‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’: A phenomenal second edition


Connor Youngberg

Illustration by

Connor Youngberg, Associate Design Editor

After its limited release in theaters from Nov. 23 to Nov. 30, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” has officially been released on Netflix for at-home viewing pleasure.

Rian Johnson’s film “Knives Out” revived the murder mystery genre with its release in 2019. The film grossed over $300 million at the box office and the rights to two sequels were purchased by Netflix for $450 million, turning it into a whodunit franchise.

Johnson returned to write and direct as Daniel Craig reprises his role as Benoit Blanc, the only recurring character from the first film. The famous southern detective is back with a brand new cast of characters and a brand new mystery to solve.

The film opens with friends of billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton, on a weekend getaway to a private island in Greece. Bron gathers them to play a murder mystery game, in which the guests will have to solve the case of Bron’s fake death. What starts as a game quickly turns on its head and grows sinister as Blanc must unravel the mystery with the help of a friendly imposter.

One of the main themes of the film is transparency. As the story begins, the plot seems relatively straightforward, until a shocking reveal makes the mystery much more complex. In contrast, the characters themselves seem intelligent and complicated, but detective Blanc sees right through their facades as if they were transparent.

The performances are perfect across the board. Each actor does a fantastic job at bringing their characters to life. Every character is outlandish, but could easily exist in the real world.

Janelle Monáe especially shines in “Glass Onion.” Her character is dynamic as she starts off coy before becoming an instrumental part of the story. She truly crushes it as Ms. Brand and her performance stands out among a cast including some of Hollywood’s best.

Craig stands out once again in this film. He has solidified himself as one of the best actors working currently and the Knives Out franchise is brought to life by Johnson’s creativity and Craig’s spotless performance as Blanc. The southern drawl is a perfect character trait for this detective and his exaggerated delivery is wonderful.

The MVP of this film, and this franchise, is clearly Johnson. He takes the classic whodunit plots, but adds dubious twists that make the endings unpredictable. “Glass Onion” has a perfect script and his work behind the camera is also spectacular.

Johnson is a talented director, but it’s his unique use of subjects that pushes him to another level in the Knives Out franchise. In the first film, Johnson used the famous knife display as a framing technique throughout the entirety of the film. In “Glass Onion,” Johnson films through glass sculptures, contorting the looks of the characters as they walk through them. 

The film is also very funny. The jokes are hilarious and the characters themselves are hard to take seriously, in a good way. Multiple celebrity references and cameos keep the viewers on their toes. One hilarious bit in the movie is that Blanc is canonically bad at mystery games like “Clue”, and even the more recent “Among Us.”

“Glass Onion” is a fantastic modern-day whodunit that lives up to the hype spurred by its predecessor. A classic plot takes a sudden twist as the mystery descends into utter chaos, while Blanc tries his best to unravel it. “Glass Onion” is a spectacle and easily one of the best movie releases of the year.