose intended victim was still alive). Even if they had just stopped for a moment to take stock of his symptoms, they would have noticed he wasn't overdosing. A morphine overdose may kill you in ten minutes, but it'll leave you incoherent much sooner; if Harlan can still talk six minutes in, he's clearly fine.
    • Fran's sub-plot is just as bad. She spots Ransom going through Marta's medical bag and correctly guesses he had done something in an attempt to kill Harlan. Rather than telling the cops or Marta about this, she illegally acquires a copy of a report she doesn't understand, leading to the destruction of the crime lab. Fran then tries to blackmail Ransom, a man she suspects of murdering his grandfather, in a location where nobody can stop him from murdering her.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Linda is as rude, self-centered and xenophobic as the rest of her family, but it’s hard not to feel sorry for her as she is also shown to be in deep, genuine mourning over her father (who she was legitimately close to) and finds out that her son orchestrated Harlan’s death and that her husband had been having an affair behind her back all in the same day.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The clip of Chris Evans' foul-mouthed character Ransom Drysdale telling everyone to "Eat shit" over and over has already spread with many variations, including Captain America's "Language!", Nick Fury's "You kiss your mother with that mouth?", and a Salò crossover.
    • Fans had a field day with Ransom's clear dislike of dogs considering Evans is a well-known dog lover.
    • Ransom's impressive sweater collection has become quite the topic of fascination on the Internet, inspiring (among other things) the Knives Out Challenge on Twitter (posting a photo of yourself wearing a sweater), and the film's official Twitter account even cheekily rebranded itself to Chris Evans' Sweater Stan Account for a day.
    • Fans of the American version of The Office were quick to point out similarities with the episode "Murder," particularly Michael's hilariously bad Southern accent.
  • Narm Charm: The accent that Daniel Craig puts on for Benoit Blanc, oh so much. Even better is that everyone around him seems to realize how ridiculous his accent is, given that it really does sound like a non-American thinking of the most stereotypical southern accent possible, upping the comedy.
  • Nausea Fuel: Marta vomiting chunkily all over Ransom's face. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
  • Shipping: Marta is usually shipped with either Ransom or Blanc. The former is more popular, but the latter has plenty of fans. (There are also those who ship her with Meg, and those who make a point of retaining her Chaste Heroine status by not shipping her with anyone at all.)
  • Squick: Richard says that Jacob was in the bathroom all night "joylessly masturbating to pictures of dead deer."
  • Strawman Has a Point: While it doesn't excuse her behavior, given that Linda had never been singled out for a private talk with Harlan, she was presumably unaware of why Harlan was getting fed up with the family, and that he had been wishing they were more self-sufficient, which could make her angry reaction towards the will-reading a little less insincere and hypocritical than those of her husband, brother and sisters-in-law. Related, based upon the limited information that she has about the situation and her father's intentions, her questioning of whether Marta was sleeping with her father doesn't seem unreasonable. Harlan didn't even leave anything to Fran or his own mother (though in the latter case, Harlan could simply have assumed she would predecease him).
  • Unfortunate Implications: Marta's storyline, where her rich white employer bequeaths his considerable estate to her, his hardworking immigrant nurse, because she was a good person, has attracted criticism for leaning into the "good immigrant" myth — the notion that immigrants deserve rights and privileges because they are good and hardworking, not necessarily because they are human. It also been noted for leaning heavily into issues of deportation and immigration in a way that may be offensive to Hispanic immigrants, especially considering that creator Rian Johnson is a white man who was born in America.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Linda, and to a lesser extent, Walt. While neither of them are particularly nice people, they did have a loving relationship with Harlan and his cutting them out of the will is seen as a personal insult, especially considering Harlan never explains his rationale to them (Walt gets the barest inkling). Apparently, Walt was going to be fired by his father for his own good, and it's uncertain whether that will still be in effect with Harlan having died (though with Marta now the owner of the publishing company and very, very angry at him for threatening her mother, it's not looking good for him). Linda is given no explanation for why Harlan's entire family was disinherited, and to add insult to injury she finds out her husband has been cheating on her and her son was just arrested for murder.
