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Knives Out
(2019)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:
Nathan Johnson

Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Mark Graham
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Cut Narrative Records
(November 22nd, 2019)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Commercial digital and vinyl releases only, the latter containing additional music.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you can appreciate the classy, noir-inspired ambience of an elegant murder mystery environment for primarily strings and piano.

Avoid it... if you seek an impactful dose of devious charm in your waltz-driven character themes for the genre, this score's performances lacking the enthusiasm necessary to make it truly memorable.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,948
WRITTEN 9/26/20
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Knives Out: (Nathan Johnson) Good, old-fashioned murder mysteries are so rarely pulled off in the era of digital fakery, yet 2019's Knives Out rode its masterful script and ensemble cast performances to critical and fiscal success. A wealthy old novelist (Christopher Plummer) assembles his family for his 85th birthday at his sprawling Massachusetts mansion. After his throat is slit that night, a private detective (Daniel Craig) is hired by one of the family members to investigate and reveal the murderer. The ensuing "whodunit" plot twists are genuinely thrilling, Rian Johnson's writing and directing overachieving all expectations, and the studio green-lit a sequel featuring Craig's character shortly thereafter. In part because murder mysteries have generally existed on the small screen over the years, the music for the genre has tended to be underwhelming background noise. Stepping up his game is Rian Johnson's cousin, Nathan Johnson, for a film score that plays to many of the musical stereotypes of the genre but does so with more dramatic weight. Nathan Johnson's composing career has been largely tied to Rian's films, with the obvious exception of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The composer has been absent from the mainstream scoring scene for several years as a result, instead pursuing his own directorial and graphic art projects. His output for Knives Out is better than expected and garnered far more widespread interest than his previous scores. His music mingles with a variety of songs spanning several generations in the film, and it serves to root the mystery in the genre's film noir past via a traditional orchestral approach. The heart of the score exists in a quartet of strings and piano that give the setting and characters a sense of class even if it is not entirely deserved. A full symphonic backing is supplied for the score's revelatory and action scenes, building in fits and starts until the duo of "Blanc's Tale" cues at the end blows the lid off the mystery with a raucous climax. Johnson maintains a cautious but consistently elegant stance throughout the score, careful not to steal attention but function as though the mansion had a small ensemble of live performers in a neighboring room. The result is highly productive but a step behind the deviousness of the script, this despite the composer's attempt to convey humor through parody applications of his music at times. It is difficult to determine how much of this score was meant as pseudo-parody, for there is an enthusiasm gap between the performances here and what you would hear in an intentionally over-the-top romp.



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VIEWER RATINGS
77 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.83 Stars
***** 8 5 Stars
**** 16 4 Stars
*** 21 3 Stars
** 19 2 Stars
* 13 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Rian Johnson gets his redemption arc
Drew C. - October 12, 2020, at 6:20 p.m.
1 comment  (57 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS
Total Time: 51:57
• 1. Knives Out (String Quartet in G Minor) (1:51)
• 2. The Thrombey Estate (1:38)
• 3. Like Father, Like Son (1:02)
• 4. The Thrombey Family Theme (Solo Piano) (1:34)
• 5. Double-Dipping (1:05)
• 6. Snooping (2:05)
• 7. On the Eve of Harlan's Demise (3:59)
• 8. Harlan's Plan (3:16)
• 9. The Wake (1:32)
• 10. The Attic Room (1:18)
• 11. The Game's Afoot (4:00)
• 12. The Broken Trellis (2:07)
• 13. Knives Out, Part II (The Will) (3:04)
• 14. Foul Play (3:26)
• 15. The Dumbest Car Chase of All Time (2:56)
• 16. Blackmail (3:14)
• 17. No More Surprises (0:50)
• 18. Blanc's Tale, Pt. I (5:02)
• 19. Blanc's Tale, Pt. II (6:12)
• 20. The Thrombey Family Theme (1:47)
(Three additional tracks available only on the vinyl release.)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
There is no official packaging for the digital release of this score.
Copyright © 2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Knives Out are Copyright © 2019, Cut Narrative Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/26/20 (and not updated significantly since).
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