Knives Out

Stupidity: Marta is shown to barf whenever she lies, and Blanc knows this. He should've asked her who did it right away. The entire plot of this movie is rendered unnecessary.

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Suggested correction: That would only work if Blanc knew that Marta had knowledge of who killed Harland and if he came to the conclusion that Harland actually killed himself. Blanc doesn't know that Harland killed himself to protect Marta until Marta confesses. Also, this wouldn't have solved the "who done it" anyway, since Marta had no idea that Ransom switched the vials.

BaconIsMyBFF

Stupidity: Marta constantly screws up the investigation, but Blanc and the cops just let her keep helping in the mission. She also runs from the cops, causing damage to multiple cars. She messes up the footprints, and messes up the security tape. Why was she still on the investigation team after all of these?

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Suggested correction: Marta is clever enough to make messing up the footprints and the tape look like simple accidents. Since she is still useful to Blanc, he keeps her on the investigation. The police believe that Ransom forced Marta to run from the police, so they don't hold her accountable for those actions.

BaconIsMyBFF

Stupidity: Spoiler. The protagonist is a trained and competent nurse, paired with one of the greatest murder mystery writers. Neither finds strange in the slightest that after jabbing his vein with a dose of drugs 30 times the norm he is absolutely fine, not just conscious but even able to concoct on the spot a convoluted plot, speaking normally and quite at length, no trouble at all. He should be dead "in 10 minutes" sure, but it's not a time bomb. You'd think one would not be so blasé about slitting their own throat and the other would have to notice how amazingly unaffected and lucid the other appears to be minutes later. Not to mention that his plan would have never worked with the toxicology report, which should be routine in a suicide case also to assess the mental state of the person who left no note or anything behind.

Sammo Premium member

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Suggested correction: It is explained that the drug overdose will kill Harlan in 10 minutes based on the dosage. The implication is that Harlan's heart will stop, not that he will become gradually and obviously sick over those 10 minutes. Regardless, based on what they believe will happen, even if they did notice that Harlan wasn't getting sick they wouldn't have the time to test that theory. The fact that neither Marta nor Harlan thought about a potential toxicology report is a pretty major part of the plot, and it is perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. The plot was hatched on the spot within a few minutes and there are several holes in the plan that drive the story throughout the film. Although a brilliant man and a great writer, Harlan simply didn't think of everything.

BaconIsMyBFF

She explicitly says "You'll feel symptoms in 5" and when he shuts her up putting a hand on her mouth she says "We have 6 minutes."Then his daughter interrupts them and more time is wasted. By the time when he begins his convoluted explanation of the big plan he should have already been disoriented, sweaty and the whole gamut leading to his respiratory failure. And he goes on for minutes after that. It's very true, it moves the plot along, but by what they say themselves (which is from I understand not medically accurate and contradicted also by what happens later in the movie with the second death) they should have realised that time has passed with nothing happening. You could even say it's Rian Johnson's intentional deconstruction of the artificial nature of the whoddunit contrivances! But also, just saying, one of those "Stupid actions and decisions people take in movies, which no-one would ever do in real life."

Sammo Premium member

Even taking that into account, what you are saying is Harlan should have said "Hmm, a few minutes have passed and I haven't felt any symptoms, so I'm not actually poisoned. Carry on then, false alarm." It moves the plot along because Harlan isn't willing to risk Marta getting in trouble for poisoning him and they have less than 10 minutes to act. This would count as a stupidity entry if Harlan didn't care about who took the blame for killing him, but obviously he does. Remember, stupidity entries are not for poor decisions by characters, they are for minor plot holes. This being "an act no-one would ever do in real life" is kind of the entire point of the movie. Nobody believes Harlan would do this because, well nobody cares about their nurse that much. But he does.

