Cert 12A Stars 4

James Bond does Agatha Christie in this highly polished whodunnit murder mystery of delicious, deceptive and devious fun, which sees an all-star cast investigated for murder in a gothic country mansion.

Let loose from the acting straitjacket of playing super spy 007, Daniel Craig gives a hugely entertaining and theatrical performance as a famous private detective.

Armed with nothing more than a large cigar and a name as over the top as his strong US drawl, Benoit Blanc is famed as the ‘the last of the gentleman sleuths’, but there’s more than a hint Blanc isn’t quite the figure of his reputation.

He’s been hired by a mystery employer to help the local police establish whether foul play in the apparent suicide of a wealthy and famous author, played by the typically brilliant Christopher Plummer.

There’s no shortage of suspects or motives among his grasping, unreliable and dishonest relatives who gather to hear the reading of his will, and are played with appropriate self-interest by accomplished veterans such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Don Johnson.

Also out of his usual screen uniform is Chris ‘Captain America’ Evans, who swaps his spandex for comfy knitwear as the arrogant foulmouthed black sheep of the family.

Ana de Armas is also in the frame as Marta, the former nurse to the deceased, a character which allows the film to explore the relationship between the US and it’s Central and South American neighbours.

It’s another great performance from Armas who re-teams with Craig in April next year the 007 adventure, No Time To Die.

Written by director Rian Johnson, it’s an impressive switch in direction after last year’s Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and his inventive high school noir thriller, Brick.

Toying with our expectations and generally twisting the rules, Knives Out smartly undermines the myth of the all-knowing detective, and like all great mysteries it keeps you guessing right until the end.