Images from Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)

There are some film reviews for a which a neon-lit “SPOILER ALERT” simply isn’t sufficient. Sometimes revealing anything at all about the plot, beyond an initial setup, risks compromising the viewer’s enjoyment. These days, mind you, some voices on social media are complaining that to reveal anything at all about a film, even your opinion of its worth, constitutes a spoiler. So you’re inclined to say to hell with it, who cares about story and revelations, let’s just expose everything to the cold light of day. Bruce Willis is a sleigh, Rosebud was dead all along—get over it.

In reality, until now I can only remember one film so twisty that it was practically impossible to review, about which you couldn’t in all conscience give away anything about the plot, past the 15-minute mark. That film was Harold Becker’s 1993 thriller Malice, written by…



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