BaconIsMyBFF

The part I was quoting is the description of the category in the metadata on google, or if you prefer the hover text description just above this very page go by "Something just plain stupid. Not as deal-breaking as a plot hole, but something daft, like running upstairs with a killer behind them, instead of out of the front door." I call "slitting your own throat feeling totally fine after you yourself have been calling the minutes with precision earlier", pretty silly, to say the least. Again, this is all stuff the script itself unnecessarily calls attention on. If he didn't mention twice the time before, if she hadn't said that the symptoms happen after 5 but just "your heart is gonna exploded at the 10 minute mark", then, maybe, I would have simply reported the factual error that this is not how it works. It's the script itself that points out (Harlan himself says it twice) the exact minutes, and the symptoms and how they are gradual.

Sammo Premium member

This still ignores the fact that they don't have time to test the theory. They would have to notice the lack of symptoms, and assume somehow that the lack of symptoms after 5 minutes must mean that Harlan isn't actually poisoned, and stop their plan right then and there. The audience knows that Harlan isn't really poisoned, but we don't find that out until later. I doubt very seriously that anyone watching this film for the first time believed, as you suggest, that Harlan obviously wasn't poisoned because he didn't show any symptoms and it was therefore stupid for him to kill himself. It seems to you to be stupid in hindsight, but I honestly don't believe, based on what the characters knew, that Harlan's action was so egregious that it constitutes a mistake in the script.

BaconIsMyBFF

We definitely had a very different impression watching it the first time. The thought that this old man could be shot a big dose of morphine in vein and calmly think of perfect murder plans for the next minutes was 200% absurd on first view here. I could say that others thought the same but it's just anecdotical and I respect you having a different take. For the rest, it's again just the script itself drawing attention to it. From the mouth of the same character who nonchalantly slits his own throat feeling still fine. It seems egregiously stupid and contradictory.

Sammo Premium member

But he wasn't shot a big dose of morphine. He got his normal meds, they only think he overdosed.

BaconIsMyBFF

We don't know that yet. We know that, in their words, he was shot 100 mg instead of 3 (does not matter if true or not, we are fed this information and the characters believe it). Again, the whole scene would have worked if they didn't, themselves, add details. Makes the overdose sound huge, and inserting the 6 minutes mark (which means, barely 1 min till the symptoms show up) before the daughter arrives when more than half of the scene has still to be played, weakens it terribly. Some things are maybe just stupid in hindsight, like the fact that all he needed to do was to write in his own penmanship a suicide note saying he killed himself with an injection once Marta left, but the overdose bit felt absurd on first viewing.

Sammo Premium member

Plot hole: The killer shows up at the scheduled appointment at 8 AM. They kill the idiot blackmailer with an overdose of morphine. Remember, that morphine that supposedly killed Thrombey in 10 minutes. Marta finds the blackmailer at 10 AM...alive, and does CPR on them, keeping them alive long enough for the ambulance to come and bring them to the hospital, even if in critical condition. So we went from "kills in 10 minutes, you can't even try to save him" to "after 2 hours, you are still hanging on"? (01:56:10)

Sammo Premium member

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Suggested correction: Marta injected an absurdly large dose. A smaller overdose would not kill in 10 minutes.

I read that objection before. From 10 minutes to 2 hours there's quite a leap that the movie does not explain or address at all, if it were part of the plot they should have said why this difference, on something so time sensitive (of which they got the factual details wrong anyway). Even visually when you look at the dose injected to Harlan and the dose in the syringe for the murder, they do not look different. He even stabs her with the syringe. Which makes sense since he has no reason to leave her there with a small. Controlled overdose in her veins risking that she would be saved as it -almost - happens - it's amazing he got away with it to begin with because she is so dumb to show up for no reason in a derelict place without talking to her accomplice that passed her the toxi report, or anyone.Without a throwaway line from an investigator or anything of the sort ("but you injected her the wrong way, so she was still alive two hours after"), we are just left with an inconsistency.

