Movie: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Plot: Tech billionaire Miles Bron invites his friends for a getaway on his private Greek island. When someone turns up dead, Detective Benoit Blanc is put on the case.
Cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline
Director: Rian Johnson
Release Date: November 23, 2022 (in theatres); December 23, 2022 (Netflix)
Studio: Netflix
Number of Graders: 24
HCA Overall Grade: B+

David Gonzalez says, “With its exquisite style and deconstruction of the influencer culture, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a dazzling murder mystery ripe with laughs, twists, and performances to die for.”

Grade: A+

Maggie Lovitt says, “Rian Johnson is no stranger to crafting sequels that far outshine the first film in a trilogy, but this time he’s proving that he can eclipse even his own brilliant storytelling with fresh twists and a new cast of self-righteous characters worthy of despising. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a delightful return to Benoit Blanc’s (Daniel Craig) sleuthing, set amidst a timely piece of meta-commentary about the toxicity of wealth.”

Grade: A+

Ricky Valero says, “Not too often do we see sequels live up to the original, especially when trying to recreate the magic of Knives Out. However, Glass Onion gets so much right from the script to the perfectly selected cast members. Rian Johnson is building his own multi-verse of whodunnits.”

Grade: A

Matthew Creith says, “As a sequel to the hit Knives Out, Glass Onion is a jolt of hilarity from beginning to end. Its humorous premise is built upon mysterious past connections and even more twists and turns than the original film. At its core, the movie is a whodunnit, but there are deeper meanings to every piece of information Johnson lays out for the audience to put together along with Blanc. There is a substantial amount of setup before the murder takes place, signifying that there’s more to this story than meets the eye.”

Grade: A

Fico Cangiano says, “One of the most entertaining and pleasing films of the year. Rian Johnson’s newest whodunnit entry delivers in every filmmaking department. It’s funny, ambitious, timely and so much fun. Somehow even better than the original.”

Grade: A

Zoë Rose Bryant says, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a lavishly layered and terrifically twisty takedown of new wealth and the idiocy of the elite. Rian Johnson’s screenwriting is as sensationally sharp and slick as ever (the final act is a work of art), but Janelle Monáe runs away with the movie, even in an ensemble as uniformly entertaining as this one – ultimately, the film is as much a showcase for Johnson’s snappy screenplay as it is for Monáe’s staggering stardom, and she makes the most of this moment.”

Grade: A

Sara Clements says, “Rian Johnson does it again, but bigger and better. A group of old, rich friends get together for a weekend of murder mystery on a Greek island of opulent design. Benoit Blanc crashes the party, creating drama of the best kind. The film is hilarious from beginning to end with Kate Hudson stealing the show in that regard. But this is really Janelle Monáe’s movie. Her role, as well as the story, are full of surprises. The film feels fresh and different from the first and it plays with us just like we are characters taking part in this mystery. It’s like a real onion where every layer is peeled back to reveal complexity and intelligence.”

Grade: A

Abe Friedtanzer says, “Glass Onion is a delight, the rare example of a sequel that manages to be even better than its predecessor. An almost entirely new cast shows that Rian Johnson is capable of great things and of delivering an equally enthralling and satisfying setup that will be just as worthwhile to those who haven’t seen the first film as those who love it.”

Grade: A-

Erik Anderson says, “Forget what you think you know about Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and get ready for the wildest ride of the year. Outrageously funny, Janelle Monáe and Kate Hudson are absolute standouts. What a blast.”

Grade: A-

Nicholas Spake says, “The original Knives Out took everything we know about whodunnit stories and subverted our expectations. Glass Onion plays with our knowledge of the previous film, catching us off guard in new, thrilling ways. While still a Knives Out mystery, Glass Onion works as a standalone movie that plays by different rules. The common thread is Detective Benoit Blanc, who may very well exceed James Bond as Daniel Craig’s career-defining role. Seeing Blanc giddy about a mystery gets us equally jazzed up. Craig leads another all-star ensemble in a case that entails money, manipulation, and murder.”

Grade: A-

Landon Johnson says, “Glass Onion is way more fun than first! It’s Iron Man meets Agatha Christie. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun watching a movie. The hilarious script, fabulous ensemble, and all the plot twists make for the best time you’ll have in the theater this year!”

Grade: B+

Mike Manalo says, “The abundance of cleverness and commentary present in the film, combined with the stellar performances from the cast, set the movie up for success, and make it worthy of the Knives Out moniker. Overall, Glass Onion is a hilarious, biting, ridiculously fun mystery with so many amazing twists and layers to peel back, that you’ll feel like you’re playing a complex puzzle sent to you by an eccentric billionaire. Let’s hope any subsequent cases we go on with Beniot Blanc, the last of the gentleman sleuths, end up being as terrific as these last two.”