    • Furthermore, Harlan's rationale for firing Walt was that, without relying on publishing his father's books, Walt can now be free to take initiative and form his own path. The problem is it's shown that Walt did try to take initiative within his job, by doing things such as negotiating for adaptions. It was Harlan's overruling him that kept him from doing anything with the publishing company other than being a glorified middle man with the bookstores. The implication from Harlan's side of the conversation seems to be that Walt has his own creative writing talents that he never develops as he prefers to simply get wealthy off managing his father's efforts.

  • The Un Twist: Ransom being the killer really shouldn't be surprising given all the early signs portraying him as a self-absorbed asshole. Viewers might be thrown for a loop by his apparent friendliness with Marta but it's all a ploy so he can more directly screw her over.
  • The Woobie:
    • Marta Cabrera. She's the nicest, most altruistic character in the movie, but unfortunately, she suffers a Trauma Conga Line that leaves her emotionally distressed. She breaks down in guilt upon suspecting that she accidentally killed Harlan, witnesses Harlan commit suicide right in front of her, gets unfairly chastised by the other Thrombeys all the time, is manipulated into being threatened with deportation along with her mother, and gets dragged down further by Ransom as he frames her for Harlan's death and baits her into helping him get away with it. And to top it all off, Ransom tries to kill her when his plan doesn't work.
    • Nana comes in at a close second. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are so wrapped up themselves that none of them comforts her about the loss of her son. What makes it even more of a Tear Jerker is that Nana herself remains largely silent about it, like she's trying to cope with it alone, or she's struggling to come to terms with it.
    • Fran the housekeeper also deserves a mention. She is the one who first finds Harlan's body and is clearly unnerved by it, especially when it comes to light that she realized that Ransom was the guilty party the whole time. She tried to confront him about it, but he injected her with lethal amounts of morphine.
    • Meg is the only one who appears to be genuinely nice to Marta as a person, instead of the others that treat her more like a pet. She finds out after losing her grandfather that her mother is broke, has been embezzling from Harlan, and as a result, she will not be able to afford to continue going to school. When Marta is revealed to be the heir, she is pressured by her family to betray Marta, first by trying to convince her to give up the inheritance, and then by being pressured herself to give up the secret that Marta's mother is an illegal immigrant so they can use it to blackmail Marta. Fortunately, when she confesses to Marta, she is forgiven.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Richard Drysdale, who, as seen during Ransom's arrest, seems to be under the impression that bribery involves waving a wad of cash at an arresting officer while yelling and hoping he takes it. The police officer does not. If anything, Richard is lucky none of the cops take him seriously as even attempting to bribe a police officer is a federal offense and he's doing this with plenty of witnesses.
    • Fran the housekeeper. Bless her heart, but she really should have known better than trying to blackmail Ransom after realizing that he attempted to kill Harlan and framed Marta for the act, then arranged to meet with him in a dark, secluded laundry alone to discuss their terms despite knowing that the man will go to any length to achieve his goal instead of doing the sensible thing and go tell the police (or really, anyone else) about it. Unsurprisingly, it gets her killed, and if Marta wasn't kind enough to try to resuscitate her so that she could last long enough to arrive at a hospital, her premature death would play right into Ransom's plan to implicate Marta and he would've gotten away with it all, the very thing she was trying to prevent.
  • Win Back the Crowd: For many members of a certain franchise's crowd, Knives Out is seen as proof that Rian Johnson's work on The Last Jedi wasn't emblematic of his abilities as a director or writer. Knives Out in general is seen as much less divisive and aggravating, especially since he's writing his own characters rather than working in a pre-established franchise. That it's a completely different genre (and one where the subversion of tropes is more commonly accepted at that, if not expected) also helps.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Following the success of the film; many have questioned the casting of pale-skinned, green-eyed Ana de Armas as representative of immigrants, especially those who suffer from poverty and oppression the US. Critics usually bring up the fact that she can play white characters with ease, such as Marilyn Monroe, and that all that is publicly known of her lineage is that she has some European Spanish blood. (It's worth noting that comprehensive site Ethnicelebs simply lists her heritage as "Spanish, possibly other.") Given the fact that white-passing Latinos have a tendency not to disclose their non-European ancestry, it's entirely possible de Armas is just a very white-passing mixed Latina, and even Dwayne Johnson (who is of predominantly Black and Samoan ancestry) has been cast many times as white characters. At the end of the day, though, this backlash does have a point, in that the most Ambiguously Brown actress possible was chosen for the role of a struggling immigrant.


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