MovieChat Forums > Knives Out (2019) Discussion > Wasn't quite what I expected and Craig's...

Wasn't quite what I expected and Craig's accent...

I thought this was going to be a bit zanier than what it was and thought during the first parts it kind of dragged a bit.

As for Craig's accent, I think it was better than most, though I did notice as the movie went on, it sort of changed a bit. Some actors shouldn't even try accents and then there are some that can pull it off (oddly, has anyone noticed that so many foreign actors do regional American accents better than some American actors).


I was expecting more of a comedy, too, but I dug it for what it was. I thought it was a great mystery, kept me on my toes, went with some angles and shades that other mysteries don't use, and the fact that it had a moral to the story was deeper than a lot of other whodunits (most of which just want to construct a puzzle).


The trailers made it seem like it was going to be hammy, loud, over-the-top, and zany. I avoided it based on that. It’s nothing like what I thought it would be — and way better than I expected.


It is indeed over the top.


I enjoyed the movie, but the accent was terrible. The best parts were when he was not on screen. It really detracted from the movie, every time he spoke, I immediately realized I was watching an actor do a silly accent.


Craig's accent was atrociously bad. It's as bad as when a Brit hears Kevin Costner as Robin Hood


Costner isn’t even attempting an accent as Hood, he’s just lazily using his own, completely the opposite of Craig here.


I liked Kevin Costner's Robin Hood. I don't think he was bad. But I admit I am biased since I have been watching it since I was 6 years old and it was my first introduction to the character. Always preferred it to the Disney version. Also I didn't mind Craig's accent. I frankly think you all are picky people.


That’s so this day I say “Maid Marian!” In a sort of nasal, southernesque whine.

I also do an annoying voice-over from Dances With Wolves in the Kostner accent. Cut it out Kostner!


As for Craig's accent, I think it was better than most


dude you made me spill my coffee lmao


Maybe I should have been clearer - Craig's accent was purposefully over the type and hyperbolic, but it still was not that bad in comparison to actors that are doing Southern accents in dramas and the like. Now, if you want to hear some terrible Southern accents and a great contrast to Craig, go watch the trailer to THOSE are horrible...


the problem is that none of yall are southern so what you base your assessment on is other bad movie accents. no offense, and i aint mad at ya. it's probably the same for me with aussies and brits, new yorkers, bostonians, etc.

personally i think it's just pure laziness. i have thought for years that i should offer my services as a dialect coach for actors trying to do southern accents. there are key pronunciations everyone tends to do which we don't do, and there are very easy and simple ones which we DO do which they ignore. usually, it's just horrible. every once in a while i run across a good one in a movie and i wonder how they actually got it right that time lol

sorry but imo craig's was so laughable in knives out that it isn't even on the radar. comes off like SNL or lampoon or something. but hey, if it's only job was to fool the majority of viewers then it must have succeeded. and i enjoyed the film in spite of it. but, i do add that i think it was a silly SILLY choice by rian johnson, to cast craig as a cajun. imo he shoulda either A- cast someone else who can really pull off the cajun accent, or B- if he was dead set on craig for some reason, shoulda at the last minute rewritten the char bio to make him a 'celebrated detective from scotland yard' or something and just let craig just do his regular accent. i personally think that would've been great. a third option POSSIBLY would be to let craig try a plain generic american accent, and just not state where he's from. delaware or cleveland or whatever. i mean, honestly, WTF did him being from new orleans have to do with anything??????????



mic drop


you are so right about the need for better speech coaches, that is for sure. I know if I was from an area with a heavy accent and saw some of these attempts at mimicking them I'd be ticked off, too...and I'm unsure what it is, but many times a viewer can immediately pick up on that something that is off.

so why you are on the line, what actors have pulled off some of the best acting in this regard?

(I love the movie Big Bad Love and the writer Larry Brown, who the movie is about, but after watching videos of Larry Brown over and over again, noticed the actor that portrayed him didn't mimic him well at all - his name escapes me - Arliss Howard - but the odd thing is he is from Texas).


i like arliss. i am not surprised he buggled that.

thing is, i don't think accents in this area are heavy... in the sense of being thick or lengthy with drawn out pronunciations. in fact most people here speak very directly, with a speedy pace. many southerners speak very fast. when hollyweird tries to 'fake' a southern accent they must be going by gone withthe wind, lol. but... maybe it never dawned onthem that those were non southern actors portraying southerners lol.

i mean, sometimes you do encounter the drawn out LAWWWWWWNG accent (let's call it the Antebellum Savannah Plantation accent) in the south these days. it does happen. but it's the extreme minority, and with no seeming rhyme or reason as to why it exists in one person and not another. it can even vary within the immediate family. also i've noticed that hill people talk more through the nose, ones from central and north alabama and north GA. (liam neeson did this perfectly in Next Of Kin 1989)

again, some people draw out words in that Antebellum Savannah Plantation drawl, but not many. kevin spacey (for all his accolades) is AWFUL at this. but you can tell he THINKS he is getting it right lol. The two times i have seen him, he failed miserably in both: house of cards, and midnight in the garden of good and evil. (imo craig in knives out was way WORSE than spacey, even)

danny mcbride has a spot on accurate southern accent. listen to his performance in Eastbound & Down. he is from macon ga, though that doesn't mean anything because i have seen many hollywood actors from this area who DONT sound like this area. but he preserved the correct sound.

