When murder is involved, only one man can solve the mystery in Rian Johnson's comically superb thriller Knives Out. Daniel Craig and Ana De Armas lead an all-star cast in a true "whodunnit" that spins with plot twists and turns in true Agatha Christie fashion. As a rich sleeper hit of 2019, it should be no surprise that Lionsgate pulled out all the stops for a terrific Blu-ray release featuring a top-notch transfer and a crackling Atmos audio mix with a smorgasbord of interesting bonus features to match. One of the most entertaining movies of 2019 gets a Blu-ray release that's easy to call Highly Recommended - especially if you're a fan of the genre!
We also reviewed this film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Lionsgate delivers Knives Out to Blu-rya with a splendid 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital release. The discs are housed in a standard eco-friendly case with identical cardboard slipcover artwork. The disc loads to trailers for other Lionsgate releases before arriving at an animated main menu with traditional navigation options.
Knives Out stabs Blu-ray in an impressive near reference quality 1080p 1.85:1 transfer. If the 4K UHD Dolby Vision disc didn't exist, this would be my go-to disc to show off my home setup. That opening shot of the dogs running in front of the ominous family estate is a beautiful picturesque start to the film. Every scene has impressive details to absorb, facial features, costuming, production design - all are on the screen ready to soak into your eyeballs. Colors favor the warmer yellow/brown tones but also give reds and blues plenty of primary polish. Black levels are the appropriate deep inky we want to see for a transfer of this caliber. What holds this one back ever so slightly from its 4K counterpart is how it manages Steve Yedlin's digitally simulated "film" look. In the theater, I was totally convinced by it. On 4K there were only a couple moments where I could say "yeah, that's digital," but here the "film grain" just isn't as well resolved and can draw more attention to itself. This isn't a deal-breaker at all. Honestly, unless you're really looking for it you're probably not going to notice.
This Blu-ray release features the same stellar Atmos audio track as the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.
Knives Out carves out a delightfully subtle Dolby Atmos audio mix. Not like your typical blockbuster, Knives Out uses Atmos for more specific plot-oriented sound effects - of which I can't give too much detail other than to say they work! As a light sleeper, I feel Jamie Lee Curtis' pain in this one. While a 5.1 mix probably would have been just fine, Atmos really helps give each room of the house a distinct feel. The study crime scene is tight and cramped whereas the study or the drawing room feel much larger and more open. The front/center channels deliver much of the heavy lifting while sides, rears, and verticals give you that added sense of space and dimensionality. Even during the quietest of moments, the surroundings remain active in subtle ways. Some things you're supposed to pay particular attention to so keep your ears open! As for the rest of the elements; the dialog is clean and clear throughout with scoring taking a nice prominence as key pieces of evidence come together. Levels are spot on without any need for monitoring.
In-Theater Commentary with Rian Johnson
Audio Commentary with writer/director Rian Johnson, director of photography Steve Yedlin, and actor Noah Segan
Deleted Scenes (HD 4:57 in all)
Making a Murder
Premeditation: Inspirations & Origin (HD 11:55)
Gathering the Suspects: The Cast (HD 19:29)
Dressed to Kill: Costume Design (HD 8:19)
The Scene of the Crime: Production & Design (HD 13:05)
Visual Clues: Cinematography (HD 11:51)
Putting the Clues Together: Editing (HD 12:35)
Music to Kill For: Music & Sound (HD 24:40)
Denouement: Whodunnit? (HD 11:32)
Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder (HD 6:17)
Director and Cast Q&A (HD 42:09)
Ode to the Murder Mystery (HD 1:43)
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I rarely like to call any one film a favorite film of the year, but even with the stacked competition of 2019, I have to call Knives Out my favorite of the year. I love murder mystery thrillers and Rian Johnson delivered a delightfully entertaining show that plays homage to the great works of Agatha Christie while crafting something that feels truly unique and fun. I'm overjoyed that this film became an unexpected sleeper hit of the holiday season ensuring that a sequel is already in the works.
Lionsgate delivers Knives Out to Blu-ray with splendid results earning an often beautiful transfer with a nice and effective Dolby Atmos audio mix and comes packed with hours of bonus features. If you're rocking 4K that's absolutely the release to go for, but if you're killing it in 1080p, then this Blu-ray of Knives Out is an easy one to call Highly Recommended.