Grade: B+

Cole Jaeger says, “Glass Onion delivers all the same goodies that the first did. A colorful ensemble of delightfully over-the-top performances, gorgeous production design, and of course an unpredictable and complex mystery. Glass Onion’s second half may be one big exposition dump, but it’s probably the most fun I’ve had with an exposition dump in a long time.”

Grade: B+

Miriam Spritzer says, “Like the previous film in the franchise, this was a fun watch with many twists and turns. I loved the art direction because it was so odd and artsy. The cast was such fun to watch, each character was incredibly peculiar and what a treat to see Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim on-screen even if for a brief moment. It is not a film that changes lives, but for sure it is a fun watch.”

Grade: B+

Federica Volpe says, “It’s a good movie to watch with friends and family, and enjoy the time you spend watching it. The setting is stunning and the characters are funny and with distinct identities, therefore the audience gets to know them right away, but just when they think they know what to expect, there’s always a nice twist to it. Loved the costumes. Great performances by the whole cast, with a special mention to Janelle Monae’s performance that for me stands out.”

Grade: B+

Dan Murrell says, “Rian Johnson returns along with Benoit Blanc to deliver another wry, twisty murder mystery that had me guessing. Johnson once again subverts traditional story structure, letting us in on information either before or after most movies would reveal it. Edward Norton’s clueless billionaire is unintentionally timely, Janelle Monae turns in a multifaceted and memorable supporting performance, and Daniel Craig turns on the southern charm just as he did in Knives Out. I’d be very happy to get a new Benoit Blanc mystery every few years.”

Grade: B+

Abbie Bernstein says, “There is one big plot twist in Glass Onion that can be guessed in advance, not because of anything in the script, but because of the film’s overall buoyant tone. This meta hint isn’t a strike against Glass Onion, but rather a laudable testament to how well the filmmakers understand exactly what kind of movie they’re making.”

Grade: B+

Aaron Neuwirth says, “One film was already enough to satisfy, but plenty of evidence presented shows that Rian Johnson knows how to assemble more than one kind of mystery.”

Grade: B+

Brian Formo says, “Takes a whole act before it starts to get going (partially in service of bland covid jokes and constant name-dropping) but it’s fun after a little mid-reveal that brings Daniel Craig back to life. Janelle Monae and Kate Hudson slay, but Jessica Henwick gets my favorite reactions. Bonus points for ace production design to highlight the terrible artistic taste of billionaires. Ultimately, it remains fun!”

Grade: B

Jami Philbrick says, “Glass Onion is a fun sequel but is mostly a copy of the original. Rian Johnson delivers another intriguing mystery that relies too heavily on the original formula, even with strong performances from Daniel Craig and the all-star cast.”

Grade: B-

Scott Menzel says, “Knives Out was well-crafted, hilarious, and wildly entertaining. With Glass Onion, Rian Johnson tries to recreate that magic but it doesn’t entirely hit the mark. Daniel Craig and Janelle Monáe shine but the rest of the cast fail to meet the level of intrigue and hilarity that the original cast had together. The film definitely has its moments but its bloated runtime and lack of mystery made me want to leave these characters much sooner than expected. Still, Glass Onion works well as a crowd pleaser and will be best enjoyed with an audience.”

Grade: B-

Nikki Fowler says, “Daniel Craig gives exactly what you’d expect in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a light-hearted and charming air to a slightly predictable twisted mystery. Janelle Monáe was on fire with her dual role, Kate Hudson and Edward Norton made it even more entertaining.”

Grade: C+

Clarence Moye says, “Glass Onion isn’t half as clever as it thinks it is. Janelle Monae, Daniel Craig, and Kate Hudson are best in show in this thin whodunnit. I love the films of Rian Johnson, but the mystery here doesn’t necessarily feel like a mystery as much as it does a thin send-up of the extremely wealthy. The remaining cast members are fully wasted in glorified cameos. This sequel has even less teeth than the brilliant by comparison original version.”

Grade: C

Rama Tampubolon says, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was sillier than its predecessor. Not sure why Rian Johnson cranked up the comedy, but a lot of it missed the mark. Mystery-wise, it started off pretty crafty but then it devolved into a pointless mess. The first Knives Out movie remains superior.”

Grade: C-

Glass Onion is now playing in theaters and will be streaming on Netflix in December.