Film Review: Review: In 'Knives Out,' a whodunit for the Trump era [trailer]

This image released by Lionsgate shows Daniel Craig, from left, Chris Evans, Noah Segan and Lakeith Stanfield in a scene from "Knives Out." (Claire Folger/Lionsgate via AP)

Rian Johnson's "Knives Out" unravels not just a good old-fashioned murder mystery but the very fabric of the whodunit, pulling at loose threads until it has intricately, devilishly woven together something new and exceedingly delightful.

For all the detective tales that dot television screens, the Agatha Christie-styled whodunit has gone curiously absent from movie theaters. The nostalgia-driven "Murder on Orient Express" (2017), popular as it was, didn't do much to dispel the idea that the genre has essentially moved into retirement, content to sit out its days in a warm puffy armchair, occasionally dusting itself off for a remake.

But Johnson has since his 2005 neo-noir debut "Brick" shown a rare cunning for enlivening old genres with densely plotted deconstruction. He makes very clever movies ("Looper," "Star Wars: The Last Jedi") that sometimes, like in the madcap caper "The Brothers Bloom," verge on showy overelaboration, of being too much.

But