Knives Out is a hilarious mystery film that made fans fall in love with Daniel Craig’s character Benoit Blanc, an eccentric though massively talented master detective. In this story, Benoit finds himself in an opulent mansion with members of the Thrombey family, investigating the suspicious death of their patriarch, best-selling crime novelist Harlan (the late Christopher Plummer). Fans love the classic whodunit with a fun, even comedic, twist.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the man behind shows like Poker Face and the sci-fi thriller movie Looperas well as the Knives Out sequel Glass Onionhas created his own signature style. But he drew inspiration and built on elements from movies that date back to the ‘70s, and even stories from the 1930s. Looking for something else to watch once you finish these two films? We have you covered with five other movies that are just like them.
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Harken back to the ‘80s with this classic black comedy mystery movie based on the popular board game of the same name. Like Knives Out, Clue features an ensemble cast of A-listers from the time, including Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, and Michael McKean. Set in 1954, six strangers arrive at a mansion in New England, each given a pseudonym (just like the game, these include names like Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlet). Their task? To kill the butler Wadsworth, who will expose all their private wrongdoings if he is taken by police.
What transpires is a game turned into a deadly mystery when the seventh guest to arrive, Mr. Boddy, winds up murdered. Who had the motive, the right weapon, and committed the crime? Interestingly, there were three separate endings of Clueall three sent to different theaters while the home media release includes all three.
Clue is streaming on Paramount+.
The Last of Sheila (1973)
Johnson has been cited in interviews as saying that The Last of Sheila is one of a few movies that served as an inspiration for Knives Outparticularly the story told in the follow-up film Glass Onion. In The Last of Sheilaanother whodunnit mystery, the wealthy guests are all aboard a yacht, invited by the successful movie producer who owns it. During some twisted parlor games, the guests are tasked with discovering everyone else’s biggest personal secret while keeping their own under wraps. Whoever achieves this, wins.
But someone winds up dead and the mystery becomes about more than emptying the skeletons in their closets. As an old-fashioned murder mystery, it’s easy to see how the Steven Sondheim movie inspired Johnson in his latest projects.
The Last of Shelia can be streamed for free on YouTube.
Gosford Park (2001)
Another A-list ensemble cast heads up this satirical black comedy mystery movie, including Helen Mirren (Shazam! Fury of the Gods), Clive Owen, and Charles Dance about a shooting weekend at an English country house that turns dark when someone is murdered after a dinner party. Gosford Parkinspired by the French classic Rules of the Game (The Rules of the Game) by Jean Renoir, continues as the investigation is told from the perspective of each of the guests and servants.
Gosford Park went on to receive seven Academy Award nominations and it won for Best Original Screenplay. Interestingly, Downton Abbeywhich went on to become a massively popular show, was reportedly initially created to be a spin-off of Gosford Parkthough the hit series remains inspired by it.
Gosford Park can be rented or purchased at a variety of digital vendors like Prime Video.
Death on the Nile (2022)
The Ridley Scott mystery based on the 1937 Agatha Christie novel of the same name, Death on the Nile is, once again, about the death of a prominent figure on a cruise ship. With all the guests harboring secrets, it becomes a proverbial whodunit to discover who had means, motive, and courage to commit the crime.
The guests are interrogated one by one, each revealing what grudge they held against the deceased. The movie, which stars Tom Bateman (Based on a True Story), Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Gal Gadot, and other top names in Hollywood, was praised for its old-fashioned style, but it received mixed reviews. Nonetheless, Death on the Nile is worth checking out for Knives Out fans, especially since Johnson has said in interviews that the character of detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) was an influence on his character of Blanc.
Death on the Nile is streaming on Hulu.
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
The prequel movie to Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express was also based on an Agatha Christie novel of the same name from 1934. It features the character of Hercule Poirot, once again played by Kenneth Branagh, this time solving the murder of someone on a train. Tom Bateman also plays the role of Bouc, Poirot’s friend.
This film, also produced by Ridley Scott, features another venerable cast of A-listers, including a mixed bag of names like Penelope Cruz, Willem Defoe (Inside), Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. In the same vein as Knives Out, Murder on the Orient Express delivers one of many stories that inspired this new, modern take on the whodunit among wealthy-elite-with-secrets concept.
Murder on the Orient Express is streaming on FuboTV.