ray mckinnon (football coach in The Blind Side) always portrays a correct accent IMO. though he easily moves into other roles not from the south, too. he is also from this area originally, and has that same nasally sound i referenced earlier. his voice in The Blind Side is a good sample to reference.

also, i think sandra bulloch did a great job with her accent in The Blind Side. If memory serves, because i only saw that once but i recall thinking that at the time.

burt reynolds was raised in the south, and his natural accent in his earlier movies well represents authenticity imo. gator, longest yard, deliverance. Also, listen to him talk in smokey and the bandit. that's dead on. but sadly i have also seen him later butcher the southern accent horribly, by trying to fake the Antebellum Savannah Plantation. it's beyond me why they can't listen to themselves and HEAR how bad they sound.

the football movie Varsity Blues had an excellent dialect coach, whoever it was. that whole cast did a great job with accents. although, we do not really consider texas southern, but the accents are generally the same.

you know, it's funny to me they would ever get it wrong THESE DAYS with youtube available for free to sample unlimited REAL southerners talking about all sorts of topics. what this tells me is that actors, directors, producers are just too lazy to put in the work. and, i will add, that IMO ignorance is no excuse. if they are pros, they should not be messing up on such an easy target as this.

if i think of some more points i will return to add them. :)


Great post, LTUM. I agree that Ray McKinnon's accent in SOA was great. In fact, I have to say Lincoln was my favorite character on the show (yes, even over Jax).

To add to your great list, I always enjoy listening to Tommy Lee Jones. I'll tack on our old friend Robert Duvall too.


was lincoln meant to be southern? i don't recall. I was thinking of his role in the blind side. but i do remember he had that nasaly voice in SOA


There was no background on Lincoln to give the idea he was southern. It's hard not to assume it though with a speaking voice like that.


okay, the voice, true. it's been so many years since i saw it i can't remember which voice he used. but i do remember the blind side being authentic. btw ditto on duvall and tommy lee

what about the andy griffith show. don knotts, aunt bee, andy. do you think those accents were authentic? I do


PSA: 'it is six hours and 24 minutes until 8:00 pm'


It seems that Ray McKinnon was using his true speaking voice in SOA based on interviews with him I've heard. It still has a definite southern quality although somewhat toned down.

His accent in The Blind Side is much more exaggerated than on SOA, but it's still the real deal.

Oh yes, I agree -- The Andy Griffith Show is textbook. What you said earlier in another post about southerners speaking quickly is true and well-represented in The Andy Griffith Show. Think of Barney when he's in one of his high-strung moments.

You also wrote about Hollywood's mistake in drawing out words in the southern accent. If there is a slowness at all in southern speech, it's not in the enunciation of the words. It's more a slowness with the speed of conversation--basically pauses in the back-and-forth between two people. It's an unhurried thing. The Sunday front porch conversations between Andy and Barney are proof of that. All dialect coaches should be required to listen on a 24/7/365 loop so they can better perform their jobs.


It's now 5 hours and 51 minutes until 8:00 pm. lol


very well said. well done.

...marching toward 8


B- if he was dead set on craig for some reason, shoulda at the last minute rewritten the char bio to make him a 'celebrated detective from scotland yard' or something and just let craig just do his regular accent.

I agree 100%. This would've been a superb decision to make. Sigh.


you had me curious so i just went and watched the arkansas trailer. i didnt pick up on any bad accents except for john malkovich, but i dont think he was southern in this, just a plain accent. he always sounds affected to me no matter what he is playing in. i dont like the way he speaks.

vince vaugn sounded pretty good to me. the others i could not really tell who was saying what because of all the overlapping with the fast editing. but overall i didn't hear any bad renditions, imo. i am wondering what it is you heard that sounded atrocious lol

hmmmm. maybe when non southerners hear a real accent, it sounds fake to them because they hold an expectation for how they think it should sound which is in reality far off the mark from what is truly authentic? just a thought.

cheers!! :)


I thought the one Thor brother was quite off. Though now it got me wondering if often times some of the critiques come from when knowing someone is from other countries while portraying a character from a country not of their origin.

Vince Vaughn's seemed a bit off for some reason (maybe that is often because some times it seems like these actors are trying too hard).

I love Ray McKinnon all around. What an underrated actor and writer he is. From Rectify to Chrystal with Billy Bob Thornton and Walton Goggins.

Fascinating discussion here.....


I agree - it SLAYS! ;)

A much zanier film? I expected it to be that, sure. (It’s still quirky in its own right tho.) But ya know... I wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed with the, I suppose, more grounded film that we got. It held my interest from start to finish (never dragged on for me) and, like many viewers, I found it to be very well-crafted. I thought the uber talented Rian brought something a bit fresh to this genre and it was excellent.

Craig’s “divisive” accent? Loved it. While probably slightly exaggerated, methinks that was the intention (he sounded nearly identical to the real person he based it on to my ears) and I think it added to his character’s eccentricity and charm. Craig’s overall performance was fantastic.

As for the foreign actors (aka mainly British) doing these types of accents betta thing? Well, the “classically trained euro actors are just better” argument aside (don’t fully buy into btw, a great actor is a great actor regardless of their background), this is for sure how you feel about it. Meh