Movie Review: Glass Onion

Rian Johnson’s comic mystery Knives Out managed to be both one of the smartest movies of the year it came out in, but also one of the most purely entertaining. Lucky for us, his sequel Glass Onion has managed to duplicate the feat. Returning to the role of Benoit Blanc that he perfected in the first film, Daniel Craig is once again clearly loving every minute he gets to spend playing him, and his enthusiasm proves contagious, with the only choice being to let go and enjoy the ride.

This time around, Blanc finds himself invited to an exclusive dinner party on the private Greek island of tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). As he waits for the luxurious yacht that will escort them to the estate, he meets the other guests: Head scientist for Bron’s company Lionel Toussait (Leslie Odom, Jr.), Connecticut governor and Senate hopeful Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), ex-supermodel turned fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Birdie’s long-suffering assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), Twitch streamer and men’s rights activist Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), and his girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline). The last to arrive is Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), who founded Alpha with Miles before he pushed her out in a nasty court battle.

Everyone had been invited via a set of boxes that each contained a matching series of puzzles and were told that the pretext for the event was to hold a murder mystery dinner in which the victim would be Miles himself. The guests, who have otherwise all known each other for years, are impressed that newcomer Detective Blanc had been invited to seemingly lend extra credence to the game, but shortly after arrival Miles pulls Benoit aside and informs him that he hadn’t been on the guest list. They deduce that someone must have reset their puzzle box and delivered it to him so that he might come, which leads the detective to believe that Bron may be in real danger. And since everyone there seems to have a motive for wanting him dead, both the real and pretend games are afoot.

As with the first movie, every single character has been flawlessly cast and each are given ample room to shine in their roles. In fact, nearly everything about Glass Onion has been perfectly and meticulously thought out; from the over-the-top design of the mansion, to the placement of people and objects in each frame, to the excellent score by Nathan Johnson, to the incredibly well-plotted screenplay. This movie really rewards those who pay attention, as seemingly every moment winds up being connected to the solution of the mystery at its core. While there are some surprises, nothing about the reveal feels like a cheat. Instead, once everything comes together it leaves the viewer under the impression that they could have potentially pieced it out themselves if they’d really tried. This is hands down one of the most entertaining and satisfying movies of the year, and I honestly can’t think of any other that I had more fun watching in 2022. ★★★★★

rated pg-13 for strong language, some violence, sexual material, and drug content.

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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