Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Review – Johnson Delivers Fun, Wild Sequel

Making a sequel is hard. If the first film is good, there’s the expectation that the follow-up must be just as good, if not better, than the original. Knives Out was the crowd-pleasing whodunit mystery hit of 2019 and there was some worry that director Rian Johnson’s sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story, wouldn’t live up to it. However, Johnson has still got the magic. Glass Onion is wildly entertaining, endlessly charismatic, and somewhat ridiculous. Combined with a fabulous ensemble cast, this whodunit follow-up to Knives Out (which takes a dig at the beloved Clue game) is deeply enjoyable.


Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a tech billionaire with lots of ideas, invites his friends to his private Greek island for a weekend of fun and a murder mystery he put together. His friends are an eclectic bunch, to say the least. Birdie (Kate Hudson) is a model who always says the wrong things on social media, leading her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) to take away her phone lest there be any more damning evidence, Claire (Kathryn Hahn) is politician whose campaign is being funded by Miles, Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) is a tech whiz who is often tasked with working on Miles’ wild ideas that he faxes to him in the middle of the night, Duke (Dave Bautista) is a men’s rights Twitch streamer who is dating Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), who is trying to make it in the influencer business by appearing in Duke’s videos. Then there’s Cassandra Brand (Janelle Monáe), who co-founded the company Alpha with Miles, but who was eventually cut out of the equation and the friends group. Where does Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) fit into all this? Well, he also gets an invitation to Miles’ island, though the reason why is a mystery itself.

Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story delivers on many levels. It’s surprising and has a well-plotted story. It’s also a crowd-pleaser that doesn’t drop the ball when it comes to its story and characters. The film has an abundance of enjoyable twists and turns, and a finale that will amuse as much as it will have audiences cheering. What’s crucial here is that Johnson doesn’t pull from the same well as Knives Out; he moves on to new ideas, though the core theme about rich people and power remains the same. This time, however, the film is about new money and what people will do to keep it (though they know very little about what to actually do with it). Johnson includes a message about the environment and the layers of corruption that affect how it’s treated. The film handles all of these elements rather well, all without forgetting about the characters’ dysfunctional relationships with each other, as well as what ultimately brings and keeps them together. Glass Onion doesn’t attempt to mimic the complicated family dynamics of Knives Out — rather, it turns its focus to a group of friends who have their own fair share of problems and quibbles. It makes for a highly effective, intriguing, and unhinged film.

Perhaps the film’s biggest hiccup is that it goes on a bit too long. The first film went by at a pace that felt just right, whereas Glass Onion could have easily shaved off several minutes of its runtime without losing anything. However, that doesn’t at all deter the film or slow it down. The sequel remains engaging and Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc charming. The ensemble cast is top tier, with everyone putting in the work to make their characters and their complex dynamics believable and seamless. While the entire cast is fabulous, Janelle Monáe is a particular standout. The singer-turned-actress is a definite scene stealer, with all the gumption she’s got flowing into the role. The cast looks like they enjoyed filming Glass Onion and getting to play incredibly exasperating, engaging, and sometimes even dimwitted, characters. They have great chemistry together, and it helps the audience buy into the idea that these very disparate people could ever be friends in the first place.

Kathryn Hahn, Madelyn Cline, Edward Norton, Leslie Odom Jr., and Kate Hudson in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

From the opening scene, which involves split scenes and a memorable introduction to each character, Glass Onion is immediately interesting and full of humor. It doesn’t at all take itself seriously as the mystery unfolds. The audience will find there are plenty of treats to be found throughout, notably when it comes to all the chaos that ensues. Benoit Blanc’s involvement in the (admittedly messy) proceedings is delightful as he puts a wrench in the seemingly perfectly planned weekend getaway. There is never a dull moment and Johnson leans into the absurdity with panache.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out mystery is a strong and fulfilling sequel. It will leave fans wanting even more of the charismatic detective and the situations that bring him into the middle of enticing whodunits that put his mind to work. The cast, the writing, and the twists and turns the story takes will leave the audience intrigued right up until the very end. The fact that Johnson doesn’t try to recreate the magic of the original gives the sequel an edge, and viewers will walk away pleased with the result.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2022. The film will be released in select theaters in November and will be available to stream on Netflix December 23.

Key Release Dates

  • Glass Onion Movie Poster
    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    Release Date:


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