Glass Onion: A Review


Rian Johnson creates a humorous, insightful spectacle of a movie.

The 2022 film Glass Onion, a standalone sequel to 2019’s Knives Out, sees the return of master detective Benoit Blanc. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blanc receives a mysterious invitation to play in a murder mystery game on a private island in Greece. Said island belongs to the eccentric billionaire and co-founder of tech company Alpha, Miles Bron. Once again, director and writer Rian Johnson crafts a rich mystery that will leave you hooked the entire time. 

Joining the detective and billionaire are a cast of eclectic characters, who have all known each other (and Bron) for a long time. His close friend Lionel Toussaint works for Alpha. Claire Debella is the governor of Connecticut, and Birdie Jay is a former model-turned-designer. Birdie’s manager and “handler” of sorts is Peg, who accompanies her to the island. Duke Cody is an influencer, and brings his girlfriend, Whiskey, on the trip as well. Finally, Andi Brand is the last member of the group, and the other co-founder of Alpha. An incident in her and Miles’ past has left her bitter. 

Every actor is impeccably perfect in their role, with Daniel Craig (Blanc) and Janelle Monae (Andi) standing out. Craig is downright sensational, and he only builds on the character already developed in Knives Out. Monae brings a depth to her role when (spoiler alert) she’s revealed to actually be the dead Andi’s sister, Helen Brand. She hits all of the right notes, both emotional or powerful. 

Edward Norton, the antagonist Bron, is amazing in the fact that you want to punch his character in the face. He is the perfect entitled, mad, rich person, and his personality is very similar to a few real-life billionaires we all know. Kate Hudson (Birdie), Kathryn Hahn (Claire), Dave Bautista (Duke), and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Lionel) all deliver great performances – not exactly stand-out compared to some of the other cast, but great nonetheless. 

Finally, two unexpected stars are Madelyn Cline (Whiskey) and Jennifer Henwick (Peg). Cline is funny when it’s called for, appealing, and when the drive behind her character is revealed, she does it well. Similarly, Henwick plays her role of ‘fed-up assistant’ brilliantly, turning a small part into a spectacle. 

Glass Onion, like the film’s namesake, “seems densely layered, mysterious and inscrutable. But in fact, the center is in plain sight.” This is the genius of the movie – the mastermind, the killer they’re hunting, seems like so much more than they actually are. Through flashbacks and excellent pacing, more pieces are disclosed to the audience without immediately giving it away. The final reveal alone is ingenious. It leaves you wanting to go back and rewatch the whole thing, to pick up the hints you missed.

It’s almost unfair to compare Glass Onion with its prequel, Knives Out, as they’re both standalone films, and amazing in their own way. Rian Johnson once again proves himself the modern master of mystery, and Glass Onion is a must-watch to add to your list. It’s an easy ‘A+.’