Suspects abound when a novelist dies at home.
If an Oscar were awarded for “Best Honey-Baked Ham,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe, this February’s winner “could only be Daniel Craig.” Playing a Southern-fried Hercule Poirot in a larky whodunit that “may be the most entertaining movie of the year,” the actor best known as our current James Bond clearly enjoys being in the middle of a murder mystery in which anyone among a crowd of mendacious relatives could be the culprit who slashed the neck of a wealthy mystery writer in his own home. Craig is surrounded by other high-octane performers, including Toni Colette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, and Lakeith Stanfield, said Richard Lawson in VanityFair.com. But watch for Ana de Armas, who delivers “a starry kind of turn” as the old man’s Latin American nurse and our guide through the mystery; this movie could “move the needle for her.” The message that privilege breeds monsters is “not particularly sophisticated social critique,” said Alissa Wilkinson in Vox.com. Still, Knives Out offers a striking update of the drawing-room mystery. It’s “a worthy tribute to Agatha Christie,” a pointed rebuke of contemporary ethics, and “a delectable time at the movies, too.” ■