Sammo Premium member

Suggested correction: You've assumed a hell of a lot! Marta said Thrombey was given a dose of 100 mg (instead 3) of Morphine and would die in 10 minutes unless given the antidote. You just asserted that "Thrombey would die in 10 minutes" as if it was fait accompli, while Thrombey didn't die of morphine overdoes at all! (He cut his own throat.) For all we know, Marta's 10-minute assessment was a worst-case-scenario assessment. Fran's age and physique, as well as Marta's CPR, helped negate the effect until the ambulance arrives. If the medics administered the antidote, it could have prolonged Fran's life. Finally, 2 hours is the time after which the viewer is informed of Fran's death, not her actual death time. Most importantly, this happens in the medical world all the time: A person who is supposed to die after 3 days lives for 16 years. There are case-by-case explanations for each one, but they baffle the medical examiners at first.

FleetCommand

Two hours is not my assumption or when the viewer is informed of her death; the killer gives the appointment to the victim at 8 AM and to Marta at 10 AM, so as I said, after 2 hours with 0 medical care on her she is still hanging on and with barely a little tap she is ready to dispense important clues. I go by what the movie says also about the 10 minutes overdose time. Of course if you tell me that baffling freak occurrences can happen all the time in medicine and that very precise statements from the movie don't matter because the character can just have gotten it wrong by over 10x and the movie does not acknowledge it at all, well, that's a very respectable opinion; mine is that fiction (a whodunnit, not a slasher flick with a killer surviving multiple gunshots and the like) is not reality and it should respond to higher standards than "I guess she was still alive somehow."

Sammo Premium member

I re-watched the movie to verify that Fran was given an appointment at 8 AM. I discovered something new: The bottle that was injected to Fran contained only 5 mg of Morphine. That's 1/20th of what was "supposedly" given to Thrombey Sr. So, yeah, 10x is OK. In fact, 20x is OK.

FleetCommand

No, no; it contains 5 mg of morphine PER ml, it's the concentration, not the total. Go back to the scene when Marta "messes up", the vials are the exact same as the one that Ransom injects (obviously, since they come from Marta's bag after all). It's new for you but I covered that already in the Factual Error about it. It's something that piles upon a previous mistake. She did not give him 100 mg of morphine because it would have emptied the vial (which is more than half full) and because a full vial of ketorlac would have killed Trombe regardless, at that concentration! The movie gets both the props and the medical facts wrong (100 mg of morphine does not even kill most patients, Harlan would have not died in 10 minutes especially since he takes safely big doses of toradol and morphine), but nothing - in the script - says that Marta or Ransom got basic medical facts wrong.

Sammo Premium member

Okay! It seems mistake after mistake is piling up. Now, it appears Fran lived 4 hours, during 2 of which she was unattended. Plus, 100 mg of Morphine from a 5 mg/ml vial amounts to 20 ml of liquid. Well, now, everything you say makes sense... or at least most of the things. On the whole, I think it was a complicated situation.

FleetCommand

More mistakes in Knives Out

Benoit Blanc: I suspect foul play. I have eliminated no suspects.

More quotes from Knives Out

Trivia: Joseph Gordon-Levitt cameos, at least his voice - he's heard on the TV show Marta's sister is watching. He's a frequent collaborator with director Rian Johnson.

More trivia for Knives Out

Question: In the flashbacks of Ransom storming out, it's different each time. The first time his Grandma speaks, the second time she's silent, and the third time she's holding cake, when she wasn't the other times. The flashbacks we see don't contradict each other, they're not really portrayed as coming from unreliable narrators, they're generally an honest portrayal of what happens, even when what they're telling the police isn't what we see happen. So why these minor, certainly deliberate, differences? Far as I'm aware it's the only time it happens too, not like there are lots of moments like this.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Answer: She is holding cake all 3 times, actually, so the only difference is that the first time she speaks. It can be a case of unreliable narrator, but I'd write it down as a mistake (deliberate, probably, as the phrase is important for the plot and they didn't want to hammer it in), since as you said, the other times even when they tell things to the police in a different way from what happened, the details tend to stay consistent, except for parts that are obviously made up, such as who is putting down the birthday cake for Harlan Thrombey therefore appearing subservient and not as close (when Richard tells the story, it's Walt and his wife, when Walt tells the story it is Richard and his wife).

Sammo Premium member

Answer: Each time, it is being described by a different person. Maybe not all heard her speak.

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