Did Knives Out Age Like Milk?


Knives Out, released November 27, 2019, has definitely aged over the past three years. Considering the recent release of the second film in the Knives Out mystery series, though, it’s appropriate to take a look back at this critically acclaimed film. As of November 22, 2022, Knives Out has a rating of 79% on IMDb, 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 92% on Fandango. It pulled in $312.9 million at the box office during its opening weekend and an additional $8.5 million in DVD sales following the DVD release in February 2020.

Part of what undoubtedly led to Knives Out’s success has also aged this movie far beyond what would probably be expected of a 3-year-old movie. The director of Knives Out clearly takes some sort of joy in poking fun at both sides of the political spectrum. Many of the political comments in this movie are based on common argument topics from 2019, a fact that can give the impression that this movie has aged like milk, so to speak. People who weren’t up-to-date with politics during this time may find themselves a bit lost and/or uncomfortable during some of the inter-family arguments shown in this movie — there is a clear political divide between the extended family, something that is only exacerbated by the death in the movie and the following police investigation. Tensions are high, to say the least. 

As for the plot in this movie, I didn’t have any complaints. I was working on something else while watching this film so there were points where I was, understandably, slightly lost. Aside from possible confusion caused by my own lack of concentration, however, I found the plot of Knives Out to be very gripping. It draws the viewer in quickly with the complexity of overlapping alibis and accusations given by characters, and the protagonist’s motivations throughout the film are interesting, to say the least. With that being said, there are very few characters in Knives Out that could be labeled as being a purely “good person.” They do the wrong things for a good reason, or the right things for the wrong reasons, or something in between good and bad for reasons that are just as morally grey. I found it hard to even root for anyone in this movie, but the ending also left me feeling sorry for a majority of them.

Despite its PG-13 rating, Knives Out isn’t all that family-friendly. Characters swear quite a lot, there are at least two scenes with a large amount of blood, and, although not graphic, any death scenes are shown (to some extent) on screen. Additionally, there are a few scenes where characters are throwing up — this likely isn’t that big of a deal for most viewers, but I felt it was important for those people who are more squeamish about scenes like that to know ahead of time that this happens multiple times throughout the movie. All in all, I’d personally suggest keeping any potential audiences for Knives Out limited to people high school-aged and older as opposed to the rating of 13 and up. There are better options out there for possible viewers who are middle school-aged, but at the end of the day, it’s up to families to decide what is best for their kids.

I would recommend this movie with a grain of salt. It’s a good movie, but it will only really be enjoyed by an audience that is not quickly offended or enraged by any sort of slight at their political beliefs. The age of the audience might also affect how much certain demographics enjoy Knives Out — younger audiences also might not know the political context of some of the comments being made as they are pretty clearly dated back to 2019-era politics, but older audiences might find this movie to be a reminder of political arguments that aren’t as relevant as they used to be. 

Knives Out is available to buy or rent from Redbox, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.